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TRIBAL TRENDS - TRANSFERS: Ibra Man Utd return?; Messi wants Gomes Barca exit?; Keita agrees terms with Liverpool?;

With the amount of rumours swirling around at this time of year, even after the winter transfer window, it is sometimes difficult to decipher the truth.

These are matters of importance.

As the transfer talk is now directed at the all-important summer market, there are enormous amounts of speculation swirling around Europe and the UK.

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

Here are our top five trending transfer stories for the past week:


Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Free Agent

Clubs Interested: Manchester United

Don Balon claims that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has had second thoughts about Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The club have not renewed the Swede's contract for next season after he went down with a terrible knee injury in April.

Ibra is currently going through his third month of recovery, and the report suggests Mourinho is preparing to re-sign the 35-year old.

Mino Raiola has shopped the enigmatic forward around to everyone; Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Juventus have all had visits.

But where is Zlatan right now?

He's at Carrington. Dressed in a United training kit.

His return is neither foolish nor counterproductive, as some critics have suggested.

'Oh, Zlatan clogs up the space' or 'Zlatan slows the game down'.

Yes these claims are partly correct, but they're not excuses to simply ship him out of the club.

Call me optimistic, but for Mourinho, bringing Zlatan back is a no-brainer, regardless if the Lukaku deal goes through.

Zlatan may have done all those things to United's attack last year, but it wasn't the only thing he brought too the Red Devils.

Leadership, character, along with experience. And let's not forget 28 goals.

Let's say Ibra does return to full fitness by January. What an incredible boost of confidence that will be for the squad.

The only IF for Mourinho, and it's a big one, is can he get Ibra to take a backseat role?

Likelihood: Only with a deflated ego



Andre Gomes - Barcelona

Players Not Interested: Lionel Messi

There has been a somewhat strange revelation this week coming out of Catalonia.

Don Balonreports that Lionel Messi has demanded that his teammate Andre Gomes be sold.

It is understood that Barcelona have refused to comply with Messi's demand.

This is strange because a) why does Messi want to specify a single player to be ousted? and b) if Messi - a Blaugrana god - wants a player to be sold, why aren't they selling him?

The answer to question A is rather simple. Messi doesn't rate Gomes.

The 22-year old arrived at Camp Nou last summer for €35m from Valencia.

Gomes was woeful in his debut season, despite making 30 league appearances. He was even was jeered and booed off the pitch during Barca's loss to Leganes in February.

Messi wants Gomes gone, not solely for his lacklustre play, but because he plays in the same position as Messi's long-time covetedtarget, Paris Saint Germain's Marco Verratti.

The answer to the second question is a bit more grey.

The club certainly weren't impressed by Gomes' performances last season, but then again, he's only 22-years old. Also, it was only 12 months ago that they outlaid a large amount of cash for his services.

Likelihood: Gomes to stay



Alvaro Morata - Real Madrid

Clubs Interested: Manchester United, Chelsea

Ok. Ok. Ok.

We could easily throw this one out the window couldn't we? You know, given Manchester United have reportedly had a £75m bid for Romelu Lukaku accepted by Everton.

Since there has been no official declaration by the clubs, let's talk hypothetically for a second.

All this talk of Morata to Manchester United has been going on for weeks and weeks. Real have already rejected a bid of £52m for the Spaniard.

Lukaku was seemingly destined to join Chelsea, the only thing supposedly blocking the move was Diego Costa's foolhardy stance on joining the transfer-banned Atletico Madrid.

So whilst the revelations of the past two days are surprising, could the Lukaku leak not be just a ploy by Everton to make Chelsea increase their bid for Lukaku? And vice-versa, kick Real's stubbornness on the Morata price?

That's the opinion of Gabrielle Marcotti.

"If I had to guess I would say this story originates with Everton and I think it's a way of trying to keep the gears in motion," Marcotti told ESPN FC.

"Trying to get Chelsea to come up with a serious bid, trying to test United's resolve if they really want Lukaku or whether they're still operating on Morata."

There is just something not right about all of this. Or maybe it's just the shock.

Either way, there is still hope for Morata moving to Manchester United.

Likelihood: Still possible



Ander Herrera - Manchester United

Clubs Interested: Barcelona

The Sun reports that Manchester United have told Barcelona that Ander Herrera is not for sale - but if they put in a £60m bid then they'll sell him.

As confusing as that statement is, United would be truly tested to say no if £60m was offered for the diminutive Spaniard.

Herrera certainly played an important role in Jose Mourinho's side last season.

And that's why there is some reluctance from Mourinho and Woodward to depart with the former Athletico Bilbao midfielder.

If Barcelona can't get Marco Verratti, expect them to meet United's asking price and then expect Herrera to be in Spain next season.

Likelihood: Could happen



Naby Keita - RB Leipzig

Clubs Interested: Liverpool

According to ESPN reporter Gabrielle Marcotti,Naby Keita has agreed personal terms with Liverpool.

The RB Leipzig midfielder, who has drawn comparisons with Chelsea's N'Golo Kante, is desperate to join the Reds.

This news is all well and good, and more importantly for Liverpool fans, believable.

Of course Keita wants to join a club like Liverpool.

The real question lies in Liverpool themselves.

Do they want to a big club? If they do, then they'll have to pay the £70m RB Leipzig want.

Personal terms mean nothing until they do.

Likelihood: If the Reds fork out the cash

Andrew Maclean
About the author

Andrew Maclean

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