With less than two months left in the European club season, attention is beginning to turn to the summer transfer window. David Amoyal looks at some of the current rumours and predicts how likely it is that the proposed moves actually happen.
Alexis Sanchez to Chelsea: 30 percent
One of the reasons Antonio Conte left Juventus was the team’s inability to sign big-name strikers like Alexis Sanchez, but now that the manager is at a club that can afford the Chilean marksman, there’s another hurdle: should he leave, Arsenal would certainly prefer he go to a club abroad. According to the Guardian‘s Fabrizio Romano, Conte has placed Sanchez at the top of his wish list for the attack next summer, and while it looks likely Sanchez will be leaving Arsenal, Chelsea will have to compete with Paris Saint-Germain and Inter, among others. As alternatives, Conte could push to sign Alvaro Morata, whom he recruited while he was still at Juventus, or Romelu Lukaku.
Kylian Mbappe to Manchester United: 45 percent
The youngest player to debut for the French national team since 1955 has all the top clubs competing to sign him next summer. While Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Barcelona have also taken concrete steps, Manchester United are the favourites in the race considering Jose Mourinho is determined to make Mbappe into the heir to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It also doesn’t hurt that the Red Devils had previously completed the Anthony Martial deal with Monaco back in 2015.
Paulo Dybala to Real Madrid: 10 percent
While there have been many reports that Florentino Perez is determined to sign the Argentine striker, prying him away from Juventus this summer will be very hard. The Bianconeri were previously able to retain Paul Pogba for four seasons, and they are on the verge of agreeing to an extension with Dybala’s camp. In addition, with the World Cup looming, Dybala wants to stay at a club where he’s already comfortable — the race to sign the striker known as “La Joya” will likely have to wait until 2018.
Douglas Costa to leave Bayern Munich: 60 percent
The Brazilian winger once again expressed his discomfort at his current club in a recent interview, and this summer he could move to a new team. Costa has been on Juventus’ radar for quite some time, but he’s far more likely to join a club affected by the Sanchez race; he could end up replacing the Chilean at Arsenal or join a club that loses in the race to sign him. Bayern Munich may, however, decide to hold on to Costa and offer him more playing time should they not retain Kingsley Coman.
Gianluigi Donnarumma to leave AC Milan: 35 percent
All the drama and controversy surrounding Milan’s sale to a group of Chinese investors is creating a lot of uncertainty with the keeper’s future. Donnarumma’s agent Mino Raiola has bluntly stated multiple times that his client will only commit to Milan if there’s an ambitious project, and with the goalkeeper’s contract expiring in 2018, a transfer could happen this summer. Should a move occur, the more likely destinations would either be Real Madrid, Manchester City or Manchester United — should the Galacticos be able to bring David De Gea back to Spain.
Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea: 30 percent
The Blues had pursued the midfielder last January, but the fact that Monaco had advanced past the group stage of the Champions League took him off the market. Now that Chelsea will be back competing in Europe next season, Conte is looking to bolster his squad. While there are credible reports that there is an agreement with the player, convincing Monaco may be difficult considering they are much more likely and willing to sell Fabinho, who has a gentleman’s agreement with ownership to leave should a good offer arrive. As an alternative, Chelsea are expected to make another run at signing Radja Nainggolan.
Dries Mertens to Manchester United: 30 percent
After Arkadiusz Milik’s knee injury last fall, Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri decided to move the Belgian winger to the false nine position. The switch was so successful that now the Partenopei may no longer be able to afford keeping him. The negotiation to extend Mertens’ contract has stalled in recent weeks, and considering that he’s turning 30 in May, Napoli may decide to cash in — especially considering they also have to re-sign Lorenzo Insigne. Manchester United have been looking for ways to improve their attack, and they have been heavily linked to Mertens — a move could happen this summer, but there will be competition.
Nikola Kalinic to Borussia Dortmund: 35 percent
The Croatian striker turned down a massive offer from China last January because he wanted to play in a top league, but next summer he could get a chance to earn more while playing in the Bundesliga. Dortmund have been linked to Fiorentina manager Paulo Sousa (who won the Champions League at the club as a player) should Thomas Tuchel depart; should Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang follow his manager out, then the odds of Kalinic heading to the Westfalenstadion skyrocket — especially when you consider that he has an exit clause.
Domenico Berardi to Inter: 45 percent
Last summer, Juventus’ formal option on the Sassuolo winger expired, so it would now be easier for the Nerazzurri to sign him. Berardi never seemed eager to join Juventus, and some believe that was in part because he grew up as an Inter fan; the odds of a deal happening could shorten should his manager Eusebio Di Francesco leave Sassuolo in the summer. The club is reportedly asking for a transfer fee of around €40 million, and his potential arrival at Inter could also open the door to Ivan Perisic, who is seeking a lucrative extension, to leave for the Premier League.
Luis Muriel to West Ham: 25 percent
Despite the failed Simone Zaza experiment, the Hammers could be looking to Serie A once again to fill their void at the striker position. Since joining Sampdoria, Muriel has gotten his career back on track; his 10 goals to go with nine assists so far this season have ensured he’ll have many suitors. While West Ham would be able to afford the €30 million exit clause in the Colombian’s contract, there will be competition from Valencia and Serie A clubs.
David covers transfer news for ESPN FC and works for Gianluca Di Marzio’s website.