Transfer Rumours: Stoke Eye Up Hart, Wolves Rule Out Rondon, Man Utd Lead Race for Fernandes & More

?Yes, it’s that time again everybody.

Transfer rumours are flying about left, right and centre and on today’s edition of the rumours mill, we’ve got plenty of interesting stories to dissect – with Antonio Valenica considering a move to Sheffield United and Stoke offering Joe Hart a lifeline amongst them.

Here’s a look at the latest stories from around Europe.


Serie A Top Dogs All After Manolas

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Kostas Manolas – who seems to have been linked with a move away from Roma every summer since the dawn of time – is generally considered to be one of the most complete defenders in Serie A. It therefore comes as no surprise to see his name crop up once again.

?Juventus, ?Napoli and now ?Milan are all looking to make an approach for the 28-year-old, according to Sportitalia (via ?Football Italia), but Roma are unsurprisingly unwilling to let him go for anything less than his €36m release clause.

For reasons that are somewhat unclear, Milan responded to Roma’s valuation by instead asking for a discount. Good luck with that one, lads.


Stoke Prove They Aren’t Hart-Less

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Poor old Joe Hart. Nothing has been going his way over the past few years and the former Head & Shoulders aficionado appears to be stuck in an inescapable cycle of disappointing every new club he signs for…by being generally rubbish.

Now it appears ?Stoke are willing to offer him yet another lifeline if they are forced to part ways with Jack Butland this summer. ?Aston Villa are looking like strong contenders to land the England number two for around £20m and ?The Sun are reporting that the Potters will look to replace him with Hart.

A drop down to the Championship would probably make sense for Hart, but you can almost guarantee it’s all going to go wrong for him.


Wolves Pull Out of Race for Salomon Rondon 

Salomon Rondon

Salomon Rondon did (surprisingly?) well on loan at ?Newcastle last season and ?West Brom’s failure to earn promotion back into the Premier League almost guarantees that he’ll return to the top flight next season.

??Wolves won’t be in the running to land him on a permanent deal though as, according to ?Football Insider, the Venezuelan’s £16.5m release clause will be far too costly – or maybe it’s just because he isn’t Portuguese, who knows?

Newcastle and ?West Ham remain in the hunt, so there will still be plenty more to come from this particular saga, that’s for sure. 


Ivan Perisic Is Unhappy at Inter…and Is Unhappy With the Teams Who Want to Take Him Away From Inter

Ivan Perisic

?Ivan Perisic may be starting to creep beyond his prime, but he’s still a decent player – just ask any England supporter, they’ll be sure to let you know how they feel about him.

He’s likely to be on the move this summer, with ?FC Inter News claiming that ?Arsenal, ?Leicester and ?Wolves all expressing an interest in the ?Inter winger. Unfortunately, there’s a catch for all three teams.

Arsenal, as has been well reported, have basically no money to spend and will be playing Europa League football and Perisic is said to be uninterested in signing for either Leicester or Wolves. It’s a bold approach from Ivan the Terrible, so let’s see how it plays out.


Manchester United Go All Out for Bruno Fernandes

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?We all know Bruno Fernandes is a very, very good player. We all know basically everyone in Europe wants a piece of him. So what’s new today?

Well, it appears ?Manchester United are willing to pull out all the stops to land him this summer and, as reported by ?O Jogo, the move will not depend on whether the Red Devils end up selling Paul Pogba to Real Madrid. 

?Radio Rossonera also claim that United are ‘leading the race’ to sign Fernandes for £70m, ahead of Premier League rivals ?Liverpool and ?Manchester City, who are also keeping a close eye on the midfielder.


Antonio Valenica’s Future Could Lie in Ecuador or Sheffield

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To say that Antonio Valencia has a variety of options in front of him this summer would be a severe understatement.

Ecuadorian publication ?Tera Deportes have listed a number of sides that are supposedly interested in snapping up the former Manchester United man, including Liga de Quito, Barcelona, Galatasaray or ?Sheffield United. The Blades, being the only Premier League outfit still in the running, could then stand a decent chance at landing the 33-year-old.

?The Daily Mail have also claimed that Sheffield United have already sent an offer through to the free agent, so expect to hear further developments on this story over the coming weeks.


