Transfer Rumours: Rodriguez Wanted by Napoli, Arsenal Eye Up Dakonam, Gundogan to Dortmund & More

Stop what you’re doing, because it’s transfer rumours time.

In today’s edition of the the rumour mill we’ve got Manchester United looking to get rid of some deadwood, Arsenal being priced out for a top defender and Barcelona looking to snap up a prodigious young talent from, er, West Brom.

Here’s a look at some of the top stories currently floating around Europe.


?Napoli Looking to Snap Up James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

?James Rodriguez has now returned to? Real Madrid after Bayern Munich opted not to make the Colombian’s two-year loan deal permanent, but he seems unlikely to stay put in the Spanish capital.

According to Sky Sports Italia (via ?TuttoNapoli), ?Napoli are now pursuing a potential loan deal for Rodriguez and the midfielder’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is said to be playing a significant role in the negotiations.

While Napoli are looking to agree a two-year loan with an option to buy, Los Blancos are only interested in a permanent deal for the 27-year-old and are looking to part ways with him for €42m.


Manchester United Happy to Part Ways With Matteo Darmian

FBL-EUR-C1-MAN UTD-TRAINING

In many respects, it’s truly remarkable that Matteo Darmian is still a ?Manchester United player, so it comes as no surprise to learn that his time at Old Trafford is set to come to an end this summer.

?ESPN report that Valencia, alongside two unnamed Italian clubs, are leading the race to sign the Italian defender and United are willing to listen to any offers that come their way. 

Darmian is under contract for one more year after United triggered an extension in his current contract, so the Red Devils will be looking for a decent fee before they let him go – though they are unlikely to price him out of a move.


Barcelona Express Interest in West Brom Starlet Louie Barry

West Bromwich Albion v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship

?Barcelona have one of the most famous and successful academy setups in world football and it’s safe to say that making the move there from ?West Brom would be seen as a slight step up.

Louie Barry, who has garnered a serious reputation for his performances at youth level, is now on the radar of the Blaugrana and, according to the ?Birmingham Mail, the La Liga champions could look to make a move for him once he turns 16 later this month.

Barry has previously made nine appearances for England’s Under-16s where he has found the back of the net six times and he has scored four times in 12 appearances for West Brom’s Under-18s.


Aston Villa Target Deal for Matt Targett

Tom Davies,Matt Targett

?Aston Villa have a job on their hands to build a squad capable of remaining in the Premier League next season, and one of the first items on the agenda is to acquire a new left-back.

?Southampton’s Matt Targett, who was forced to play second fiddle behind Ryan Bertrand in 2018/19, has been shortlisted by Villa and ?The Sun claim that Dean Smith’s side are preparing a £10m bid to bring him over to Villa Park.

However, Fulham previously had a £10m bid rejected by the Saints, so Villa may have to delve deep into their pockets if they are to secure a deal for the former England Under-21 man.


Arsenal Hold Talks Over Djene Dakonam

FBL-ESP-LIGA-GETAFE-SEVILLA

Unai Emery and ?Arsenal will be operating on a shoe-string budget this summer after failing to reach the Champions League – which is a concern when you consider how much needs to change at the back for the Gunners next season.

?AS are reporting that Arsenal are currently in talks with Getafe over highly rated defender Djene Dakonam, who has also attracted interest from the likes of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

In what comes as a surprise to no one, the Togolese defender’s price tag comes as a sticking point for Arsenal, as Getafe are said to be demanding €35m. In response, Emery is instead looking to negotiate a deal worth between €25 and €30m.


Ilkay Gundogan Comments on Potential Return to Dortmund

Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan’s contract with ?Manchester City is set to expire in 2020 and the Citizens are yet to confirm whether the midfielder will be awarded with an extension to his current deal.

