Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup: Surprise Stones suitor; Balotelli’s return?

Getty Images

John Stones‘ future remains very much in doubt, as a whole host of the Premier League’s big boys are said to circling around the Everton defender with an eye toward doing a deal either in January or the summer.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

According to a report in the Daily Mail, Stones’ suitors aren’t limited to just the PL, as La Liga giants Real Madrid are reportedly interested in the 21-year-old center back. Madrid’s interest could well depend upon who the manager of the club is come next August, as Zinedine Zidane has been installed as the interim boss for the rest of the season. Zidane’s managerial career got off to a flying start on Saturday.

Madrid could also still sign Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba for $145 million in the summer, according to the Sun.

It’s been widely assumed Mario Balotelli has no future at Liverpool after being loaned to AC Milan this season, a year after signing for the Reds. Not the case, though, says TuttoMercatoWeb, who believe Jurgen Klopp will recall the 25-year-old Italian striker in the summer. Balotelli will surely fit into Klopp’s high-intensity, constantly-pressing system without any problems. /end sarcasm

[ MORE: Friday’s transfer rumor roundup | Thursday ]

With Stones presumably heading for the exit door at some point, Everton are looking to acquire defensive reinforcements. Leeds United defender Sam Byram is said to be near the top of Roberto Martinez’s wish list, according to the Liverpool Echo. The 22-year-old right back is said to be a straight replacement for injured right back Seamus Coleman.

According to the Guardian, Stoke City are the latest PL club considering making a move for West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino. The Mirror reports Tottenham Hotspur have not yet given up on signing the 22-year-old, with Andros Townsend potentially to be sent the other way. Tottenham could also move for Chelsea striker Loic Remy (on loan) to back up Harry Kane, according to the Mirror.