Summer time can be stressful for football fans; not only is there a lack of games on the telly to watch, but there's any number of transfer rumours swirling around and it's nigh-on impossible to keep up with them. That's why we've started the Balls Transfer Rumour Roundabout, where everything goes in circles and we never get anywhere.
The Dead Certs
Chelsea are very close to getting Monaco's Tiemoué Bakayoko, according to the Daily Mail. A deal for £36 million has already been agreed, but the more interesting aspect of this transfer is the knock-on effects it could have. Antonio Conte will have to make room for the defensive midfielder, meaning Nemanja Matic could be on his way out. The Serb has been linked with Juventus for a while, but now it looks as if he could make a shock move to Premier League rivals Man United.
Mo Salah finally signed on the dotted line for Liverpool on Thursday in a club record £36 million deal with AS Roma. The transfer could be a source of tension already in the club however, as the Egyptian attacker will be taking the number 11 shirt off of Roberto Firmino, who will now have to wear the number 9. As Mikey Traynor wrote on Thursday, a similar thing happened to Anthony Martial last season when Zlatan Ibrahimovic moved to Man United and he was supposedly peeved about having to change his #9 for the big Swede. Let's hope Firmino is a bit more mature about the whole thing.
Elsewhere, Leeds United are set to seal the signature of Mateusz Klich after the Poland international cut his Greek holiday short to complete the deal, according to Voetbal International. Has anyone in the history of mankind ever left their Mediterranean break early so they could go to Leeds? The deal is also notable for the fact that FC Twente have admitted that 30% of the transfer fee they are going to receive from the Yorkshire club will go to a third party.
Will They? Won't They?
Earlier in the week, Marca reported that Kylian Mbappé would like to move to Madrid. Sure wouldn't we all? L’Equipe are claiming that Zinedine Zidane is prepared to sell one of his top attackers to make way for the Monaco striker, which would be bad news for Arsenal. The London club are still considered serious suitors for some reason, although should they miss out on him they can still get Alexandre Lacazette, if the Guardian are to be believed.
They also say that Liverpool are secretly trying to sign Virgil Van Dijk, although Chelsea are also in for him according to Sky Italia. If not him, then Leonardo Bonucci is a possibility. The Sun claim they are "ready to pounce" with a massive offer to Juventus. Why are clubs always about to 'pounce' on a player? Do they jump on them from a great height so they don't get away?
In The Mixer
Man United are in the market for a defensive midfielder to partner Ander Herrera, in order to give them much needed balance by allowing Paul Pogba to push up more than he did last season. As mentioned above, Matic could be that man, but there are rumours swirling around that Jose Mourinho is close to signing Fabinho from Monaco. Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport claim the club have agreed a deal close to €35million with a €5m bonus linked to goals and appearances. The player himself has also told Brazilian TV that a move to Old Trafford is "tempting". If they were to sign him rather than the Serb, then that could be bad news for Matteo Darmian, as Fabinho can also play right-back. We're not sure which one is more likely as yet, but like many transfer rumours regarding United, they're probably complete bollocks.
Keiren Westwood is reportedly the subject of a £3 million bid from Middlesborough, according to Colin Young in the Irish Independent. While it isn't a move to the Premier League that the 32-year-old would certainly deserve, it could be a good one in the long-term. Having appointed Garry Monk as manager, Boro are planning to bounce right back into the top flight and are currently favourites to win automatic promotion. It could be a quicker route out of the Championship than with Sheffield Wednesday, who have lost in the playoffs two years running.
Everyone's favourite journeyman Kyle Lafferty could be about to land himself a new club. Having already earned his trade in Switzerland, Italy and Turkey as well as England, the Norn Iron international might return to Scotland as Hearts are in need of a striker. If it does happen, let's just hope it goes better than his colourful time at Palermo.