Gundogan has been linked with a possible move to his former side ?Borussia Dortmund and, when speaking about a return to Germany he said, as per ?Kicker“I would know about that, I know nothing, I have not spoken to anyone

“There will be talks in the summer and then we’ll see, I’m not dissatisfied with Manchester City and that’s why I would not say that I really want to leave because the club wants to extend it.”


Inter Close to Confirming Signing of Lucien Agoume

France U17 v Slovakia U17 - UEFA U17 Elite Round

?Inter have been in talks to sign ?17-year-old midfielder Lucien Agoume for quite some time, but it now appears that a deal is almost ready to be confirmed.

According to ?Gianluca Di Marzio, Inter have now agreed a €4.5m deal plus bonuses with Ligue 2 outfit FC Sochaux and are all but set bring the youngster across to Milan.

Agoume recently captained France’s Under-17s at the European Championships in Ireland, guiding Les Bleus to the semi-finals, where they were defeated by eventual runners-up Italy.


Let’

Inter Offer Mauro Icardi to Juventus in Proposed Swap Deal for Paulo Dybala

?Juventus are ‘following’ Mauro Icardi’s ongoing situation at Inter, as the Nerazzurri have proposed a swap deal involving Paulo Dybala heading to San Siro.

Both players have been heavily linked with moves away from their respective sides this season after disagreements with their managers, leading to growing speculation over a summer exit.

While a move away from Italy seemed to be the likely scenario for the Argentinian duo, journalist ?Romeo Agresti has claimed that both players could be set to remain in the division, with ?Inter offering Juventus a swap deal. Agresti states that the Nerazzurri have put the deal on the table, with the possible switch being held up by the manager-less Juventus.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United are just a few of the clubs credited with an interest in ?Icardi, who has been embroiled in off-the-field controversy this season and regularly fallen out with former Inter manager Luciano Spalletti.

It is unclear whether the move interests the Bianconeri or not, although Agresti confirmed in the past few days that ‘new contacts’ have been made on the champions’ side as they look to sort out their strike force for the upcoming campaign.

Nicolas Otamendi,Mauro Icardi,Paulo Dybala

Gonzalo Higuain’s role in the side is yet to be settled, after the 31-year-old spent the entirety of last season on loan at Milan and Chelsea respectively. Furthermore, Mario Mandzukic recently turned 33, although the Croatian is under contract with the club until 2021.

For Dybala, an exit has been on the cards throughout the season, after falling out of favour with Massimiliano Allegri and netting less than half of the goals he accumulated in ?Serie A compared to the previous season.

Let’

Antonio Conte Sets Sights on Serie A Title & End Juventus’ Domestic Dominance

Antonio Conte has set his sights on the Serie A title, after being appointed as Internazionale manager, as he looks to end Juventus’ monopoly in Italian football.

Juventus won their eighth straight Scudetto this season and have faced little competition in the league during this period of dominance. 

Luciano Spalletti

Speaking to GQ (via ?Calcio Mercato), the new Inter boss has targeted an end to ?Juve’s stranglehold on the league, as he stated: “Let’s face it, apart from rare exceptions, it is eight seasons that there has been no race for the title in ?Serie A

?Inter wants to change this and the way it is moving shows the will to compete.” Conte’s determined mood did not stop there, as he went on to praise how driven everybody at the club is for success.

He continued: “When I spoke to president Zhang [Kangyang], I was struck by his determination. [Piero] Ausilio himself has very clear ideas. Inter is an ambitious club where everyone rails in the same direction. The first concept of mine? We can do it, we have no limits”

FBL-ENG-FACUP-CHELSEA-MAN UTD

The mission of toppling the Turin club will not be easy, as Inter finished 21 points behind their rivals in the season just gone. Conte is tasked with closing that gap, but believes everything is in place at the club to do just that.

The Italian manager also spoke well of Giuseppe Marotta, who was the director at Juventus before joining the Milan club midway through this season. When quizzed on the influence Marotta had on his decision to join Inter, Conte said: “He helped me. It was a confirmation of the impression I had from afar.

