Summer transfer rumours: the 10 moves to watch
Current club: Liverpool • Could join: Barcelona
Liverpool really don’t want to sell their Brazilian talisman this summer, and rejected Barcelona’s no-nonsense €80m bid for him this week. They’ve made it clear that a second offer won’t be welcome, according to the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce, and don’t fear Coutinho leaving either.
But what if the 25-year-old digs in his heels and demands a move to the Camp Nou? Although the Reds have claimed that he hasn’t handed in a transfer request, news stories have alluded to interest from Coutinho – and possible influence from Neymar. This one might not quite be over just yet.
Current club: Monaco • Could join: Real Madrid, Manchester City, Arsenal
The world’s most sought-after teenager – nay, player – has been at the centre of a media frenzy again this week, after Marca claimed that Real Madrid had agreed a €180m fee for the 18-year-old. Then Monaco said they were negotiating a new contract. L’Equipe said Arsenal hadn’t given up hope. Various outlets claimed that Manchester City would match any offer.
So, er, that’s that cleared up then. Either way, the truth seems to be somewhere in the middle – that each of the clubs above, and probably others, are seriously interested and willing to spend big to get the boy whose bedroom walls were once adorned with pictures of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Current club: Real Madrid • Could join: Manchester United
Whether anyone really stands a chance of getting Bale partly depends on Real Madrid's prospects of landing Mbappe. Boss Zinedine Zidane has claimed he wants to keep each member of the club’s beloved BBC, but can’t guarantee what might happen before the transfer window shuts.
“I hope the BBC stay for this season,” said the Frenchman. “I hope everyone remains. I want everyone who is here now to stay… but anything can happen right up until August 31.” Los Blancos are rich, but if they’re going to fund a deal for Mbappe then they’ll need some big money. Bale’s sale could provide it – and in Jose Mourinho there’s a willing suitor.
Current club: Leicester • Could join: Roma, Arsenal, Tottenham
Mahrez may have handed in a transfer request at the King Power Stadium, but Leicester are in no rush to sell their prized asset. They may not do so at all; Craig Shakespeare has publicly stated that he wants the Algerian to stay, while the club as a whole appear adamant that he won’t be let go for much less than £50m.
Roma seem to have leaped to the front of the queue, but their opening offer was significantly short of Leicester’s valuation. They're hoping to tempt the Foxes with a more lucrative deal that involves realistic performance-based add-ons, but with the start of the Premier League season growing ever closer, Arsenal and Tottenham could renew their interest.
Current club: RB Leipzig • Could join: Liverpool
Keita’s proposed switch to Liverpool has long been this summer’s principal will-he-won’t-he transfer saga, an episode which drags on until the final few days of the window, and by which point everyone is simply desperate for a conclusion one way or another.
Or perhaps not. RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick made some controversial comments about the player’s entourage on Wednesday, while Keita himself was involved in a training-ground bust-up with club captain Diego Demme. Liverpool may sense that their moment to strike has come.