Rumour Reel: Belgium’s Batshuayi London bound as Barca eye Bellerin
Robbie Purves | June 28, 2016
Despite the summer transfer window officially opening on July 1st, clubs are already chasing down their targets one by one as they look to complete some of their business while Euro 2016 hots up.
Batshuayi London bound
Crystal Palace have reportedly agreed a £31.6m fee with Marseille for Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi. The Premier League club are also reportedly hopeful of completing deals for France back-up stopper Steve Mandanda and Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend.
Belgium goal bagger Batshuayi, who notched in his nation’s 4-0 win over Hungary at Euro 2016 on Sunday, has been attracting admiring glances from many Premier League clubs and was already apparently the subject of two bids this summer.
West Ham United supposedly launched a €40m raid at the start of May and remained hopeful of signing the sharpshooter, while Serie A champions Juventus were also believed to have made a bid of more than €30m for the player who scored 17 goals in Ligue 1 last season.
Steve Parish, Palace’s co-owner, was in Nice to watch England’s round of 16 capitulation to Iceland, and is reportedly hoping to conclude a deal while out there. The Eagles’ offer is said to include a significant bonus payment and sell-on clause, with his former club Standard Liege due 35 per cent of any sale.
Reports also suggest that the London outfit are closing in on another Marseille player, goalkeeper Mandanda on a free transfer. First team football could appeal more to the Frenchman than an offer from Chelsea to become number two.
Topping off Palace’s busy dealing day, the club are understood to be after Magpies wingman Townsend and are considering triggering his £10.5m release clause as the winger considers his future in the Championship.
Barca eye Bellerin
After Dani Alves’ switch from Barcelona to Juventus, the Catalan club are reportedly looking to replace him with former Barca youth player Hector Bellerin.
Alves filled the right back berth for eight years, and the Nou Camp club may now be forced to scour the market for a long-term replacement. Ex-La Masia man Bellerin has three years remaining on his contract and would command a large fee. However, Arsene Wenger isn’t adverse to selling a player that has had his head turned.
The right back has excelled over the last few years and was rewarded with a call up to the Spanish national side. Barca would be getting a player that would fit straight into the philosophy in Spain and has the versatility and attacking nous the club would demand.
Arsenal after Brazilian Barbosa
Wenger is interested in Brazilian starlet Gabriel Barbosa to solve his goal scoring woes, according to reports in his home country.
Papers suggest the Frenchman is mulling over a move for the striker after missing out on Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, who decided to decline a transfer to the Emirates, with Theo Walcott likely to leave north London.
The 19-year-old revealed he has offers from Europe, but is reportedly reluctant to leave his hometown at such a young age.
He said: “Yes, I have offers from some of the big clubs in Europe that interest me, but that is for my parents and my employers but I am happy at Santos.”
With Wenger’s interest in Vardy and Barbosa, it is clear the manager is trying to inject some pace and power into Arsenal’s forward line. Perhaps we could see the end of the possession-based pretty passing style that Wenger has developed over the years, in favour of a new, rip-roaring counter attacking philosophy.