So Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United and the only feasible solution would be to hook up with another fellow French world cup winning legendary midfielder in Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid. Problem is Real Madrid need to offload Gareth Bale and at least one other star asset to do this, but no offers have yet been made other than for James Rodriguez who’s likely to leave for Napoli this week so we are at a standstill until los blancos can slimline their squad of its higher earning assets.
The price of Bale’s wages, his age and proneness to injury is so far putting off any such interest so Real might have to reluctantly relinquish the likes of Isco or Ceballos as bait instead to fund something huge like bringing in someone of Pogba’s desired ilk.
As for Neymar, the other highly rated world superstar wanting out he looks certain to leave Paris Saint-Germain but only if Barcelona come up with the funds to buy him back. Problem is Barcelona need to sell at least two players to fund the deal with one too many none EU nationals in their squad they are also on the verge of completing the deal for Antoine Griezmann which has stuttered of late since the potential of a Neymar re-union…. Could they do a U-turn by leaving Atletico in the lurch and stopping such a deal despite the Madrid outfit already offering their new signing Joao Felix Griezzy’s old number seven shirt???
Thanks to FFP and squad limitations in numbers and in figures the football transfer merry go round is slowing at the top of the market and looks to need some cogs well and truly oiling to get it back going again.
Manchester City are widely acclaimed as the best team in England. They have signed Rodri from Atletico this summer which should be seen as a direct replacement for the ageing Fernandinho. I believe City believe they are good enough to break their Champions League hoodoo this year with the players they already have so can’t see them investing much more despite them failing last season at the hands of Spurs who eventually lost to EPL rivals Liverpool in the Champions League.
If Jurgen Klopp wants league success he might do well to look at strengthening his squad more but has so far been reluctant with just one young signing in Dutch teenager Sepp van den Berg. Liverpool maybe alerted to the likes of Isco at Real Madrid or in fact David Neres at Ajax as a injection of youthful quality to boost their champions league winning squad. They could even be tempted to bring their once loved Brazilian Phillipe Coutinho back home from Barcelona if their fans allow it?
It may be the Anfield European Cup winners that spark off the start to the transfer merry go round should they pick and choose from the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona. Freeing up the cash and space for the Spanish Giants to invest? Liverpool could get cut down deals on Coutinho AND Isco which would make them even stronger as they look to defend their European title and go one better in the Premier League by winning a first English football league title for exactly 30 years.
Meanwhile in England, Spurs have actually brought a player. Tanguy Ndombele the midfield engine of Lyon looks a shrewd asset but I feel they still need more. Knowing Poch, knowing Levy I’m sure they won’t be fluttering the cash however as they look to pay the growing rates on their fantastic stadium through the ample success of challenging without really challenging in both EPL & UCL no doubt.
Across London and to Chelsea having made near £90m from the sale of Eden Hazard you would think they would be looking to spread that income around but unfortunately due to some very dodgy dealings themselves they are under a transfer embargo meaning that they’ll instead have to rely on a few of the 70+ players they have already signed on at the club. With new Manager the fans favourite Frank Lampard back in front of the Shed I’m sure the pressure will be off so he can put his trust in youth as he did so well in his debut managerial year at Derby.
Across town to Arsenal and despite the constant murmurs of needing a centre back, centre midfielder and goals from anyone but Aubamayang and Lacazette you might feel Unai Emery would inject his own stance on proceedings this summer, however it all looks a little same old same old with an unknown Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli signed on the cheap and ‘another’ young French defender that nobody’s heard of recently linked from St-Etienne.
Finally in England (because people only care about the top six) and to Manchester United where it all starts again with Paul Pogba & co… The fact that they also have the likes of Lukaku and Alexis on big money and are needing to cut their losses before re-shuffling their pack means they cannot afford to go big without getting rid. It looks like David de Gea will stay because nobody in Spain needs him and they might be stuck with all the above due to nobody being able to afford them although Lukaku looks a shoe in to move to Inter Milan.
That brings us to Italy and Inter have been busy as they look like the nearest pretenders to Juventus with a new Coach Antonio Conte at the helm. Juve have another ex-Chelsea reject Maurizio Sarri in charge.. Tighter funds in Italian football has lead to both clubs shopping closer to home but Godin moving to the San Siro from Atletico on a free looks a very tidy bit of business by the Nerazzurri.
Same can be said for the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, Munich despite losing legendary wingers Robben & Ribery to retirement will refuse to pay preposterous amounts to replace them, BvB will rely on youth and what they have to hopefully improve on last seasons attempts. This seems to be the German way right now.
Another team relying on youth (all be it if they can keep their star assets) is Ajax who have signed very well as they look to replace the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt who look destined for big things. Only de Jong has so far left (to Barcelona) which means they have a slim chance of starting the season with almost the same squad that came so close to reaching the Champions League final plus the addition of an Argentine centre half a Romanian midfielder and Quincy Promes from Sevilla.
Back in Paris… They have said Neymar can go… I doubt they’ll replace him with a huge cash investment as it’s been essential for them to trim their books in order to qualify for European football so the £200m profit would at least keep those at FFP and UEFA off their backs for a while. They have signed Pablo Sarabia from Sevilla with Ander Herrera also joining on a free and could add a few more but I very much doubt it will be anything exciting unless Choupo-Moting gets a surprising big money move to the Bernabeu? Mariano Diaz perhaps??
Whether it be Neymar or Pogba, United or City? Barca or Madrid? Bale or Alexis Sanchez? Who plays the first move nobody knows… but when they do it could spark the big boys in to action as they look to build on their very own dream teams for the new season ahead. You can keep track with it all below…
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