Nicolo Zaniolo, a race against time to escape from Rome; Everton, in addition to the Dyche cure, a free parameter could arrive; Rafa Leao, the English sirens continue to sound. Here are some of the main stories over the last few days of the transfer market from TribalFootball's transfer expert Rudy Galetti.
ZANIOLO - TURKEY IS THE LAST RESORT
The ways of Nicolò Zaniolo and AS Roma are definitely separated. The player was taken out of the squad by the Giallorossi management, effectively deleting him from the sporting project.
In the last few days of the winter transfer market, many teams have tried to sign Nicolò: first of all, AC Milan, which, however, only had the opportunity to offer a loan with a buy option, firmly rejected by Roma. Then Bournemouth seriously made a move, with an official bid of 30 million euros sent to the Italian club, which had accepted the proposal. Nevertheless, the player wasn't initially convinced by the destination: when he understood that there would be no other alternative to escape from Rome, it was too late. The English club, in fact, invested the same amount on Junior Traore from Sassuolo.
To date the hope, or rather the last resort to save the rest of the season, remains Turkey: with the market open until February 8, there are still a few hours for Galatasaray to make a miracle. The Turkish club already reached an agreement with the player on salary and contract years. The release clause remains under discussion (Zaniolo wants €20m, Galatasaray push for more than €30m), but it doesn't seem to be an issue. Everything is up to the clubs: the Turks offer 22 million euros to AS Roma which, from the initial 30m, have lowered the requests to 26 million euros. The gap is not much: very hot hours, with a quiet optimism especially from the player side.
VLAHOVIC'S FAREWELL? JUVENTUS SET THEIR PRICE
Dusan Vlahovic could leave Juventus in the summer. Unbelievable, but true: just one year after his arrival, the Bianconeri, especially for their extra-football situation, are open to evaluate offers for the Serbian striker.
If there will be suitable bids, they will let him go. For this reason, the sports director Federico Cherubini already set the price tag for his player at around 80m euros.
In the Premier League, Dusan has many admirers: Manchester United, Chelsea and also Arsenal are interested in the forward and already in these last weeks they observed – and now they're continuing to monitor as well – the evolution of the situation of the former Fiorentina player carefully. Vlahovic, forced into many absences this season due to some muscle injuries, would appreciate a transfer abroad, also because the future of Juventus, as it stands, appears anything but positive.
That's why even the Spanish option, with Atletico Madrid in pole position, cannot be excluded. In particular, in the event of the definitive transfer of Joao Felix, Vlahovic would become the number one target for Cholo Simeone.
EVERTON - REBIRTH AND DREAM FROM THE FREE AGENT MARKET
He didn't even have time to sit on the Everton bench, yet Sean Dyche has already made his first miracle, beating Arsenal, the leading team of the Premier League. Despite an anonymous winter transfer market by the Toffees, the new coach was able to force the team to perform at their best, bridling the Gunners, which hadn't lost in the league since last September. After this unexpected success, Everton management would like to give a new player – obviously as a free agent – to Dyche.
Isco is the name: the former Sevilla attacking midfielder, one step away from signing with Union Berlin, blew up the deal after understanding that he would not be included in the list for the Europa League. At that point everything got complicated: Isco's entourage would have asked for more money than what was previously agreed, i.e., a one-and-a-half-year contract with a salary of over one million euros, plus a transfer bonus of around one and a half million. Now, the Spanish player, still without a team, is winking at Everton.
The talks are well underway and a new meeting is expected in these days with the aim of advancing the negotiations: the former Real Madrid player could arrive on Merseyside to help the Toffees stay in the Premier League. Or at least that's what the fans are hoping for.
MOISES CAICEDO, A MISSED OPPORTUNITY WHICH (PERHAPS) WON'T RETURN
He tried until the last moment: Moises Caicedo wanted to join Arsenal at all costs in the winter transfer market session and his agents did everything they could to make the move happen until Deadline Day.
However, Brighton were adamant and their position was clear to everyone: the player was not for sale. So Arsenal shifted their focus to Jorginho: Mikel Arteta had asked for at least one midfielder during the just passed window and the Italian player, from Chelsea, certainly brought experience to the Premier League leaders. However, the main target of this market session - Caicedo - remained at Brighton and who knows if in the future the Ecuadorian will still have the opportunity to land at the Emirates Stadium or somewhere else.
In fact, the Gunners coach let club management know that he will take a final decision on whether or not to go back in for the Brighton midfielder depending on the performances of Albert Sambi Lokonga, now on loan at Crystal Palace. The Belgian player has every desire to show off at Palace, regaining Arteta's trust.
As Arsenal will monitor Lokonga first, and with Chelsea all-in on Enzo Fernandez, could Caicedo remain locked up at Brighton? Maybe not: next summer let's pay attention to Liverpool. If the Jude Bellingham option fails, they are ready to push for Moises.
RAFAEL LEAO: A FUTURE YET TO BE DECIDED
Rafael Leao, as his lawyer recently confirmed, is working together with AC Milan to find a solution to renew his contract. However, the situation of the Portuguese player is not clear yet and the difficult period the Rossoneri are facing - with Leao among the main players to suffer the consequence - has attracted the attention of some Premier League teams.
Chelsea, for sure, were interested in Rafa: in the last days of the past summer transfer market, the Blues tried for him offering 80 million euros, including also some players in the deal, but AC Milan rejected the informal bid.
Now, with the arrival of Mykhaylo Mudryk, Leao is no longer a priority. At the moment, the clubs with real interest are basically 2: Arsenal - which in Mudryk, then stolen by Chelsea, had identified the ideal left winger – and Manchester City. The Citizens have been following the evolution of Leao's situation for many weeks and in the coming months they might decide to make some concrete moves.
AC Milan is warned: certainly, staying out of the next Champions League could mean having to give up the Portuguese player to raise cash.