The Insider - Rudy Galetti: Saudis hot for big-name striker; Liverpool try for Ederson; Man Utd target centre-back

Tribal Football
The Insider - Rudy Galetti: Saudis hot for big-name striker; Liverpool try for Ederson; Man Utd target centre-back
The Insider - Rudy Galetti: Saudis hot for big-name striker; Liverpool try for Ederson; Man Utd target centre-back
The Insider - Rudy Galetti: Saudis hot for big-name striker; Liverpool try for Ederson; Man Utd target centre-backAction Plus
Nicolo Zaniolo wants to return to Italy; Manchester United are looking for a replacement for Raphael Varane; the Saudi League are ready for a big name in attack. Here are some of the main stories over the last few days of the transfer market from TribalFootball's transfer expert Rudy Galetti.

Zaniolo wants to return to Italy and has a dream

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After the less-than-successful experience at Aston Villa, Nicolò Zaniolo returns to Turkey at the disposal of his club, Galatasaray. However, his future with the fresh winners of the Super Lig is far from certain. 

The Turkish champions consider Zaniolo an important player who can improve the quality of the squad. On the contrary, however, the Italian attacking midfielder - whose contract with Gala expires in 2027 - would prefer to return to playing in Serie A.

The desire of Nicolò - who is forced to miss the Euro 2024 in Germany due to a microfracture in his foot - is to wear the AC Milan shirt, even if the Rossoneri are not currently looking for a reinforcement in that role. In Italy, however, Zaniolo is highly appreciated: Juventus have included him on their lists for years, Fiorentina, in recent weeks, have asked for information regarding his possible transfer and now Atalanta consider him among the suitable names to reinforce the attack.

Galatasaray, on their part, remain open to letting Zaniolo go if a suitable offer will arrive. The Turkish club wants at least €20m as a fixed part and a substantial bonus to evaluate bids for him: Nicolò's future will be decided soon.

 

The Saudi League seeking big-name strikers

The Saudi League is preparing to experience another summer as a world protagonist, in a new transfer session that is expected to be very hot.

One of their main goals is to convince a high-level international striker to land in Saudi: for this reason, the Private Investment Fund identified Lautaro Martinez, Victor Osimhen and Romelu Lukaku as the main targets. However, after internal discussions that have taken place in the last few days, Saudi negotiators consider the Inter striker an unrealisable option, with the captain of the Nerazzurri now close to signing a contract renewal until 2029.

The Nigerian striker Osimhen is also considered a complicated alternative: Napoli don't want to negotiate his price and continue to remain adamant on the release clause set at €130m, a figure deemed too high by the Saudi clubs interested in him. 

And so, the last option on the list is Lukaku. The Belgian striker, who ended his loan period at Roma, has returned to be a Chelsea player: the English club wants to part ways with him as soon as possible and the opportunity for a move to Arabia is still valid. Antonio Conte would like Lukaku at Napoli to replace Osimhen, but Chelsea don't want to make discounts on his price and will instead push for a transfer to Saudi.

 

Liverpool wants Ederson, but Atalanta think differently about him

Liverpool have once again targeted Ederson to strengthen their midfield and give Arne Slot an even more competitive team next season.

Already in January there had been a first approach between the English club and Atalanta, but it had ended in nothing. But now the Reds are trying again and are preparing an offer of around €45/50m to convince the Italian team to let the Brazilian player go in the summer.

However, the Europa League champions do not want to sell their greatest talents and - also in agreement with coach Gian Piero Gasperini - they are not willing to let two starters leave in the same role. This is why, remaining in midfield, the possible exit of Teun Koopmeiners - negotiations already well underway with Juventus - would block Ederson's possible farewell.

Only in the event of failure to reach an agreement for the sale of the Dutch midfielder, would Atalanta re-evaluate Ederson's departure, but only after the Copa America: the Italian club is convinced that the Brazilian can have an excellent tournament, increasing his price even more.

If Koopmeiners remained, the race for Ederson would not be easy for Liverpool: other clubs such as Man Utd, Newcastle and Bayer Leverkusen are interested in him and could decide to make concrete steps in the coming weeks.

 

Manchester United are looking for a replacement for Varane

Manchester United have already set some priorities for the summer transfer market, discussing the main strategies with Erik ten Hag. Not for nothing, the position of the club towards the Dutch coach - unless sensational twists - seems to be heading in the direction of his confirmation on the bench. However, INEOS has already asked ten Hag for the leap in quality starting from the first matches of next season.

Returning to the next transfer window, the main purpose of United is to hire a new centre-back, especially in light of Raphael  Varane's departure. Jean-Clair Todibo remains among the top targets: Manchester United are planning to make a new attempt for him. Also, Gonçalo Inacio is always on the list, even if Liverpool are the club well positioned for him having been in contact with his entourage for months.

Another name appreciated a lot by Man Utd is Leny Yoro: also in this case, the competition is fierce, especially from Real Madrid which targeted him as the ideal profile to replace Nacho. Anyway, United are set to make a concrete step with him. In general, the budget available for a player in defence is around £45m.

 

Al Ahli go all-in for Joshua Kimmich

As mentioned earlier, the Saudi League is preparing to be among the main protagonists in the next summer transfer session. Not just strikers among the priorities: Al Ahli is once again showing concrete interest in Joshua Kimmich, the Bayern Munich right back.

After a first failed attempt made in January - with the German club not open to evaluating proposals during the winter session - things could now change, also in light of the German player's contract, which expires in 2025.

The CEO of the Saudi club in person asked to do everything possible to convince Joshua who, from this week, will be involved with his national team at Euro 2024.

Al Ahli, for their part, don't want to waste time and are trying to organise a meeting with the player before the start of the European competition. Their purpose is to gain at least a general understanding with the player, to start negotiations with Bayern soon.

Nothing is defined yet: the only certain thing is that, to date, the Saudi team will make a notable effort for Joshua, highly appreciated by the young compatriot coach Matthias Jaissle.