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TRIBAL TRENDS - TRANSFERS: Arsenal target Vieira?; Liverpool hone in on Lemar?; Bale, Benzema close to Real Madrid exit?; Conte future decided?;

With the amount of rumours swirling around at this time of year, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher the truth.

Not to worry however, because here at Tribalfootball, we have broken down the week's hottest transfer rumours, and informed you whether to believe the paper talk or not


Patrick Vieira – Manager, New York City FC

Clubs interested: Arsenal

It's not always a manager is on these rumour merry go rounds. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and Arsenal could be looking for new managerial candidates come summer. While successfully playing in the Europa League, Arsenal's Premier League form has Arsene Wenger under some serious fire. They have a club legend in their sights as a replacement, and I'm not talking about Marouane Chamakh.

The Mirror tells us that Patrick Vieira has sold his mansion in Cheshire, for nearly £3 million I might add. A tidy sum perhaps paving a way for a London move? Despite being in charge of New York, Arsenal may turn to Vieria to take the reins if Wenger doesn't make it to the summer transfer window. A little far fetched to rely on real estate for football, especially if it's selling. Don't turn your nose up at this one. Vieira would surely lead a list of candidates if Arsenal decide to change their managerial stocks.

Likelihood: Wenger goes, Vieira will be their first preference



Jean Michael Seri Nice

Clubs interested: Manchester United, Liverpool

Last time we went through the latest trends, Jean Michael Seri was one of various potential midfielders targeted by Jose Mourinho. However the latest coming from Old Trafford is that Jose would prefer his replacement midfielders to have a little more height and better physical traits. The 5 foot 6 Seri doesn't quite fit the bill, but there's still a window for a deal worth £32 million.

However United's arch rival Liverpool could also be in the Hunt for Seri. Jurgen Klopp's scouts have been spotted at recent games for Nice, and you can bet that Liverpool will pounce if United doesn't move quickly.

Likelihood: Interest high, destination unknown. Won't be at Nice



Thomas LemarMonaco

Clubs interested: Liverpool

So apparently Liverpool still feel like they have Coutinho money. Remember when they sold him to Barcelona for a huge sum? Yeah that happened, still feels surreal to me.
In any case, they're preparing a massive transfer bid for the services of Frenchman Thomas Lemar, a winger they've had in their sights for some time.

Despite speculation dying down in recent times, Liverpool haven't given up on their pursuit of Lemar. Le 10 Sport says they're close to hashing out a deal that didn't happen in January, Monaco have come to accept they won't have much choice but to sell the 22 year old starlet, and the Reds are prepared to cough up a huge €80 million. There's the Coutinho effect.
Talks are supposedly in advanced stages, but even legends have snubbed clubs at the 11
th hour. I suspect this won't be the case, and we'll see him in a Liverpool shirt next season.

Likelihood: Going, going, he'll be gone



Antonio Conte – Manager, Chelsea

Status: Under fire, but secure

The latest Chelsea managerial drama has taken an interesting turn. Although Antonio Conte hasn't quite lived up to expectations, Blues owner Roman Abramovich won't sack the Italian from his post and has opted to stand by him instead.

Wait, isn't that what a board room usually says before they sack their manager? Not this time!

As it turns out, it's merely a timing issue rather than being unhappy based on results. Abramovich's ideal replacement is former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, who has stated he doesn't want to join the club until the end of the season. The Blues have also ruled out current Watford boss Marco Silva, with some doubts over his abilities to manage the pressure.

It's literally a case of Chelsea having a look around, not liking what they see, and settling with what they've got. Bit of a slap in the face to Conte, but football can be a fickle business. Whatever happens next season, it'll still keep their managerial change average intact. 12 managers in 10 years, not an easy feat to achieve.

Likelihood: Conte will be leaving in time for summer holidays.



Real Madrid

Potential transfers out: Various

Arguably the juggernaut of the fickle business, Real Madrid are known for their politically influenced transfer policy. And by politically influenced, you know I mean Florentino Perez gets what Perez wants.

Rather than a mega sum player being added to the line up, Perez has declared that several players are not good enough to continue their careers with Real Madrid, citing change room attitude, unfulfilled potential and declining players as reasons why.

I'm a little surprised that Gareth Bale is in this conversation but he may be offered around next transfer window. Also, if rumours are anything to go by, Karim Benzema has been leaving Madrid to go to Arsenal for years.

Other unwanted players include Borja Mayoral, Achraf Hakimi, Jesús Vallejo, Marcos Llorente, Isco, Raphael Varane, Mateo Kovacic, and either Keylor Navas or Kiki Casilla could all see themselves out. That makes a whopping 10 players that may find themselves in very different countries come next season.

Seems rather unfair if you ask me, but the bigger the club the bigger the war chest is to buy new players. The La Liga champions are struggling this season, but on track to secure a third successive Champions League trophy.

Likelihood: maybe not all 10, but 5 or 6 players could be shown the door

About the author

Chris Sermeno

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