Man Utd Will Be Making a Bid for Sean Longstaff This Summer

Sean Longstaff

Sean Longstaff cropped out of seemingly nowhere to impress for Newcastle in 2018/19, making a string of fine performances before having his season cut short through injury.

Those performances have warranted plenty of interest from Manchester United and, according to the ?Evening Standard, the Red Devils will be making a bid for the 21-year-old at some point this summer.

A little vague, but the report does note that a bid will only come after United have filled the priority areas of right back and centre back – which means we may be waiting until transfer deadline day before this one even takes off.


West Ham Apparently ‘Love’ Jasper Cillessen

Jasper Cillessen

?West Ham have a very good goalkeeper in the shape of ?Lukasz Fabianski, which pretty much negates the need to waste money on signing another very good goalkeeper. Right?

?Sport do not agree with this sentiment and seem to be under the impression that West Ham would willing to offer ?Barcelona €20m to sign reserve keeper Jasper Cillessen. ?Everton, who already have two goalkeepers in their ranks, are also being linked.

The Hammers do need a new reserve keeper after Adrian’s departure, but would Cillessen really want to move from being the second choice keeper at the Nou Camp to being *potentially* the second choice keeper at the London Stadium? It’s a transfer story that really doesn’t make all that much sense and should therefore be taken with more than a pinch of salt.

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Romelu Lukaku ‘Agrees Personal Terms’ With Inter as Manchester United Exit Looms

?Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has agreed personal terms with Inter, according to reports in Italy.

The 26-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford in recent months, with Antonio Conte’s Nerazzurri touted as his most likely destination.

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?Lukaku was a target for Conte when the Italian was ?Chelsea manager, but a move failed to come to fruition – and instead, the Italian is looking to tie up a deal to bring Lukaku to San Siro.

According to a report by Italian publication ?Gazzetta dello Sport, Lukaku has already agreed personal terms with ?Inter that could earn him £6.6m in bonuses until 2024. Negotiations between ?Manchester United and Inter are ongoing with the ?Premier League side wanting at least £62m for the Belgium international.

Lukaku has previously spoken of his admiration for Serie A and Conte, saying, as quoted by Sport Mediaset: “I was always a big fan of the Italian league.

“I have two leagues, which I’ve always dreamed about – the English league and Serie A.

“Serie A is my [other] favourite league – I love Italy. With the transfer of [?Cristiano] Ronaldo, I think the Italian league is now coming back. Antonio Conte going to Inter is really good because he is, [for] me, the best manager in the world.

“He [Conte] knows what I think about him. I’m not somebody who likes to talk about my personal relationship with managers but, you know, I’m a player of Manchester United and I have to respect my club.”

Antonio Conte

Lukaku was part of a United side that had a desperately poor season, with the club finishing outside of the ?Champions League places and failing to win a trophy.

He scored just 15 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions and United may be interested in cashing in on Lukaku to aid reinvestment elsewhere.

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FIFA 19 Ultimate Team: Sergio Ramos, Joshua Kimmich & Jordan Pickford Star in International TOTW 39

?You know what time it is. Wednesday comes around and all eyes are fixated on EA’s FIFA TOTW announcement.

While most players’ respective club seasons are now over, there was still time for them to shine on the international stage during early June’s national team fixtures, which they most certainly did.


Granted, it’s not as glamorous as some of the reveals of recent weeks, but there are still some absolute crackers here that would gladly fit into anyone’s starting XI.

Here’s a rundown of the highlights of TOTW 39.


Sergio Ramos (93)

Sergio Ramos

Often in the headlines for the wrong reasons, Ramos has certainly made a name for himself for all the right reasons in TOTW 39.

The Spaniard captained his side to a 3-0 win over Sweden in Euro 2020 qualifying, keeping a clean sheet as Spain made it four wins from four to continue their perfect record in Group F. Not only was he a rock at the back though, Ramos went one better and opened the scoring from the spot in the second half to lead his side on the pathway towards a comfortable victory.

A 93 overall defending stat is simply outstanding, with the added bonus of 86 physical meaning any opposing strike force will be hard pressed to drift past the ?Real Madrid defender, wherever he is on the pitch.


