Barcelona ‘Believe’ They Can Complete Neymar Deal Despite Exorbitant Asking Price & Salary Demands

?Barcelona ‘believe’ they can secure Neymar’s return to the club this summer, despite the various financial challenges that mean the move is bordering on becoming nonviable.

The Brazilian left Barca for Paris Saint-Germain for a world record £198m fee two years ago, in a bid to break out of the shadow of Lionel Messi, but a combination of injury and disciplinary issues mean that, even with 51 goals in 58 games for the Ligue 1 champions, he has flattered to deceive. 

He is believed to be unhappy in France for a ?multitude of reasons, and has done everything in his power to force through a move back ‘home’ to ?Barcelona. It’s a move the Blaugrana are keen on, but according to ?Marca, there are several factors to consider that complicate the potential deal. 


The first issue is, of course, the transfer fee, with PSG asking for €250m to complete the deal. Barcelona feel as if his market value has only fallen since his move to Paris, due to his performances, off-field issues and injury record, and note that PSG made the player available for sale without their hand being forced. 

All that means Barcelona would not pay more than €200m to sign him for a second time. They would also require that he takes a pay cut from the €36m per season he earns at present, with financial issues and a current exorbitant wage bill meaning Barcelona can’t afford that sort of salary. 


Furthermore, it is believed that the only viable option for Barca to get the move done is to either first offload players to raise funds, or to include players in the deal in order to bring the price down – with ?Philippe Coutinho the obvious option for the latter.

Despite all of this, however, the report notes that Barcelona ‘believe’ they can move some pieces around to force a deal. They think his desire to return to the club and once again work with ?Lionel Messi and ?Luis Suarez could aid their prospects, regardless of how difficult negotiations may prove to be. 

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Summer Signings: Predicting Where 30 of the Most Talked About Players Will End Up for 2019/20

?You hear a rumour from one source that he’s on his way to Spain, whilst a voice from over there mentions that his next destination is China. How do you keep up with all this transfer gossip?!

The summer is filled with stories. Some of them are true and some are pure fantasy, but it’s never easy to tell the difference. Well, that’s what we are here for! 

Here we take a look at 30 players who are each wrapped up in their own transfer saga and give our take on where they may end up.


Bruno Fernandes

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First, it was ?Manchester City who were hot on the trail of Fernandes. However, their interest soon cooled and neighbours ?United appeared to be best placed to land the Portuguese playmaker, who hit a combined 50 goals and assists last term.

Nope, that avenue seems closed, too, though ?Tottenham Hotspur have recently held talks with the 24-year-old. Spurs would no doubt have the funds and motivation to bring Fernandes in should Christian Eriksen depart over the off-season, a prospect which grows ever more likely with each passing day.

Probable Destination: Tottenham Hotspur


Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba

No, Paul Pogba will not become a galactico anytime soon. ?Real Madrid have done most of their spending already and would be foolish to splash out even more on the volatile midfielder.

?Juventus have become favourites for the Frenchman’s signature and may use winger Douglas Costa to sweeten the deal with the Red Devils. What’s more, Pogba obviously wants out of Old Trafford and would be welcomed back to his old stomping ground in Turin. It would be a shock if this didn’t happen.

Probable Destination: Juventus


Kalidou Koulibaly

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Every man and his dog has been linked with a move for the colossal ?Napoli centre-back, making it anybody’s guess where he could move to. 

One thing that all this speculation suggests is that this story has been blown out of proportion and is primarily media-driven. Would it really be a surprise if no one coughs up the £100m+ for Koulibaly?

Probable Destination: Napoli


Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire

Manchester City were reportedly in for Koulibaly because they need a new central defender after Vincent Kompany’s departure. For the same reason, they are believed to be tracking Maguire.

Well, it’s apparently less like they’re tracking him and more like they’ve caught their prey; the Citizens have allegedly organised a medical for ‘Slabhead’ and will put the finishing touches on his £65m switch in the coming days.

Probable Destination: Manchester City


Paulo Dybala

Cristiano Ronaldo is in at Juve and Dybala is (on his way) out. That’s been the narrative since CR7 landed in northern Italy 12 months ago, with Bianconeri fans swiftly forgetting about their darling Argentine.

