If you are one of those heedless people who think that just because it’s the international break and the actual football that you care about is on a seemingly interminable hiatus that the rumour mills stop milling, then heed this: YOU’RE WRONG.
The rumour mills never stop milling. The transfer links never sleep, however spurious. Here’s your latest batch:
Atletico Madrid Offer €20m Plus Vietto to Resolve Gelson Martins Saga
Atletico Madrid are looking to resolve their ongoing dispute with Sporting CP over the transfer of Gelson Martins by offering the club €20m plus Fulham loanee Luciano Vietto.
Atleti signed Martins for free in July 2018 after the winger cancelled his contract with the Portuguese side following a fan-led attack on their training ground, but the club refused to accept the situation, maintaining they should’ve received the full €105.1m release clause fee.
However, according to Portuguese newspaper Record, as relayed by SAPO Desporto, the two parties have now reached an agreement whereby Atleti hand over slightly less than a fifth of that sum, alongside the Fulham flop. To be fair, they may also be in line for another €20m when Los Rojiblancos sell Martins to Monaco (where he is currently on loan) this summer for a cool €40m. Much ado about nothing, then, really.
Barca Willing to Offload Umtiti to Man Utd in Bid to Land Matthijs de Ligt
Barcelona are willing to sell World Cup-winning centre back Samuel Umtiti to Manchester United in order to push through their move for Ajax teenager Matthijs de Ligt.
According to the Daily Mail, Barca are looking to offset the required €85m to sign the Dutchman by selling Umtiti to United, with the Frenchman now below compatriot Clement Lenglet in the pecking order following his issues with injury, even if the ousting of such a key player last season could cause discord in La Blaugrana’s dressing room.
As for De Ligt himself, in an interview with Esporte Interativo, as quoted by Marca, he was deliberately coy on his immediate future, proclaiming: “I play my game, focus on football and we’ll see where I end up. It is not something that worries me.
“I am currently playing for Ajax and the national team, so that is what I’m focussing on. I’m gaining experience and I like it.”
Bayern & Inter ‘Lukewarm’ on Mateo Kovacic Deal
Spare a thought for Mateo Kovacic. Because clubs seem to tossing him around in a game of “lukewarm” potato right now. With Chelsea’s upcoming transfer ban, the Croatian’s prospective €29m permanent switch from Real Madrid is now off.
However, as reported by FcIN, Zinedine Zidane is not keen on keeping him at the Santiago Bernabeu and, after his representatives shopped him around to Bayern Munich and former side Inter, a similarly “lukewarm” response was found, with seemingly no one willing to leave themselves open to the opportunity of getting burned by the midfielder… even if he’s blatantly not a hot commodity.
West Ham Looking to Beat Out Inter & Everton With Eden Dzeko Capture
West Ham United are stepping up their pursuit of veteran AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko, reportedly submitting an offer ‘in recent days’.
As reported by Il Messaggero, and relayed by Sport Witness with additional information from Gazzetta dello Sport, the Hammers are ardent admirers of the 33-year-old, especially former boss Manuel Pellegrini, and are desperate to bring the Bosnian back to England this summer.
However, AS Roma are reportedly looking for as much as €30m for the frontman, while the player himself is holding out for a possible switch to Inter if Mauro Icardi jumps ship. Everton are also looking to get in and amongst it, so expect this one to run…possibly a bit more than Dzeko can these days.
Tottenham See Torino’s Soualiho Meite as Ideal Mousa Dembele Replacement
Tottenham are looking at Torino’s revelatory midfielder Soualiho Meite as a potential replacement for Mousa Dembele in north London.
The Turin side brought in Meite for a cool £9m just last summer, but the Frenchman has quickly established himself as one of the club’s foremost players, and would now command a fee in the region of €30m.
And that’s the package that Spurs and West Ham are readying ahead of this summer’s transfer window, according to the print edition of Gazzetto dello Sport, via Sport Witness.