Transfers

Foreign Transfer Round-Up: Bale, Coutinho, Aurier

 • by Frank Smith
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Every day Football Whispers pore over Europe’s major news outlets in search of the latest transfer reports relating to your club.

We then assess the reliability of the rumours, determine the likelihood of the moves, and analyse where the potential signings would fit in.

Today we bring you the latest in Barcelona’s search to find a Neymar replacement, José Mourinho’s pursuit of Gareth Bale, and Inter Milan’s desire to fight Manchester United and Chelsea for Serge Aurier.

BARCELONA LOOK TO FINALISE COUTINHO DEAL

According to Spanish sports daily Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona officials will soon fly to England with the aim of finalising a deal to sign Philippe Coutinho.


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The Liverpool midfielder has been heavily linked with the Catalan giants following the surprise departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain. Sky sources suggest that the playmaker is keen on the move, but only if it can be done amicably.

Coutinho has been a rumoured Barcelona target for quite some time, though the sharp recent surge of speculation is strange. While he would no doubt suit the club’s style, his preference for a more central role means he is more of a natural successor to Andrés Iniesta than Neymar.

Thus, a change in system may be on the cards for Ernesto Valverde’s side should the deal go through. However, that is all entirely dependent on Liverpool’s willingness to sell.

MOURINHO PURSUES BALE

Ahead of Manchester United’s meeting with Real Madrid in tonight’s UEFA Super Cup, Mourinho has been fuelling rumours of a move for a member of the opposition, per Marca. This seems to represent more than a mere tactical ploy, however, considering the player discussed is Bale.

The Welsh winger has been on United’s transfer shortlist for many months and the rumour simply refuses to go away without a fight. And Mourinho’s latest comments hardly dampen the speculation. “If he doesn’t play, I will fight with others who want to [sign him],” he said. “If Bale is at the exit door, I would wait for him on the other side.”

With Zinedine Zidane having moved away from the 4-3-3 system to a winger-less 4-3-1-2 last season, Bale may find game time in short supply at Real Madrid moving forward. At 28 years of age, he will want to be a key man for his team, but that may require a move.

Manchester United will no doubt be at the forefront of clubs willing and able to pay what is necessary to sign the player, however he is also a Chelsea target.

INTER JOIN RACE FOR AURIER

Internazionale have already solved several problem areas in their squad this summer. Borja Valero brings creativity and control to midfield, Matias Vecino adds defensive nous, and Dalbert brings quality to the left-back position.

However, they could still do with a new right-back. And, with this in mind, Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport are reporting that the Nerazzurri are set to join the race for Paris Saint-Germain’s Serge Aurier.

The Ivorian has fallen down the PSG pecking order following the arrival of Dani Alves. With Thomas Meunier also present, he is now the club’s third-choice right-back. A Chelsea and Manchester United target, it is assumed that he will move on this summer, though the Premier League may not be his ideal destination.

Were he to join Inter, Aurier would be guaranteed of a starting berth, which is presumably why he is leaving Paris in the first place. Rather than fight it out with Victor Moses or Antonio Valencia, he could be the Italian giants’ first-choice right-back.

JUVENTUS LOOK TO CAN FOR MIDFIELD BOOST

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Throughout the summer transfer window, Juventus have been searching for a new central midfielder. However, they have so far been thwarted in their pursuits of Paris Saint-Germain’s Blaise Matuidi and Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi.

Now, according to Calciomercato, the reigning Italian champions are hoping to revive their stalled bid to sign Liverpool’s Emre Can.

The versatile German, who can play in a variety of midfield roles as well as at right-back, would add dynamism and a combative edge to an area usually populated by creators and runners such as Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira and Claudio Marchisio.

Juventus are hopeful that a deal can be reached due to the fact that Can’s contract is set to expire next summer, meaning he could leave on a free transfer.

However, Liverpool may be unwilling to sell two key midfielders in the same window. With Coutinho reportedly keen on a move to Barcelona, the Reds must at the very least keep hold of their other current midfield options.

If the Brazilian does leave, expect Can’s price tag to go up. This may be enough to put Juventus off, at least for the time being. But if Coutinho stays, the 23-year-old could be on his way to Turin.

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