Feeling marginalised and unloved, Dybala will likely leave the Allianz Stadium this summer. But, where will he go? As a whole host of clubs are lining up to take him off of Juventus’ hands, it’s not obvious where he may end up. 

United are long-term admirers, but seem to be focusing their recruitment on young, hungry players. ?Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, are set to lose their star striker in Antoine Griezmann and would therefore be looking for a new world-class forward to spearhead their attack.

Probable Destination: Atletico Madrid


Leroy Sane

Leroy Sane,Andros Townsend

This is going to be incredibly blunt: Sane is staying at Manchester City. They don’t need to sell, they don’t want to sell and would only do so for an idiotic price that no one would stump up.

Probable Destination: Manchester City


Kylian Mbappe

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It’s difficult to see the starlet departing the Parc des Princes for at least another season, for most of the same reasons Sane won’t be going anywhere.

Additionally, Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar could be on his bike soon, leaving Mbappe as the main man in the French capital, an outcome that will no doubt tempt him to stick around.

Probable Destination: PSG


Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho

Here is another transfer that you won’t be seeing unfold for a while. Sancho is tearing it up in the ?Bundesliga, is adored by (arguably) the best set of fans in the world and continues to develop his game with ?Borussia Dortmund. 

On top of that, it’s also doubtful whether money could turn this young man’s head; I mean, he left Manchester City of all teams. There is no need for Sancho to go anywhere.

Probable Destination: Dortmund


Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann

This summer’s most talked about transfers? More like this century’s. Still, the Homeric tale of Griezmann’s Atletico exit is nearing its conclusion and I can safely say, no matter what else you hear, the World Cup winner will be turning out for ?Barcelona in 2019/20. 

This is a move that has been in the works for longer than we realise and nothing will derail it now. Surely.

Probable Destination: Barcelona


Adrien Rabiot

?Arsenal have been sniffing around Rabiot, along with ?Liverpool, United and several elite clubs on the continent. Amongst the latter are Juventus, who seem to have won the race for the out-of-contract midfielder.

The Italians’ sporting director ?recently confirmed their interest in Rabiot and their record of landing free agents suggests they have the upper hand in this one, too.

Probable Destination: Juventus


Joao Felix

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If City keep Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, they will surely not feel the need to pay the requisite triple-figure sum for Felix.

That would see Atleti as the only serious contender for the Benfica wonderkid left in the running and the lucrative sales of Griezmann and Rodri (to the Citizens) will mean money is no obstacle.

Probable Destination: Atletico Madrid


James Maddison

James Maddison

Maddison will be in the ?Premier League next term, that I can safely say. Whether he will be with ?Leicester City is a completely different matter.

Apparently all the big boys are in for him – apart from the embargoed ?Chelsea – but, they may all be left empty-handed. Just take a moment to recall how stubborn the Foxes are when it comes to negotiating, assuming they want him, they will keep him at least one more season.

Probable Destination: Leicester


Andre Gomes

Andre Gomes,Virgil van Dijk

Tottenham, ?West Ham United and ?Everton have all taken their turns being linked with Gomes, though one clearly has the advantage. The Toffees’ recent history demonstrates that they have deep pockets and the familiarity they have with Gomes – who spent lat year on loan at Goodison Park – should see them ?wrap up this signing for £22m.

Probable Destination: Everton


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

So, Aubameyang liked an? Instagram post describing Unai Emery as a ‘puppet’ earlier in the week and has allegedly been offered an ungodly £300,000-a-week wage by an unnamed Chinese Super League team, which apparently means he’s good as gone. 

It all sounds like bulls**t to me, two wholly separate events that have been erroneously joined together by the media. Anyway, why would Arsenal sanction the sale of their top performer when they really need to get back into the ?Champions League this time around?

Probable Destination: Arsenal


Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale,Gergo Lovrencsics

If you’ve listened to anything that Bale himself, or his agent, has had to say regarding his future at the Bernabeu, you should really have worked out that this transfer is not happening. The Welsh wizard is quite content raking in £300,000-a-week as a bench warmer and there’s nothing Real can do about it.