Joshua Kimmich (89)

Joshua Kimmich

Having initially started life out as midfielder, Pep Guardiola redeveloped Kimmich as a right back during his time at ?Bayern Munich, where the German has gone on to solidify the role as his own in recent years. 

That said, Joachim Low is seeking to restructure Die Mannschaft after their World Cup failings and build a side capable of competing with the world’s best. In doing so, Low played Kimmich as a holding midfielder in their Euro 2020 qualifying match against Estonia. And blimey, did he excel. The 24-year-old was unplayable as Germany obliterated their opponents 8-0, dictating the play from his deep-lying role as his country also kept their 100% qualifying record intact. 

His 89 passing stat is the pick of the bunch, something that has become a trademark of his as he recorded 13 assists in the Bundesliga this season. Equally, 86 dribbling means trying to prevent him from making such passes will be work in itself.


Jordan Pickford (86)

Jordan Pickford

He’s come under scrutiny this season for some below-par displays for ?Everton in the ?Premier League, but Pickford put all such worries aside as he lined up between the sticks for England in their Nations League match against Switzerland.

After Pickford held his own to keep the scores level, the third-place play off tie went to penalties, a scenario he was familiar with one year after his heroics in Russia. The former Sunderland keeper stepped up to smash his own penalty into the back of the net with consummate ease, but topped that by saving the decisive penalty as England secured a 6-5 penalty success.

His reflexes were on show even during the 3-1 loss to the Netherlands, with his new card receiving a more than credible 90 rating for that stat. Also known for his ability with the ball at his feet, a 90 rating for kicking means those FIFA players who like a bit of tiki-taka will be encouraged to sign the 25-year-old.


Honourable Mentions

Gabriel Jesus

Up front there are two standout cards to choose from, with Premier League duo Gabriel Jesus and Marko Arnautovic both scoring highly (86 and 87) after netting for their respective countries in midweek. 

?Manchester City striker Jesus scored twice in a 7-0 rout of Honduras, while ?West Ham’s Austrian forward did the same as they saw off North Macedonia 4-1.

A player who continues to be linked with a move away from his club is Ivan Perisic, whose new 87 rated card is just reward for his man of the match display in Croatia’s 2-1 win over Wales.

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Transfer Rumours: Rodriguez Wanted by Napoli, Arsenal Eye Up Dakonam, Gundogan to Dortmund & More

Stop what you’re doing, because it’s transfer rumours time.

In today’s edition of the the rumour mill we’ve got Manchester United looking to get rid of some deadwood, Arsenal being priced out for a top defender and Barcelona looking to snap up a prodigious young talent from, er, West Brom.

Here’s a look at some of the top stories currently floating around Europe.


?Napoli Looking to Snap Up James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

?James Rodriguez has now returned to? Real Madrid after Bayern Munich opted not to make the Colombian’s two-year loan deal permanent, but he seems unlikely to stay put in the Spanish capital.

According to Sky Sports Italia (via ?TuttoNapoli), ?Napoli are now pursuing a potential loan deal for Rodriguez and the midfielder’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is said to be playing a significant role in the negotiations.

While Napoli are looking to agree a two-year loan with an option to buy, Los Blancos are only interested in a permanent deal for the 27-year-old and are looking to part ways with him for €42m.


Manchester United Happy to Part Ways With Matteo Darmian

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In many respects, it’s truly remarkable that Matteo Darmian is still a ?Manchester United player, so it comes as no surprise to learn that his time at Old Trafford is set to come to an end this summer.

?ESPN report that Valencia, alongside two unnamed Italian clubs, are leading the race to sign the Italian defender and United are willing to listen to any offers that come their way. 

Darmian is under contract for one more year after United triggered an extension in his current contract, so the Red Devils will be looking for a decent fee before they let him go – though they are unlikely to price him out of a move.


Barcelona Express Interest in West Brom Starlet Louie Barry

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?Barcelona have one of the most famous and successful academy setups in world football and it’s safe to say that making the move there from ?West Brom would be seen as a slight step up.

