Rumours rated: Pogba, Gabriel Jesus to Manchester? Mahrez, Lukaku latest

ESPN FC’s Shaka Hislop rates the latest rumours surrounding the world’s top players. There’s a lot of talk and speculation, but when it comes to transfers, how do you separate fact from fiction? David Amoyal looks at some of the current rumours and predicts how likely it is that the proposed moves actually happen.  Paul […]

ESPN FC’s Shaka Hislop rates the latest rumours surrounding the world’s top players.

There’s a lot of talk and speculation, but when it comes to transfers, how do you separate fact from fiction? David Amoyal looks at some of the current rumours and predicts how likely it is that the proposed moves actually happen. 

Paul Pogba to Manchester United: 65 percent

Real Madrid made another attempt to jump into the race, but their offer of wages is still considerably lower than that of Manchester United. Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, returned to Italy after visiting his client in Miami and had another meeting with Juventus to work on the details. The Italian club acquired Gonzalo Higuain, a big-name signing to help lessen the impact of Pogba’s departure. The saga continues, and anything can happen until a deal is official, but the French midfielder is likely to play at Old Trafford next season.

Gabriel Jesus to Manchester City: 70 percent

Real Madrid and Inter were leading the race, but now the young Brazilian striker looks set for the Premier League. Marca claimed that the Palmeiras youngster has been charmed by Pep Guardiola but will likely join in January rather than this summer, while Gianluca Di Marzio reported that the clubs are exchanging the documents for the transfer.

Riyad Mahrez to Arsenal: 40 percent

There have been conflicting reports regarding Mahrez, though most of them acknowledge Arsenal’s interest. Leicester’s owners are set to discuss the Algerian’s future in the next few days. There is a possibility that the winger will change clubs, but at present, it appears that the winger will listen to Claudio Ranieri`s advice and stay one more season. Leicester has hedged against a potential departure by pursuing highly-rated Poland winger Bartosz Kapustka; Di Marzio reports that deal is almost completed.

Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea: 30 percent

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku made just 15 appearances during his first spell at Chelsea and failed to score a single goal.

According to Di Marzio, Chelsea made their first offer to Everton last week. As an alternative, they continue to monitor Alvaro Morata’s situation; Antonio Conte left Juventus right before the Spanish striker arrived but had been instrumental in recruiting him. Real Madrid is asking for more than the €30m it spent to reacquire Morata earlier this summer.

Kevin Gameiro to Barcelona: 40 percent

Atletico identified Gameiro as an alternative to Diego Costa, who is likely staying at Chelsea, but Barcelona has come in strong as it looks for forward depth. The Frenchman was kept out of Sevilla’s squad for a friendly on Sunday, which could suggest that a deal is close. The striker’s release clause is €40 million, though both Barca and Atleti will look for a lower price.

Javier Mascherano to Juventus: 15 percent

Juventus contacted Mascherano’s entourage in late May, and the Argentine was open to a move — but not enough to push for an exit from Barcelona, which wanted to keep him. Andre Gomes’ and Samuel Umtiti’s arrivals are unlikely to change that. Juventus is also monitoring Nemanja Matic at Chelsea — Conte wants to keep him — plus Axel Witsel and Blaise Matuidi.

Axel Witsel to Everton: 45 percent

Axel Witsel played for Standard Liege and Benfica before joining Zenit in 2012.

Few have worked harder this summer than Witsel’s agents and the intermediaries negotiating his potential transfer with numerous teams. Everton has once again jumped ahead of Juve and Napoli in the race for the Belgian midfielder. Di Marzio reported that they reached an agreement with Zenit over the weekend, though the player is still waiting for other options.

Mario Gomez to Borussia Dortmund: 40 percent

Turkish champions Besiktas could have kept Gomez for a nominal fee after his 26-league goals season, but the player rejected the move because of safety concerns. Gomez has reportedly agreed to personal terms with Borussia Dortmund, and now a deal could be struck with Fiorentina, the club that owns his rights and is looking to shed his massive wages.

Kalidou Koulibaly to the Premier League: 40 percent

Conte considers Koulibaly his top choice for Chelsea’s defense — the club presented an offer of €45 million this week — while Everton has had contacts with Koulibaly’s agent. With Higuain having joined Juve, Napoli has restarted negotiations with the defender, but his agent will agree to a new contract only if it features a reasonable release clause.

Arkadiusz Milik to Napoli: 60 percent

Having sold Higuain, Napoli’s top target is Mauro Icardi, but Inter considers him off the market and also has interest from abroad (Arsenal, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid). Milik is a much more realistic target, and reports in Netherlands and Italy claim a €25m deal is very close. Di Marzio expects Milik to stay at Ajax until the Champions League preliminary round is over on Aug. 3, which gives Napoli some time to make another attempt for Icardi.

David works for Gianluca Di Marzio’s website. He is also a frequent guest on the Beyond The Pitch and Soccer Morning podcasts.

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