Deals waiting to happen before transfer deadline
The clock is ticking, clubs are hedging their bets and fans are getting nervous – Transfer Deadline Day is nearly here as the window edges closer to slamming shut.
Some teams are still short in a number of areas – Manchester United and Tottenham need a striker, Arsenal need cover in defence and teams at the bottom of the table are scrambling for more personnel to give themselves the best chance of survival.
Moves for big name stars such as Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen have been rumbling on for some time, but with just days until the deadline, selling clubs may be forced into action in order to secure funds while they can.
Sportsmail gives a rundown of the top ten deals that could still happen ahead of Transfer Deadline Day.
The Old Trafford hierarchy have been in negotiations with Sporting for almost the whole of January, but the two clubs have so far been unable to agree a move for their in-demand playmaker Fernandes.
Sporting have reportedly stressed they will not accept anything less than £68m, with United believed to have offered £42.5m with add-ons, but that proposal was swiftly rejected and the move was said to be called off after United refused to meet their asking price. But as we head into the final days of the transfer window, the Red Devils remain hopeful of finally clinching a deal for the 25-year-old.
Talks are still ongoing and while the relationship between the clubs has taken a hit after negotiations hit a snag, Sporting are in need of funds and will be open to offers as long as the window is open.
The arrival of young striker Erling Braut Haaland has cast doubt over the future of Dortmund’s Spanish striker Paco Alacaer, who was struggling for game time even before the Norwegian starlet joined. Alcacer has made just six starts for the German side, with five coming from the bench, but has not featured since late December, which saw him play a total of ten minutes in his last two games.
Newcastle could be the team to offer him a much-needed escape route, and in return the Magpies would be getting a forward with a pretty impressive track record in front of goal. The former Barcelona frontman has rarely played the protagonist throughout his career but still has 131 goals in 307 appearances. The signing would also represent a huge coup, with his former club Valencia keen to bring him back.
One of the greatest number nines in recent history is up for grabs on the cheap – his PSG deal is up in the summer and he’s been usurped as the club’s first choice striker by Mauro Icardi. But who will win the race for his signature?
Atletico Madrid looks to be the most likely destination, with the Spanish side seeking a reliable 20-plus goal-per-season striker that can fire them higher up the table, and Cavani offers just that. Diego Simeone’s side lost talisman Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona after paying his release clause, and young starlet Joao Felix has underwhelmed despite coming in with huge expectations. The Portuguese forward has found the net just twice in the league and looks out of sorts.
But Atletico won’t be able to snap up Cavani without a fight. Chelsea boss Frank Lampard rates the Uruguayan highly and after losing key goalscorer Tammy Abraham to injury, he is stepping up attempts to secure cover. Manchester United and Tottenham are also said to be interest in Cavani, who has scored an impressive 351 goals in 577 appearances.
It was the headline Tottenham fans dread every season, but unfortunately for Harry Kane, it’s one that they get every season. The England captain was ruled out for four months after tearing his hamstring against Southampton earlier this month, and with no striking signings coming in last summer, now is the time for the club to act.
A host of names have been linked, including AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek, Islam Slimani and Cavani, but Real Sociedad forward Willian Jose is the name that keeps coming up. Spurs are thought to have opened talks with the Basque outfit but are reportedly £11m apart in their valuations.
Sociedad want £21m for the 28-year-old, who has seven LaLiga strikes this season. The Brazilian has a £56m release clause in his contract, but the Spanish side acknowledge they won’t be able to recoup that much for him.
PSV’s Steven Bergwijn seems to be on his way to north London, but Spurs are still believed to be in the market for an out-and-out striker.
Layvin Kurzawa is another PSG star whose contract runs out at the end of the season, and he’s another player who’s set to be the subject of a tug of war.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with the French left back with Mikel Arteta looking short in that department – Bukayo Saka has been forced to play there at times while injured Kieran Tierney has sat on the sidelines, and snapping up Kurzawa on a relatively cheap deal would be a huge boost for the Gunners.
They have been discussing a move with PSG officials, who want £4.2m for the player, but now a curveball has been thrown into the equation. Juventus have proposed a straight swap with their own full back Mattia De Sciglio. The French and Italian clubs are thought to be in advanced talks, with a deal possibly announced in the coming days.
Danny Rose has had an uneasy relationship with Tottenham over the last few seasons since an outspoken interview in which he criticised the club’s transfer policy and demanded to be paid more money.
The 29-year-old has been in and out of the side since giving that interview and came close to leaving the club in the summer, admitting that ‘people upstairs’ had tried to shift him out, and he vowed to stay put and run down his contract with 18 months remaining.
But with tensions rumoured to be escalating between Jose Mourinho and himself, Rose could look to seek pastures new, and a handful of top flight sides are registering an interest. Rose offers top level experience having played in the Champions League final last season, and Newcastle, Watford and Bournemouth are all being linked with offering him a way out of Spurs.
The versatile forward will also be of interest to teams around the world because of his ability to make an impact on a game and provide an aerial threat. The arrival of Tammy Abraham in the Chelsea first team has effectively spelled the end of Olivier Giroud’s Stamford Bridge career, yet he remains an attractive proposition for teams seeking a reliable goalscorer with a good track record.
Inter Milan have been heavily linked, with Antonio Conte said to want him as cover for Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez in Serie A, but the move looks to have broken down, and the latest team throwing their hat into the ring to sign him is European heavyweights Barcelona. The Catalan outfit are seeking a short-term striking option after losing Luis Suarez to injury, and Giroud could be the perfect fit.
Valencia’s Rodrigo is another striker Barcelona are considering as they weigh up the best contender to help fire them to the LaLiga title this season.
The Spanish giants are looking to sign the 28-year-old on loan, although they have baulked at a £50m obligation to buy the player permanently.
Barcelona are happy to include a future fee in the deal, but are not willing to pay so much for the star. One of their proposals is that they would agree to pay a penalty fee if they opted not to sign the Spaniard, and send him back to Valencia at the end of his loan.
Sportsmail reported earlier this week that Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes, who is closely tied to Valencia, is working hard to secure a deal for Rodrigo.
If you’re an Arsenal fan and you’re asked what position the club needs to strengthen most, the answer is easy – centre back. The Gunners are struggling at the back and have been leaking goals, and they have been linked with Flamengo stopper Pablo Mari.
The towering Spanish defender, formerly of Manchester City, was close to a £7.5m switch to the Emirates, however the deal could be on the brink of collapse.
Mari has played 30 times since joining the Brazilian outfit last year for £1m, after failing to appear during his time as a City player. He started in the Club World Cup final against Liverpool and won both the Brazilian Serie A and the Copa Libertadores with Flamengo.
Arsenal may attempt to resurrect the deal before deadline day as negotiations are ongoing.
• Culled from dailymail.co.uk
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