The Hard Tackle takes a look at some of the latest transfer rumours surrounding La Liga bigwigs Barcelona and Real Madrid this summer.
The summer transfer window has been open for quite a while now, but things have been fairly quiet at both Barcelona and Real Madrid of late. While the Catalans did make a flurry of signings last month, the Lionel Messi contract situation has taken centre stage now, with the club focusing on players exits for now as they look to trim down their wage bill substantially.
As for Real Madrid, there has been no new arrival after the free transfer signing of David Alaba, even as newly-appointed manager, Carlo Ancelotti, gets a good look at the players currently at his disposal in the pre-season. Exits, though, seem very much on the cards at the Bernabeu as well, following the departure of club icon Sergio Ramos.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the latest news and rumours surrounding the transfer activities at Barcelona and Real Madrid as we inch closer and closer to the 2021/22 campaign.
Barcelona want Joao Felix in Antoine Griezmann swap deal
Even as speculations mount over Barcelona’s reported swap deal with Atletico Madrid involving Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez, Catalan publication SPORT comes up with a different take on the situation, claiming that the Blaugrana would rather take Joao Felix as part of the swap deal rather than Saul.
This is because Barca feel that the Atleti midfielder is of lesser value than Griezmann and are, hence, demanding an additional €15-20 million in cash, which the La Liga champions are reluctant to pay and are keener on a direct swap with no cash exchanging hands. Hence, Barcelona insist on Felix, who they feel is of a similar value to the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner.
However, that represents a problem for the Blaugrana as the Portuguese international earns salary much higher than Saul, meaning their wage bill would not be reduced a great deal, while his arrival would also pose a problem from a sporting perspective as well, considering that Barcelona already have a plethora of attacking options.
Robert Lewandowski dreams of Real Madrid switch
Moving onto Real Madrid, they may have received a boost in their pursuit of Ballon d’Or 2021 contender Robert Lewandowski. The 32-year-old, according to Transfer Market Web, has always dreamed of a transfer to the Spanish capital outfit and also feels that he is ready to move on from Bayern Munich, having won everything there is to be won with Die Roten.
To that end, Lewandowski is said to be trying to push for a move this summer, although a transfer to the Premier League is also on the cards, with both Chelsea and Manchester City showing an interest. The report further adds that the Poland captain’s agent, Pini Zahavi, has even spoken to some of the biggest clubs in England over a prospective move.
Bayern Munich, though, are reluctant to part ways with their star man, knowing that they have one of the best in the game at their disposal and would find it hard to replace that quality. An intriguing summer awaits Lewandowski.
Real Madrid readying bumper offer to sign Erling Haaland
From one Bundesliga forward on Real Madrid’s radar to another, Los Blancos are also keen on Erling Haaland and see him as the long-term heir for 33-year-old Karim Benzema. And, in order to get him to the Bernabeu this summer, the club are ready to make a bumper offer of around €175 million, reports El Gol Digital.
While Haaland would be available for a much more affordable figure of €75 million next summer when his release clause kicks in, Real Madrid seem desperate to get a deal done this year itself. The player himself is said to be aware of the interest and is hoping that a deal gets over the line before too long.
As for Borussia Dortmund, while they maintain a stance that he is not for sale, a monster offer in the range of €170 million would certainly turn their heads. Nonetheless, given Real Madrid’s current financial plight, raising such an amount could be really tricky. A suggestion of an initial €75 million deal with rest made up in bonuses and add-on clauses is suggested in the report, but that is unlikely to fly.
Barcelona utility man Sergi Roberto on Inter Milan’s radar
Sergi Roberto faces an uncertain future at Barcelona. The 29-year-old has entered the final year of his contract with the Catalan giants, while the arrival of Emerson Royal is set to deprive him of minutes in the starting XI. And even though reports have previously indicated that he might be set for an extension, the club’s financial issues mean an exit remains very much on the cards.
Waiting to capitalise, as per Fichajes, are Serie A champions Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri are on the lookout for a replacement for Achraf Hakimi, who was sold to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month. The Moroccan’s departure has left a gaping hole in the club’s wing-back department, and while Hector Bellerin of Arsenal is seen as a direct replacement, Inter are keeping their options open.
And one of the alternatives that are being considered is Roberto. A midfielder, who has morphed himself into a right-back in recent years, the Spaniard definitely brings value in terms of his versatile nature and experience. Whether a move materialises, however, remains to be seen.
Manchester United on the verge of signing Raphael Varane
We wind things up in the roundup with a potential exit from Real Madrid, as The Sun reports that star defender Raphael Varane is on the verge of signing for Premier League giants Manchester United. It is claimed that the Red Devils will be shelling out a transfer fee of £50 million for the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, who has just one year left on his current contract with the Spanish giants.
Furthermore, the report also adds that Varane has already agreed personal terms over a five-year deal with Manchester United, with the announcement set to be made in the next week. The Frenchman might not be the only La Liga-based defender that the Red Devils sign next week, with Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier also said to be close to an £18 million switch to Old Trafford.
An eventful week up ahead for Manchester United then while both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid look set to lose key players from their roster.