Transfers

Trending Transfers: De Ligt, Coutinho and Maguire

 • by Tom Bodell
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With teams back in pre-season training the summer transfer window is beginning to hot up with clubs completing deals and squads gradually taking shape.

Real Madrid were the early force, paying out north of €300million to sign Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Rodrygo and Eder MilitaoLos Blancos will now try to shift Isco, Gareth Bale, Lucas Vazquez and more to make a play for either Manchester United misfit Paul Pogba or wantaway Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

There are still plenty of deals to be done, though. Football Whispers’ unique algorithm assigns every Whisper a score out of five based on its likelihood, taking into account a number of factors. The more likely the transfer is to happen, the higher the score.

Throughout the summer we’ll be keeping you abreast of the Trending Transfers. We’ve taken a closer look at ten of the most exciting current rumours to assess their validity and keep you informed.

Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus – 4.8

Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax celebrates scoring his teams second goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League third round qualifying match between Ajax and Royal Standard

It has long been apparent the Dutchman would leave Ajax this summer. The only question was where his next destination would be. Barcelona and PSG both appeared to be in the lead at various stages but De Ligt will be a Juventus player in the coming days.

Reports in Italy claim the 19-year-old, who captained Die Godenzonen to the Champions League final last season, will undergo a medical in Turin today. Negotiations between the player and club were fairly routine with De Ligt viewed as the long-term leader of an ageing Juve defence.

A reported price of £71.6million has been struck and De Ligt was left out of Ajax’s travelling party for their trip to Austria with the club confirming their captain is ‘awaiting a possible transfer’.

William Saliba to Arsenal – 4.7

St. Étienne defender William Saliba's 2018/19 Ligue 1 stats

The next most sought-after young defender in Europe this summer, St. Etienne prospect Saliba had appeared bound for Arsenal with the ever-reliable David Ornstein of BBC Sport confirming a deal was close.

That was until North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur moved to gazump the Gunners with a bid of their own last week. Now it’s unclear where the 18-year-old’s future lies.

Arsenal had originally seen a bid of £27million agreed with Saliba set to return to St. Étienne on loan for the season. There’s been no news on this one since Friday, July 12.

Fabian Delph to Everton – 4.7

Manchester City defender Fabian Delph

One deal which could sneak under the radar is the Toffees’ signing of Manchester City‘s England international Delph. The 29-year-old, who is out of contract next summer at the Etihad Stadium, is expected to join the Merseysiders imminently.

City’s capture of Atlético Madrid midfielder Rodri has all but ended Delph’s chances of regular minutes in midfield while the news Oleksandr Zinchenko has been handed the No.11 jersey suggests the Ukrainian utility man will start the season as Pep Guardiola’s first-choice left-back if Benjamin Mendy isn’t ready.

With 20 England caps and two Premier League titles the Leeds native will bring a wealth of experience and leadership to Goodison Park and could prove a bargain at a reported £10million, per BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty.

Harvey Elliott to Liverpool – 4.0

Fulham attacker Harvey Elliott is set to join Liverpool

If widespread reports are to be believed then the Reds have pulled off something of a coup by completing a deal for the highly rated Fulham teenager. Elliott became the Premier League’s youngest-ever player last season, making his top-flight debut aged 16 years and 30 days against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The attacking midfielder has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs this summer, among them Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, but the England Under-17 international appears set for Anfield.

The two clubs have been unable to agree on a fee and, per Sky Sports News, the final fee will be decided by a tribunal.

Romelu Lukaku to Internazionale – 4.0

Romelu Lukaku's 2018/10 stats for Manchester United

Despite seeing a spike in form following José Mourinho’s sacking by Manchester United last December, it became increasingly apparent as the season went on that Ole Gunnar Solskjær was placing all his eggs in the Marcus Rashford basket.

Lukaku’s future appears to lie away from Old Trafford. Only Inter, under new management following the appointment of Antonio Conte, appear seriously interested on the bruising Belgian but a transfer fee is proving hard to agree upon.

According to The Guardian, the Premier League side are demanding £75million for the former Everton and Chelsea forward. Inter, who sent sporting director Piero Ausilio to London Thursday, offered an initial €10million loan fee this summer with two further payments of €30million in 2020 and 2021 but that does not satisfy the Red Devils.

Kieran Tierney to Arsenal – 4.0

Celtic defender Kieran Tierney's 2018/19 stats

Gunners boss Unai Emery has clearly decided the area of his squad which needs the most major surgery this summer is the defence. But transfers for Celtic full-back Tierney and St. Étienne defender Saliba are nowhere near completion.

Arsenal have now seen two offers for Scotland international Tierney thrown out with the second reaching £25million per BBC Sport. The North Londoners have offered an initial £15million for the 22-year-old last month.

BBC Sport’s Ornstein, who is an authoritative figure on Arsenal transfers, claims talks will resume this week with the Premier League outfit confident an agreement can be struck for the versatile defender.

Harry Maguire to Manchester United – 4.0

Leicester City defender Harry Maguire

The Leicester City centre-back is another who is scarcely off the back pages. The England international’s stock has risen immeasurably in the last 12 months with a tug of war between Manchester’s big two ensuing.

According to reports, the Foxes will not consider selling their star asset for less than £90million, a fee which would see the 26-year-old overtake Liverpool talisman Virgil van Dijk as the most expensive defender in the history of football.

However, according to The Sun, United have already struck an agreement with Leicester over an £80million deal with Maguire to undergo a medical today.

William Saliba to Tottenham Hotspur – 4.0

St. Étienne defender William Saliba is wanted by Tottenham Hotspur

Having finally broken their transfer duck, Tottenham are now rivalling Arsenal for teenager Saliba. With Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen the wrong side of 30, Mauricio Pochettino is clearly looking to the future.

Various reports claim Spurs have made an offer for Saliba but it is unknown how that matches up to Arsenal’s £27million bid and how the player feels about a switch to Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Kieran Trippier to Bayern Munich – 1.0

Tottenham, Kieran Trippier, stats

The Tottenham Hotspur full-back might have endured a difficult season following his World Cup exploits with England but he is in high demand on the continent.

Juventus and Napoli are two surprise destinations and both appear to have a long-standing interest in Trippier. More recently, Atlético Madrid have identified the 28-year-old as a potential replacement for the departing Juanfran. Now German champions Bayern have entered the race – according to Sky Sports News.

However, the broadcaster claims Trippier could be out of reach for the Bavarians who feel the defender would be too expensive given he would be behind German international Joshua Kimmich in the pecking order for right-back.

Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool  – 0.9

Philippe Coutinho's stats for Barcelona

Eighteen months on from his £142million switch to Barcelona, Coutinho could be heading back to Liverpool in a sensational move. The Brazilian has not settled it Catalonia and Barça are prepared to cut their losses to help fund a potential return for Neymar.

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Coutinho has given his blessing to the prospect of a two-year loan deal with the Reds then paying £88million – the figure they’re still owed by Barcelona – to make the switch permanent.

Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann’s unveiling at Camp Nou on Sunday may have provided a hint as to where Barça see Coutinho as the new signing was handed the No.17 jersey, rather than the No.7 shirt occupied by the Brazilian.

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