Marotta is a director who has won so much. If you sign him a minute after Juve releases him, it means you have very serious intentions and that you leave nothing to chance to climb to the top.”

Radja Nainggolan

Spalletti’s last act as Inter boss was to secure a late win at home to Empoli, meaning the San Siro club will be playing ?Champions League football next season. This will be a big help to Conte, as he looks to build a squad capable of pulling off an unlikely title challenge.

Let’

Moise Kean Insists There Is ‘Nowhere Better’ Than Juventus Amid Rumours of Potential Inter Switch

Moise Kean has dismissed rumours of an imminent move to Inter, insisted that there is no better club for him to be at than Juventus.

The 19-year-old has long been tipped for greatness and propelled himself into the spotlight last season, impressing for both Juventus and Italy. However, he is yet to renew his contract, which expires in 2020, prompting rumours that Inter could look to offer him a way out of the club.

Speaking to ?Soccer Bible, Kean stated that he only wants to represent ?Juventus, who have helped him develop into the player he is today.

He said: “When I came to Juventus, when I arrived at Vinovo, I understood that things would change. Juventus helps you to grow and become a man in all the things you want to do. You learn lots of things without noticing. 

“Technically I improved, but my ambition is to improve every day more and more. I’m aware of the fact that I wear a shirt that carries responsibilities, but it’s not a burden. I’m focused on my journey.

“I‘m sure that at the moment there aren’t any other teams that can help me improve in the way Juventus can. I was born here, and I have almost always worn the black-and-white shirt. Obviously I don’t know what the future holds, but what is sure is that I will always give my all.

“I think that the biggest ambition is well-known: winning the ?Champions League. But what they teach you in Juventus is to always give your all in every challenge, whatever form that takes.”

Last season, Kean managed 17 appearances in all competitions for Juventus, racking up seven goals and one assist in the process. With ?Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of him in the pecking order at the club, minutes have often been hard to come by, but Kean insisted that he loves working alongside the Portuguese superstar.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-JUVENTUS-FIORENTINA

“When we train, I try to observe all the things he does, from his attitude on the pitch to his desire to play, to train and to always be ready. Training with great champions has benefits that you can’t underestimate,” Kean added.

I’m not the type to do [ask for tips], but I quietly observe and then I try to apply what I learned on the pitch.”

Let’

AC Milan Make Last-Ditch Attempt to Beat Rivals Inter in Race to Sign Nicolò Barella

?Milan have made a last-ditch attempt to beat arch-rivals Inter in the race for the signature of Cagliari midfielder Nicolò Barella.

I Nerazzurri have been strong favourites to sign the 22-year-old this summer, but they now face competition to sign him from Milan.

Nicolò BArella

According to Italian publications Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport (as relayed by ?CalcioMercato) ?Inter insist that they are still in pole position to sign Barella, having reportedly already agreed personal terms with his agent.

?Milan have now made a last-ditch attempt to sign Barella and are said to be ready to offer Cagliari a fee plus striker Patrick Cutrone in order to make the deal happen. 

Signing Barella would represent a coup for the Rossoneri, as his proposed move to Inter looked a ?foregone conclusion only a few days ago.


The Cagliari midfielder (who is currently on international duty with Italy) has had an outstanding season, attracting the attention of many of Europe’s elite clubs with his excellent performances.

He was a constant in the Sardinian side, starting 35 of 38 league games, helping them avoid relegation from ?Serie A.

The 22-year-old has stood out for his passing, vision and ability to the win the ball back and has also shown that he is an excellent set-piece taker.

Nicolo Barella

His strong club displays didn’t go unnoticed by Italy manager Roberto Mancini, who gave Barella his first senior cap for the Azzurri in a friendly against Ukraine in October 2018.

He has since become a mainstay in the side, starting five of Italy’s last six fixtures and in March he scored his first goal for his country in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Finland.

Let’