The B/R Football Ranks transfer column is your guide to which rumours are legit and which ones you can dismiss.
Our secret sources have top intelligence on the inside stories, and our informants have details on the delicate dealings of talks between top clubs and superstar names.
The aim here is to open up the truths inside this transfer window—so this week we analyse five more rumours and their believability.
Completed: Willian to Arsenal
This one looked very strange when it was first touted but slowly a deal has progressed and Willian was announced just as this column was going to publish.
Chelsea could not agree personal terms with the 32-year-old Brazilian attacker, largely due to his request for a three-year deal. Arsenal are going to give him the security he is looking for in hope his experience adds extra depth and dimension to their squad for next season.
The Gunners are focusing on value from the free-agent market and while this deal has been helped by the fact that his agent, Kia Joorabchian, seems to have a growing hold on what happens with the north London club’s plans, there is a general feeling that this £100,000-per-week contract brings good value because of his success in the Premier League.
It is thought he will be used in a more central role than he ever was at Chelsea, but Arsenal were not quite brave enough to give him Mesut Ozil’s No. 10 shirt.
Looking good: Tiemoue Bakayoko to AC Milan
Chelsea need to offload Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer after the midfielder spent the past two seasons out on loan.
He is being most heavily linked with a move to Milan, where he enjoyed a spell in 2018/19, and sources in Italy are convinced he will help make a return come true.
Chelsea have made it clear they want him to leave permanently, and while Milan wanted another loan, they now need to come up with a package that satisfies them. We understand Milan would not want to offer more than £15 million if it was permanent. Chelsea have been looking for almost double that amount.
Sources are indicating that the player is so keen to leave, and Chelsea so desperate to finally sell him, that there is going to be some room for negotiation from the west London club. Insiders predict this one might end up being settled around the £20 million mark.
Work to do: Zeki Celik to Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham are working within a tight budget so their policy for this summer is one in, one out.
A report from Matt Law in the Telegraph suggests Spurs are angling for Lille’s right-back Zeki Celik, and sources have been suggesting the position is a priority area for this transfer window.
The issue is that they ideally need to offload Serge Aurier before they can sign him—and that won’t be easy. Spurs value Aurier at around £20 million, but the main suitors for the player, AC Milan, are not currently willing to go above £13 million, we are told.
Celik is a target, but Daniel Levy and Co. are going to have to come up with a smart plan to make it happen. The club also have fallback plans they are working on in the background in case the deal does not pan out. Continue reading
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