Due to the European Championships and Copa America Centenario, clubs will be trying to wrap up some early transfer business before the tournaments get underway in June. Take a look at some of the latest rumors from around Europe in this week's Rumor Mill. Enjoy!
Rumor: Monaco to Liverpool or Atletico Madrid. // Likelihood: Why not? // The Talk: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is eyeing a deal for Monaco starlet Thomas Lemar, according to the Daily Star. The youngster has scored 5 goals in 34 appearances from midfield for Monaco this season. Klopp is looking to overhaul the squad in his first summer as Reds boss and Lemar reportedly fits into his plans. The Anfield club have apparently made contact with the French giants over a move and are thought to want £10million ($14.4m) for the France under-21 international. Meanwhile, French publication L'Equipe claim his performances in Ligue 1 this season have also caught the attention of La Liga club Atletico Madrid.
Rumor: Schalke to Manchester City. // Likelihood: For the right price. // The Talk: Manchester City are ready to make Schalke winger Leroy Sane their first signing of the Pep Guardiola era, according to the Daily Mirror. The report claims City will accelerate their efforts to land the German star after city rivals Manchester United emerged as competitors for his signature. It is reported that Schalke want £40million ($57.9m) for one of the brightest prospects in German football. Sane has been named in Germany's preliminary squad for Euro 2016 and finished the Bundesliga season with nine goals. Guardiola, who is aware of Sane's talent, knows German football well after spending three seasons as manager of Bayern Munich.
Rumor: Liverpool to Fiorentina. // Likelihood: Maybe. // The Talk: Liverpool have offered Mario Balotelli to Fiorentina as part of a deal for midfielder Josip Ilicic, according to reports. It seems pretty clear that Mario Balotelli has no future at Anfield after saying: "I do not want to return to Liverpool. I was never happy at Liverpool." However, his destination still remains unclear after reports have linked him with Espanyol and AC Milan. Italian website CalcioMercatoWeb claims that the Reds hope to strike a deal for Ilicic and could use Balotelli as a makeweight. The report suggests Fiorentina have agreed to the swap deal in principle but there are still some issues to iron out.
Rumor: Juventus to Manchester United. // Likelihood: Too much. // The Talk: Juventus are open to selling midfielder Paul Pogba and have a firm offer from Manchester United, according to reports. The France international has long been linked with a move back to Manchester and now Duncan Castles of One World Sports claims Juve are prepared to sell for 80 million euros ($89.6m). Pogba rarely played for United after coming through the youth ranks at Old Trafford but he has now had a starring role in The Old Lady's last four Serie A title triumphs. United are thought to want a big-name signing this summer and Pogba would fit the bill, however it remains to be seen if they would pay that sort of money.
Rumor: Free Agent to Manchester United. // Likelihood: Up in the air. // The Talk: Jose Mourinho will look to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester United if he lands the manager's job at Old Trafford, according to reports. It is widely believed that Mourinho will take over from Louis van Gaal this summer and the Portuguese is thought to rate Ibrahimovic as a good short-term solution to their scoring problems. Ibrahimovic, who scored 38 goals this season, is available on a free transfer after playing his final season for PSG. However, the Swede's agent is quoted as saying no move to Manchester was close earlier this month, while it is thought that Ibrahimovic's wife isn't keen on a move to England.
Rumor: Leicester City to West Ham. // Likelihood: Very unlikely. // The Talk: West Ham are monitoring Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, according to the Daily Express. The newspaper says the Foxes are fretting over West Ham meeting the England international's £25million ($36.2m) release clause. The Hammers certainly have the money and had a £31million ($44.8m) bid rejected last week for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette. With the Olympic Stadium move on the horizon, West Ham want to kick start their summer with a big-name striker signing. It remains to be seen if Vardy would be interested in a transfer after winning the Premier League title last season and the guarantee of Champions League football next campaign with Leicester.
Rumor: Bayern Munich to Liverpool. // Likelihood: A good chance. // The Talk: Liverpool are close to landing Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Gotze, according to The Sun. Jurgen Klopp is keen to get his transfer business done early on this summer and wants to wrap up a move for Gotze in the next few days. The newspaper claims that the German midfielder will cost the Reds £20million ($28.9m). Despite the lack of European football on offer at Anfield next campaign, Klopp's relationship could be enough to convince the 23-year-old to join. Gotze has struggled to play in key games under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, only making 14 Bundesliga appearances this season. Gotze would be a major coup for Liverpool and his signing could convince others to join the club.
Rumor: Manchester City to Inter Milan. // Likelihood: Deal. // The Talk: Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is in talks with Inter Milan, according to his agent Dimitri Seluk. Incoming City boss Pep Guardiola sold Toure in his time at Barcelona and is unlikely to try and stand in the Ivorian's way. "It's true, we're talking with [Roberto] Mancini," Seluk told Italian website Calciomercato.com. "We're looking for a solution with Manchester City, who want to sell Yaya Toure only up front, not on loan. I can't say if there are other teams interested. He has a contract, but nothing special. Inter? It's a good club." A move to Inter Milan would see Toure link up with former boss Mancini and this transfer could work out best for all parties.
Rumor: Juventus to Chelsea. // Likelihood: Makes sense. // The Talk: According to CalcioMercatoWeb, Chelsea are lining up a move for Juventus winger Kwadwo Asamoah this summer. Although there have been rumors of interest from Arsenal it's thought Arsene Wenger is no longer looking at the player. Instead, Chelsea are understood to have a 'verbal agreement' in place with Juventus. The reports claim Blues owner Roman Abramovich is prepared to pay up to £20million ($28.9m) for the 27-year-old, who has made over 100 appearances for Juventus since moving there in 2012. Antonio Conte is thought to be keen on signing his former player and talks have accelerated in recent days.
Rumor: Leicester City to Liverpool. // Likelihood: Nope. // The Talk: Danny Drinkwater is wanted by Liverpool after impressing Jurgen Klopp, according to the Daily Mirror. The midfielder is reportedly valued at £14million by the Foxes and Claudio Ranieri will no doubt attempt to fight off any interest in his Premier League title-winning stars. The report claims that Klopp had his analysis team compile stats on the 26-year-old England international after being impressed with his performances this season. Drinkwater is set for Champions League football next season with Leicester, while Liverpool missed out on Europe altogether after their Europa League final defeat to Sevilla. And it might take a lot to convince the ex-Manchester United player to move to Merseyside.
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