Transfer rumours? On a Sunday? What a concept.
It might be the biblical day of rest, but the comings and goings of the football world wait for no-one, so let’s dive right into our latest batch of wild, reckless speculation.
Napoli to Hijack Real Betis’ Move for Nabil Fekir
Just as it seemed we were finally getting to the end of the tunnel with all this Nabil Fekir nonsense, Napoli have gone and thrown another spanner in the works.
The attacking midfielder was famously passed on by Liverpool at the very last hurdle last summer, and hasn’t quite been able to hit the heights of his ability since. He did manage 12 goals and nine assists last season, however, and that had been enough to convince Betis to come in for him.
According to RMC Sport, however, Napoli now see him as an alternative to James Rodriguez, and he’s had his head turned by the prospect of Champions League football in Italy. No offer has been made by the Serie A side, however, so this has the potential to turn into another saga.
Milan Want Nicolo Zaniolo in Exchange for Suso
Spanish winger Suso has been one of the best signings of the modern era in Milan, joining from Liverpool for a little over £1m back in 2015 and going on to score 23 goals and register 31 assists in 136 games in red and black.
His time with the Rossoneri may well be coming to an end shortly, with Roma circling, but given his value to Milan, he won’t come cheaply. Tuttosport via Calcio Mercato have Milan demanding Roma starlet Nicolo Zaniolo in a straight swap, while forward Patrik Schick or winger Cengiz Under would also be considered in a player-plus cash deal.
Zaniolo is seen as one of the most exciting prospects in Italian football at present, so whether or not Roma would be keen to replace him with Suso, who went off the boil somewhat last season, remains to be seen.
Andy Carroll in Line for Newcastle Return
Since leaving the Magpies for Liverpool back in 2011, the former England target man (he hasn’t retired from international duty, he just…won’t get back into the squad any time soon) has never been able to get close to the form that earned him that £35m move in the first place, with an avalanche of injury issues crippling his chances of an extended run in the West Ham team in recent years.
He was released by the Hammers last month, and now the Sun have Newcastle looking to bring him home as a replacement for Salomon Rondon, who incidentally joined Rafa Benitez in China last week. The report notes that there would be room for both Carroll and Joelinton, the Hoffenheim striker who is reportedly close to a move.
Manchester City Close in on ‘New Messi’ Thiago Almada
Manchester City aren’t happy with just winning everything possible in the short-term, it seems. They’re building for the future underneath it all, and even with a host of young attacking talent already signed up in the form of Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Phil Foden, they are keen to secure one more in the form of Velez Sarsfield’s Thiago Almada.
This one is also from the Sun, who make a big song and dance about billing the 18-year-old as a new Lionel Messi (they make the comparison no less than four times, because that’s not too much pressure to be putting on a kid apparently). Patting themselves on the back for first breaking the story back in April, they say a £16m deal is in the works, with City keen to complete it in the very near future.
He will be loaned out to Sporting CP for a season upon signing to realise his Messi-level potential, because he is the next Lionel Messi.
Watford in for Ismaila Sarr With Talks Ongoing
Stade Rennais winger Ismaila Sarr remains a target for Watford this summer, as the Hornets look to break their current £18m transfer record to land the 21-year-old.
There is believed to be a £7m discrepancy between the two sides’ valuation of the Senegal star, with Rennes chasing £27m while Watford value him closer to £20m, but Sky Sports say talks are ongoing as they attempt to reach a compromise.
He has already made as many as 110 senior appearances at club level and 21 for his country, and directly contributed to 24 goals in 50 appearances for Rennes last season.
Chelsea Reject £20m Palace Bid for Reece James
Having been raided for Aaron Wan-Bissaka by Manchester United, Crystal Palace are in need of a new right-back, and had seen Chelsea’s Reece James as the man to fill that void.
The Daily Star, however, have reported that while that interest came to fruition in the form of a £20m bid, Chelsea have sent them packing – perhaps with the intention of using James as a back-up for Cesar Azpilicueta next season.
It may mean Palace have to look to new targets, with Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne and Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson among those under consideration.
Christian Benteke Targeted by Fenerbahce
To round things off, we have update 678 of the summer on Christian Benteke’s future, as Fenerbahce become the latest side linked with the Belgian target man.
Ajansspor say that former Liverpool head of recruitment Damien Comolli, now Fenerbahce’s director of football, has travelled to England to discuss a deal for the 28-year-old.
He hit a grand total of one goal in 19 appearances for the Eagles last season, so he is likely to be badly missed if he does go.