Louie Barry, who has garnered a serious reputation for his performances at youth level, is now on the radar of the Blaugrana and, according to the ?Birmingham Mail, the La Liga champions could look to make a move for him once he turns 16 later this month.

Barry has previously made nine appearances for England’s Under-16s where he has found the back of the net six times and he has scored four times in 12 appearances for West Brom’s Under-18s.


Aston Villa Target Deal for Matt Targett

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?Aston Villa have a job on their hands to build a squad capable of remaining in the Premier League next season, and one of the first items on the agenda is to acquire a new left-back.

?Southampton’s Matt Targett, who was forced to play second fiddle behind Ryan Bertrand in 2018/19, has been shortlisted by Villa and ?The Sun claim that Dean Smith’s side are preparing a £10m bid to bring him over to Villa Park.

However, Fulham previously had a £10m bid rejected by the Saints, so Villa may have to delve deep into their pockets if they are to secure a deal for the former England Under-21 man.


Arsenal Hold Talks Over Djene Dakonam

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Unai Emery and ?Arsenal will be operating on a shoe-string budget this summer after failing to reach the Champions League – which is a concern when you consider how much needs to change at the back for the Gunners next season.

?AS are reporting that Arsenal are currently in talks with Getafe over highly rated defender Djene Dakonam, who has also attracted interest from the likes of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

In what comes as a surprise to no one, the Togolese defender’s price tag comes as a sticking point for Arsenal, as Getafe are said to be demanding €35m. In response, Emery is instead looking to negotiate a deal worth between €25 and €30m.


Ilkay Gundogan Comments on Potential Return to Dortmund

Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan’s contract with ?Manchester City is set to expire in 2020 and the Citizens are yet to confirm whether the midfielder will be awarded with an extension to his current deal.

Gundogan has been linked with a possible move to his former side ?Borussia Dortmund and, when speaking about a return to Germany he said, as per ?Kicker“I would know about that, I know nothing, I have not spoken to anyone

“There will be talks in the summer and then we’ll see, I’m not dissatisfied with Manchester City and that’s why I would not say that I really want to leave because the club wants to extend it.”


Inter Close to Confirming Signing of Lucien Agoume

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?Inter have been in talks to sign ?17-year-old midfielder Lucien Agoume for quite some time, but it now appears that a deal is almost ready to be confirmed.

According to ?Gianluca Di Marzio, Inter have now agreed a €4.5m deal plus bonuses with Ligue 2 outfit FC Sochaux and are all but set bring the youngster across to Milan.

Agoume recently captained France’s Under-17s at the European Championships in Ireland, guiding Les Bleus to the semi-finals, where they were defeated by eventual runners-up Italy.


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Inter Offer Mauro Icardi to Juventus in Proposed Swap Deal for Paulo Dybala

?Juventus are ‘following’ Mauro Icardi’s ongoing situation at Inter, as the Nerazzurri have proposed a swap deal involving Paulo Dybala heading to San Siro.

Both players have been heavily linked with moves away from their respective sides this season after disagreements with their managers, leading to growing speculation over a summer exit.

While a move away from Italy seemed to be the likely scenario for the Argentinian duo, journalist ?Romeo Agresti has claimed that both players could be set to remain in the division, with ?Inter offering Juventus a swap deal. Agresti states that the Nerazzurri have put the deal on the table, with the possible switch being held up by the manager-less Juventus.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United are just a few of the clubs credited with an interest in ?Icardi, who has been embroiled in off-the-field controversy this season and regularly fallen out with former Inter manager Luciano Spalletti.

It is unclear whether the move interests the Bianconeri or not, although Agresti confirmed in the past few days that ‘new contacts’ have been made on the champions’ side as they look to sort out their strike force for the upcoming campaign.

Nicolas Otamendi,Mauro Icardi,Paulo Dybala

Gonzalo Higuain’s role in the side is yet to be settled, after the 31-year-old spent the entirety of last season on loan at Milan and Chelsea respectively. Furthermore, Mario Mandzukic recently turned 33, although the Croatian is under contract with the club until 2021.

For Dybala, an exit has been on the cards throughout the season, after falling out of favour with Massimiliano Allegri and netting less than half of the goals he accumulated in ?Serie A compared to the previous season.

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