The Hard Tackle takes a look at the latest transfer news surrounding La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid as the summer window looms.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are staring at a summer of major rebuild, with their squads needing quite a bit of restructuring in the upcoming summer transfer window, after what was a disappointing 2020/21 campaign for both La Liga giants.
Barcelona have already gotten a headstart in the transfer market, with as many as three players already signed in the form of Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal. Real Madrid, meanwhile, are now starting to chalk out their transfer plans, after having had to sort out their managerial situation out following the exit of Zinedine Zidane.
Carlo Ancelotti is back at the helm for the Spanish capital outfit and looks set to oversee a squad overhaul, with a quite a few players he has previously worked with starting to be linked with a move to Madrid. While there are expected to be a number of incomings at both Barcelona and Real Madrid, there will be some major exits as well. So, without much ado, let’s delve into the latest transfer happenings surrounding the La Liga bigwigs.
Dani Ceballos headed back to the Premier League?
After spending the last two seasons on loan in the Premier League with Arsenal, Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos could be England-bound once again if a report from Fichajes is to be believed. While the Spaniard may have failed to convince the Gunners to take a punt on him permanently, it seems like another Premier League club, in the form of Wolves, are keen on signing him this summer.
It is claimed that the Midlands’ outfit were heavily impressed by Ceballos during his time at Arsenal and are willing to launch an offer of €15 million for the midfielder. He could, perhaps, be being viewed as a replacement for Ruben Neves, who has been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal. Apart from Wolves, Ceballos is also wanted by former club Real Betis and Serie A giants Lazio. A permanent exit looms for the 24-year-old.
Barcelona starlet Konrad de la Fuente wanted by Marseille
Moving from a Real Madrid misfit to a Barcelona starlet, USMNT winger Konrad de la Fuente is being chased by Ligue 1 outfit Marseille, as reported by RAC1’s Gerard Romero. The 19-year-old has been part of the Catalans’ famed La Masia academy for seven years now and has been impressing quite a lot for the club’s B team. He even made his first-team debut for Barcelona last term, featuring thrice in all competitions.
However, with a pathway to the first-team difficult at the moment, Konrad could be on his way out, with Marseille keen on snapping him up. The Ligue 1 outfit are said to be in talks with Barcelona over a transfer for the teenager, whose contract expires next year. A fee of less than €5 million is being negotiated, with the Blaugrana retaining the option to buy him back at a later date. A good move for all parties involved, if it goes through.
Real Madrid prodigy Takefusa Kubo eyed by three La Liga clubs
Back to Real Madrid, where one of their prized assets, Takefusa Kubo, who is also a former Barcelona academy trainee, is being pursued by as many as three La Liga clubs according to a report from Fichajes. The 20-year-old signed for Los Blancos in 2019 from FC Tokyo and has been farmed out on loan ever since. Having spent the 2019/20 term at Mallorca, Kubo played for Villarreal in the first half of the last season and Getafe in the second.
Arsenal have been linked with a move for the Japanese prodigy. But another loan stint in La Liga is looking like a strong possibility. Mallorca, whom he played for in 2019/20, are keen, after having earned promotion back to the top-flight, as are another newly-promoted club Espanyol while Real Betis are also hoping to land the winger on a temporary basis. The 20-year-old is unlikely to get a chance at Madrid in 2021/22 and a loan move would be the right way to go about things.
Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo set for OGC Nice transfer
Along with the aforementioned Konrad de la Fuente, another Barcelona starlet could be set for the Ligue 1 this summer, with Jean Clair-Todibo understood to be closing in on a transfer to OGC Nice, where he spent the second half of the last season on loan. Indeed, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed that the Ligue 1 club are in advanced talks with the Catalans over a move for the 21-year-old defender.
Todibo signed for Barcelona from Toulouse in January 2019 but has managed five appearances for the clubs. After underwhelming loan stints away at FC Schalke 04 and SL Benfica, he got a regular run at Nice and the Frenchman did well, prompting them to push for a transfer fee. The Ligue 1 club will be paying a fee of €8.5 million plus add-ons. And unlike the Konrad deal, Barcelona will have no buyback option. Talks are progressing with a deal expected to be finalised.
Mariano Diaz on Real Sociedad radar
Mariano Diaz hasn’t been able to make the kind of impact that saw Real madrid decide to bring him back after an explosive season with Olympique Lyon in 2018. And, three years on, the 27-year-old striker is set to be on his way out, with newly-appointed manager Carlo Ancelotti having no place for him in his plans. This, as per El Gol Digital, has alerted Real Sociedad who are in the market to replace Alexander Isak, who is linked with an exit.
Real Madrid would be open to loaning Mariano out and are happy to bear some portion of his wages, which is of appeal to La Real, while their manager Imanol Alguacil is said to be an admirer of the striker’s qualities. Having managed just one goal in 22 matches last term, it was a given that the forward wouldn’t be at the Bernabeu come next term. It now remains to be seen if he ends up at the Anoeta.
AC Milan set to agree deal to sign Brahim Diaz
While Mariano Diaz looks set for a loan switch within La Liga, fellow Real Madrid attacker, Brahim Diaz, is once again headed for the Serie A, with AC Milan close to agreeing a deal for him, as per an update from Calciomercato. The ex-Manchester City starlet spent the 2020/21 season on loan with the Rossoneri and impressed quite a bit, convincing them to push for another deal this summer.
And, it seems like an agreement is close to be arrived upon over a two-year loan deal with AC Milan wanting an option of making the transfer permanent for a fee of €20 million. Diaz, too, is said to be keen on securing a return to San Siro as he seeks stability and continuity while Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has also given the go-ahead after holding talks with Milan’s director Paolo Maldini. Expect this one to go through soon.