There’s just 13 days until the start of the Premier League season, and teams are gearing up to bolster their squads through last minute deals. While the players will have little time to become acclimated to their new homes, transfers in these final days could prove to be vital nonetheless.
Barcelona has been reportedly pursuing Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, but Liverpool has repeatedly turned down their advances, claiming Coutinho is not for sale at any price. Nevertheless, the rumors persist, as they always do. According to a number of reports over the past few days, Barcelona could try to tempt the Reds with the addition of midfielder Ivan Rakitic to the deal, but these swap suggestions rarely come to fruition.
The most recent update came from Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu, but he didn’t say much. Talking to Spanish publication Sport, Bartomeu said, “He’s a Liverpool player and I have a lot of respect for Liverpool, which we do in the summer is to be very discreet about everything, so we can not confirm or deny anything.”
Inter attacker Ivan Perisic has been heavily linked to Manchester United in recent days, but the Italian club has hardened its stance. Perisic started and scored the winner in Inter’s 2-1 preseason victory over Chelsea in the International Champions Cup, helping squelch the rumors.
Going even further were the words of Inter boss Luciano Spaletti, who claimed, “There has been no more significant contact [from outside clubs] in the last few weeks [regarding Perisic],” he told Internazionale’s official website. “So for me the conversation is over. The more days that go by, the more difficult it becomes for us to replace him and therefore I would strongly oppose his departure.”
Roma has been linked to Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez as the Italian side looks to ease the loss of Mohamed Salah. Just yesterday, rumors of a new bid were abound. But today, those were squashed by the supposed buyers.
“In the case of Mahrez it’s become public knowledge, with others it hasn’t. We’ve made two offers, the second is fair and then we stopped,” said Roma sporting director Monchi. “We’re not just working on one name. It’s logical, we have different options.”
Similar to the Mahrez news is that of a rumored Premier League addition in Naby Keita. Liverpool has been after the RB Leipzig midfielder for some time, but with the German club reluctant to sell at a reasonable price, the Reds have been successfully warded off.
According to a report by ESPNFC, Liverpool will retain interest in the player but has backed off for this summer. According to the report, Keita’s contract has a release clause of $63 million, but it does not come into fruition until next summer. However, there is risk that waiting until Keita plays a season in the Champions League could mean increased competition for his signature next summer, should he perform well.
The report says that Liverpool had a pair of bids rejected by the German club, the second of which was well above next summer’s release clause, meaning RB Leipzig is willing to forego significant amounts of money to hold onto the 22-year-old.