Probable Destination: Real Madrid


James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

A couple of weeks back, it looked like Rodriguez would be joining Bale on some Spanish golf course, but he has since been thrown a lifeline by Napoli.

Carlo Ancelotti wants to ?take the Colombian on loan and an announcement is imminent. Get ready to see Rodriguez lining up under the man who brought him to Madrid in the first place.

Probable Destination: Napoli


Matthijs de Ligt

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Hmmm… this is like predicting which Paul Pogba is going to turn up each week. Now, I’m gonna stick my neck out and say de Ligt won’t be at Ajax next term.

The presence of compatriot Frenkie de Jong in Catalonia and the majesty of the club means Barça seemed to have given Ernesto Valverde’s side an edge over their rivals until reports arrived on Saturday saying ?a £62m Juventus move was as good as done.

Probable Destination: Juventus


Christian Eriksen

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Los Blancos want Eriksen, but Daniel Levy is a notoriously difficult man to negotiate with. The chief-executive will no doubt ask for an astronomical sum, the likes of which Real would be well-advised to ignore having spent north of £300m already this summer.

Would Tottenham really risk losing their talisman for free in 12 months time, or are they that confident of tying him down to a new deal? It’s doubtful, meaning they may have to offer the Dane to PSG, who have been keeping an eye on the playmaker for a considerable length of time.

Probable Destination: Tottenham


Declan Rice

Declan Rice

Another simple one here. Rice is far from the finished article and knows that he has an astute coach at West Ham who will handle his young career delicately, aiding his growth. Moreover, the Irons will want to kick on from 2018/19 and push for European qualification, something that realistically requires their midfield general in the squad.

Probable Destination: West Ham


Philippe Coutinho

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As discussed earlier, Manchester United are avoiding splashing out on household names, making Old Trafford an unlikely stop for Coutinho. ?Liverpool have no need to lure him back to Anfield and Chelsea have no means of doing so.

PSG, however, is a good fit for the Brazilian and they will definitely be able to match whatever wage demands he has, as well as guaranteeing Champions League football for as long as their Qatari owners keep pumping in money.

Probable Destination: Paris Saint-Germain


Tanguy Ndombele

Tanguy Ndombele,Memphis Depay

Following his immaculate displays versus Manchester City last autumn, Ndombele has become one of the most sought-after youngsters in Europe.

But, it’s not City who stand to land the midfield enforcer, with ?Tottenham benefiting from his desire to move to London. Expect his arrival for €60m to be announced shortly, especially if Eriksen moves on.

Probable Destination: Tottenham Hotspur


Hakim Ziyech

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Though Ziyech has interested many a Premier League side, as well as German giants ?Bayern Munich, he may well elect to stay in Amsterdam. He has already stated that he would be open to remaining with Ajax and could remain to help mitigate the impact of de Ligt and de Jong’s departures, along with anyone else who may join the exodus. 

If that is the case, it goes some way to explaining why he has not sealed a transfer away when one has been on the cards for months.

Probable Destination: Ajax


Neymar

Neymar

If Coutinho is to switch to Paris, it may entail Neymar going in the other direction. Barcelona are reportedly set to offer the former in exchange for his Brazilian counterpart, who wants out of PSG. 

Do we see this one coming to fruition? Well, (did I mention this?) Real Madrid can’t really afford him after their exploits and it certainly seems more likely than Neymar’s stunning £200m switch to the Ligue 1 side two years ago, so why not?

Probable Destination: Barcelona


Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck,Gediminas Mazeika

It didn’t work out at United and it didn’t work out at the Emirates; where does Welbeck turn to next? He’s an England international, meaning pride may get in the way of a deal with a ‘lesser’ English team.

Online news outlet ?football.london write that Turkish side Galatasaray, which wouldn’t be as outlandish a choice as it may initially appear. He’s out of the spotlight (which many footballers detest), he will surely add medals to his collection and the Istanbul team tend to offer fine pay-packets to their star names.

Probable Destination: Galatasaray


Sergio Ramos

Pilar Rubio,Sergio Ramos

Ramos playing in China is a lovely idea and all, but let’s face it: Madrid aren’t gonna let it happen.

