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TRIBAL TRENDS - TRANSFERS: Bale and Man Utd? Isco will go where? Arsenal, Liverpool waiting for Dembele?

With the summer market now edging closer, we break down the latest transfer chatter doing the rounds - and whether those crazy deals actually have a chance of landing...

Gareth BaleReal Madrid

Clubs interested:Manchester United

So we all know that United have had something of a love affair with the idea of Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford. But like a relationship turned sour, United have dropped that interest in favour of someone younger. That's right, Gareth Bale has been on United's radar over the last couple of seasons, and the interest is only heating up.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is hellbent on selling whoever he can this summer, and if the price is right (it has to be €100 million) then Bale isn't out of the question.
Mourinho is willing to give up Martial to the Spanish giants to save money, but Don Balon suggests that Juventus are also in for Martial's signature. The Frenchman's agent could not confirm nor deny Martial's future, and has left everyone in limbo as to his next step.

Now the last time United released a young player with lots of potential into Juventus' care, he bloomed brilliantly and turned into the goal scoring, dabbing machine we know as Paul Pogba. I don't think United is going to let that happen. If Martial is their bargaining chip for Bale, I think that's how it'll stay.

Likelihood: Unstoppable force (Mourinho) meets an immovable object (Perez)

IscoReal Madrid

Clubs interested:Manchester City, Chelsea

We've previously touched on how Isco has a choice of which rich and successful club he wishes to join. The Madrid midfielder is arguably the hottest property on the market at the moment, second to the likes of maybe Gareth Bale.

Both City and Chelsea are chasing the Spanish international for his signature. The latest twist in this saga is that Manchester are unwilling to pay for him (I'm just as shocked as you are) and this could allow Chelsea a smooth run to capture him. On a tactical note, he just seems to be the perfect fit for the Blues. Well, on paper at the very least.

It also seems like fate that Madrid want Eden Hazard, so a straight swap makes sense. Isco is already leaning towards Chelsea due to his existing relationship with Alvaro Morata, and with City seemingly not wanting to fork out any money, it could all be settled before you know it.

Likelihood:Chelsea have pulled ahead, see if they'll reel this one home.

Ousmane Dembele – FC Barcelona

Clubs interested:Arsenal, Liverpool

Here's one that blatantly and glaringly obvious. Since Ousmane Dembele set foot into Camp Nou, doubts have been cast over his ability and whether he warrants a place in Barcelona's main XI. Not great for everyone who was involved.

Barcelona are determined to bring Antoine Griezmann to the Catalan club, and that means Dembele will be the one making room and reducing costs for Griezmann in the process.

Liverpool were interested while Dembele was still at Rennes, but Jurgen Klopp was bested by Dortmund who signed him in 2016. The Reds are still just as keen, and with Arsenal entering the mix to try and nab Dembele by any means necessary. Barcelona may have to compromise for a loan move.

You can be sure that Klopp will make a hard drive to land the Frenchman this time around. Lightening doesn't strike the same place twice, and Klopp won't be made a fool of twice.

Likelihood: Griezmann is the deciding factor here

Thiago AlcantaraBayern Munich

Ah, another young buck who's ready to move to another rich club. Remember when Thiago Alcantara had this choice back when he left Barcelona? It's essentially the same thing again. He's declared that his time at Bayern is up, and not by any ill-will. Alcantara suggests that football is a rapidly changing environment and he feels the time is right for a new home.

Don Balon tells us that the former Barcelona man is a highly sought-after player, with both Madrid clubs and both Manchester clubs potentially vying for the Spanish international. Talk about a derby multi. Being a former Barcelona player, should he sign in Spain that may not sit well with some supporters on either side, but that won't stop the possibility of the Madrid rivals going head to head for him.

Manchester United were keen when he left Barcelona in 2013, and are keen to make another tilt at signing him to bolster their midfield stocks for next season.

Rival club Manchester City are also on the radar due to Alcantara's relationship with Pep Guardiola. The pair have worked together at both Camp Nou and the Allianz Arena within the last decade, which makes for an easy transition should he choose the blue half of Manchester.

We know he's leaving, but the race will heat up come closer to the end of the season. For now his focus will be on the three competitions that Bayern are still heavily occupied by. (Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga)

Likelihood: He's leaving, destination unknown

Mauricio Pochettino – Manager, Tottenham Hotspur

Clubs interested:Chelsea

To cap things off, we've got a managerial chase on our hands. It's no secret that Antonio Conte won't be at Stamford Bridge next season, the only reason he hasn't left yet is because Abramovich's ideal replacements are currently unavailable. However, that won't stop the Chelsea owner from window shopping. First on the list is current Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentinian has done a fantastic job with Spurs, ensuring a steady climb into the Premier League's elite top 4. Spurs have also laid claim to potential title runs in the last 2 seasons, showing what he's capable of without spending atrocious amounts on any given player. The development of Harry Kane is a credit to both player and manager, as one probably wouldn't thrive as much without the other.

So just imagine what Pochettino could do at Chelsea. The transfer war chest would be enormous, but he could dramatically change the set up in terms of developing young players. And there's plenty of them at Chelsea, they have 37 players out on loan. Enough to field 2 teams with full benches.

The trick here is that he needs time. He's a long term manager with a plan, he's not a quick fix coach. Whether Abramovich is willing to bide the time for longterm success is another issue entirely, as 13 managerial changes in 11 years isn't exactly signs of patience.

Likelihood: As generous as Chelsea should compensate Tottenham. The bigger price tag, the better.

About the author

Chris Sermeno

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