Probable Destination: Real Madrid


David De Gea

David De Gea


It would be silly if a suitor offered what United want for De Gea, as the Spaniard will be available on a Bosman this time next year. On top of that, the ‘keeper is believed to be keen on seeing out his current contract because, well… um… he gets paid a f**kload of moolah!

Probable Destination: Manchester United


Ander Herrera

Ander Herrera

PSG. He’s going to PSG on a free. Remember kids, you heard it here last.

Definite Destination: Paris Saint-Germain


Giovani Lo Celso

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Ok, a few papers are suggesting that Lo Celso to Tottenham is a sure thing. That means bugger all in modern football, especially with the Red Devils lurking.

The midfield maestro is hardly an unknown, but he is youthful and lacks the prima donna attitude that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is attempting to rid the club of. So, Lo Celso to United? 

I wouldn’t bet on it, nor would I bet on him linking up with Spurs. His career would be better off if he stayed with a developing Betis outfit, where he is the star of the show.

Probable Destination: Real Betis


Nicolas Otamendi

Nicolas Otamendi

The Argentine centre-back could really be plying histrade anywhere come August, even at the Etihad should a deal for de Ligt or any other targets fall through.

I tell you where he would be most welcome, though: Atletico Madrid. Los Rojiblancos have recently lost the services of club stalwart Diego Godin, making a new central defender a priority.

With ?La Liga experience and a good few years left in his legs, Otamendi would make a superb signing for Diego Simeone.

Probable Destination: Atletico Madrid


Douglas Costa

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Dybala may be one potential makeweight for Juventus to bring in Pogba, but the more likely scenario is that they use as bait and sell his South American comrade to Atletico.

That ensures they don’t lose out on profit for Dybala (as they may when trying to meet the Red Devils’ valuation of Pogba), whilst also securing the Frenchman’s signature. It’s a win-win-win.

Probable Destination: Manchester United

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Matthijs de Ligt Set to Join Juventus From Ajax With Official Decision Expected Within Days

?Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt has chosen to join Juventus this summer, snubbing interest from the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

The 19-year-old has been at the centre of attention throughout the weeks and months leading up to the transfer window, with de Ligt most recently confirming that he wouldn’t make a decision until after the UEFA Nations League tournament in Portugal.

Ross Barkley,Matthijs de Ligt

And while fans are still waiting for an official word about his next move, Sky in Italy are reporting that de Ligt will join Serie A champions Juventus ahead of the new season.

It’s added that the only thing holding up an announcement at this stage is an agreement over personal terms in Turin, but Juventus and Ajax have settled on a £62m transfer fee.

De Ligt is believed to have rejected the chance to follow teammate Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona this summer, while a move to join Paris Saint-Germain never materialised.

Catalan journalist Oriol Domènech has added even more fuel to the fire on social media by claiming that an announcement about de Ligt’s decision could be made by Tuesday 25 June.

With de Ligt set to become new manager Maurizio Sarri’s first signing at Juventus, the Netherlands international will join Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey as the club’s only signings so far this summer.


He’ll also become Ajax’s fourth sale of the summer, following de Jong, Maximilian Wöber and Daley Sinkgraven out of the exit door in Amsterdam.

Other first-team players for Ajax like Hakim Ziyech and David Neres are also expected to be moved on at some point during the summer transfer window.

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Why Philippe Coutinho Really, Really Isn’t Returning to Liverpool This Summer

?If ever a reason was needed as to why any elongated length of time without mainstream football is a really bad thing, don’t look any further than being told that Philippe Coutinho is seriously being considered for a return to Liverpool.

It’s a whisper that’s stayed ever since the Brazilian joined Barcelona in all honesty, that’s how the rumour mill works after all, but over the last few days, there’s been a renaissance which has peddled the story (if we can even call it that) in record numbers.

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So just in case you’re brave enough to come along for the ride with us on this one, here’s a rundown of what we know about where the rumour came from, why it picked up so much traction, and most importantly of all, why it’s utter, utter rubbish.


THE BACKGROUND

Coutinho isn’t very happy in Barcelona. That much is true. He even said himself that he might not be at the Camp Nou by the start of next season.

Now, the logical next step is to look at who’s been linked with him over the last few months, and at the very least we can rule out some teams.

Linked with Manchester United? Well, he used to play for Liverpool and has already pretty much ended any chance of that happening. Next.

Linked with Chelsea? This is less about it not happening, and more about it being physically impossible for the Blues to register new players until the summer of 2020.

Linked with Paris Saint-Germain? The whole reason he joined Barça was to fill Neymar’s boots, so, maybe. It’s also pretty difficult to turn down the chance to play for one European football’s biggest and most prestigious clu…oh who are we kidding, it’s the wages.

So, that’s why the narrative throughout the summer so far has gone hand in hand with Barcelona’s apparent attempts to re-sign Neymar.

Neymar da Silva

Or at least it was until Le 10 Sport’s little nugget was published on the World Wide Web on Thursday, claiming that they had learnt Coutinho’s former club Liverpool were actually wanting to re-sign him this summer.

No explanation. No more information. Just a seven-word sentence: “Tout comme son ancien club de Liverpool!

Roughly translated into English, that says: “Anything we say about Liverpool will catch on like wildfire so here’s the most illogical rumour we can think of!”

Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt with their tip, this is a rumour that is screaming for the writer or editor to use just a tiny fraction of their common sense to not put something like this out there in the social media ecosystem.


THE REAL STORY

It’s been made very clear this summer what Liverpool want to do in the transfer market and how much they want to spend – or rather how much they want not to spend – on targets ahead of the new season.

An upgrade on Simon Mignolet? Sure, that’d be grand.

Maybe an understudy for Andy Robertson? Sounds good.

Doubling your record transfer to fill a position which already has ample cover and to bring back a player who was chomping at the bit leave just one year ago? Hmmm, maybe not.

The short story, Liverpool don’t need Coutinho. They don’t. They don’t want him either. Not at that price at least.

Throughout the latter stages of the season, we were told over and over again by the club, by Jürgen Klopp, and by every Liverpool insider worth their salt that there weren’t going to be any major changes this summer.

And not a single iota has changed since.

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What’s most likely to happen with Coutinho next? Well, he’s only really got two options on the table as things stand.

1) Stick it out at Barcelona.

2) Switch places with Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain.

And that’s what Coutinho’s summer transfer window will almost certainly look like, nothing much more than a glorified game of stick or twist, where he’ll probably be seen as a loser in either outcome.


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Transfer Rumours: Alonso to Stay at Chelsea, Romagnoli to Barcelona, Wilson to West Ham & More

Club football is gone for the summer, and the focus is now solely on the transfer window.

The basic recipe for a transfer story is to take literally any player in the world and link them to either Real Madrid or Manchester United, but (believe it or not) other teams occasionally involve themselves in the transfer market too.

Here are nine stories for you to keep an eye on.


Forgotten Newcastle Winger Rolando Aarons Tipped to Make Greece Move

Rolando Aarons

Cast your mind back to 2014. A young Rolando Aarons looked destined for the top after shining for ?Newcastle United in pre-season and the early weeks of the 2014/15 ?Premier League season. Then he went down with a hamstring injury, and it was game over. Yikes.

Now 23, Aarons has not been seen at St James’ Park since 2017, and his days at the club look to be numbered. ?SDNA claim that Greek sides Panathinaikos and AEK are both ready to offer him a lifeline (if you can even call it that), but the move could collapse as a result of Newcastle’s ludicrous demands.

The Magpies want 50% of his wages to be paid if he heads out on loan, with a mandatory purchase clause of around £6m. Yes, £6m for a player who hasn’t turned out for the club in around 18 months, and barely managed to impress on loan in the Czech Republic last season. This may be a business, but that’s a step too far.


Spurs Identify Alternative to Ryan Sessegnon as Inter Join Race for Fulham Star

Aboubakar Kamara

?Tottenham Hotspur look to have finally remembered that you are actually allowed to sign players, but reports suggest they could be in for a frustrating summer.

The first player on their radar is ?Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon but, according to ?Tuttosport, ?Inter are desperate to lure the 19-year-old away from England, so Spurs have been forced to look elsewhere.

?Fotomac add that Spurs are pushing to sign Fenerbahce wonderkid Eljif Elmas, and have already lodged a bid of €19m plus forgotten forward ?Vincent Janssen. Surely Spurs can’t go another window without a transfer?


Martin Odegaard Spotted Heading to Germany Ahead of Move Away From Real Madrid

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Poor Martin Odegaard. He really was a victim of the hysteria when he joined ?Real Madrid as a 15-year-old, and things have not worked out at all. Many fans have labelled him as a flop, and his tumultuous time in Madrid looks to be coming to an end, with a move to Bayer Leverkusen thought to be on the cards.

Norwegian outlet ?TV2 fuelled talk of such a move as they claimed to see Odegaard and his representatives board a flight to Dusseldorf, suggesting he could make the short drive to Bayer’s headquarters to negotiate a move.

Whether it will be a permanent switch or just a loan remains to be seen, but it seems like all signs point to the ?Bundesliga for Odegaard.


Juventus to Land Sassuolo Star Merih Demiral in €15m Deal 

Six months ago, Merih Demiral was an unknown centre-back playing in Turkey. Now, he is set to become a vital part of ?Juventus’ squad, after impressing in a brief spell with Sassuolo. Talk about an astronomical rise.

?Football Italia state that Demiral underwent a medical with the ?Serie A giants on Wednesday, after they agreed a €15m fee to sign the highly rated 21-year-old.

The report adds that Demiral turned down offers from plenty of European giants, and he is set to be rewarded with a regular place in Juventus’ team.


West Ham Look to Callum Wilson After Maxi Gomez Deal Collapses

Callum Wilson

You’ve got to respect ?West Ham United’s determination. They have been chasing strikers for what feels like an eternity but, despite setback after setback, they show no signs of giving up.

Celta Vigo star Maxi Gomez, who has been pursued by the Hammers for months, has been tipped to move to Valencia instead, ?which has forced West Ham to look elsewhere. The next man in their sights is ?Bournemouth hitman Callum Wilson who, according to ?The Sun, is now Manuel Pellegrini’s top priority this summer.

West Ham are ready to offer up to £35m for Wilson, who was one of the Premier League’s top scorers last season. Bournemouth won’t want to lose him, but money talks.


PSG Ready €30m Bid for Sandro Tonali as They Look to Replicate Marco Verratti Success

Sandro Tonali

Ah, Sandro Tonali. Otherwise known as ‘The Best Player You’ve Never Seen Play’, the 19-year-old is surely nearing his first taste of top-flight action, and it may be Paris Saint-Germain who can offer him that this summer.

?L’Equipe state that sporting director Leonardo is infatuated by Tonali,? having spent plenty of time monitoring the midfielder whilst working for ?AC Milan. PSG are thought to be lining up a €30m bid, and history shows that they would not be scared to use him.

Back in 2012, they fought off competition from across Europe for a young Pescara midfielder by the name of Marco Verratti, who has since gone on to win 21 trophies in Paris. If Tonali can manage half of that, PSG will have struck gold.


Atletico Unwilling to Meet Chelsea’s Demands Over Marcos Alonso

Chelsea Training Session

?First ?Chelsea reject ?Atletico Madrid’s bid for ?Willian, and now it looks like they have scared off Los Rojiblancos once more. Look away, Chelsea fans.

According to ?COPE, Chelsea demanded €40m for ?Marcos Alonso, prompting Atletico to instantly end negotiations. The left-back is thought to be keen on the move, but not enough to actually force an exit from Stamford Bridge.

With this deal seemingly dead in the water, Blues fans have plenty of time to prepare themselves for the Alonso-Willian partnership on the left wing next season. Don’t let rival fans see you crying.


AC Milan Reject €40m Barcelona Bid for Alessio Romagnoli

Alessio Romagnoli

Some transfer sagas go on for far too long (just look at Matthijs de Ligt – make up your mind already). However, ?Barcelona’s pursuit of AC Milan star Alessio Romagnoli doesn’t look to be heading in that direction.

According to Tuttosport (via ?Calciomercato), the Blaugrana came in with a €40m bid, but Milan simply told them to stop wasting their time. The message was simple: Romagnoli is not for sale.

Romagnoli doesn’t want to leave either, so there doesn’t look to be much chance of this one going through. Case closed.

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