Destination unknown for Ronaldo, De Jong as Barcelona try to hijack Kounde deal


It’s that time of the year again when football teams from all around the globe try to bolster their squads while fans salivate at the prospect of dream signings and fantasy lineups. It’s the 2022-23 transfer season and it’s turning out to be quite a rollercoaster ride. And we have more than a month to go!!! So, strap in your seatbelts as we take a look at what promises to be a tumultuous season of signings, releases and everything that goes with them.

In the last week, a lot of deals took shape while a flurry of speculations spread across the internet like wildfire. A transfer season full of more twists and turns than your average pulpy thriller, this one has kept the fans on the edge of their seats.

Ronaldo saga takes a new twist

The seemingly never-ending Cristiano Ronaldo transfer story added a new wrinkle as it was revealed by the Sunday Mirror that Manchester United are ready to let the striker move but on a loan.

According to the Mirror report, if United let Ronaldo leave on loan this season, they want the 37-year-old superstar to trigger a one-year-option clause to extend his contract so he can return to Old Trafford next summer for a final swansong.

As of writing, only Atletico Madrid are the ones who have shown serious interest for the transfer, with the Rojiblancos apparently placing their own prodigal son Antoine Griezmann on the transfer market as part of an attempt to bring in Ronaldo.

Manchester United’s trials and tribulations

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag is reportedly interested in signing Inter Milan defender Denzel Dumfries, if he can engineer an exit for out-of-favour Aaron Wan-Bissaka, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

On the striker front, Ajax striker Antony is unlikely to leave with the Dutch club slapping a £68million price tag on the 22-year-old and remain adamant they will not soften their position.

Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder said, “We have sold a certain number of players and I am expecting nobody else to leave,” when asked if Antony will leave.

In the De Jong situation, United and the player are still in limbo with Barcelona head coach Xavi saying, “I’m not here to send messages. I already spoke with Frenkie, I value him very much. He’s a key player, but then there’s the economic situation and Financial Fair Play,” while president Joan Laporta said, “Frenkie de Jong is our player, we really like him. We received some offers for Frenkie but we didn’t accept as of now, as we want to talk with him and know exactly what he wants.”

Barcelona on verge of hijacking Kounde deal

Keeping with the recurring theme of clubs hijacking deals at the last moment, Chelsea, who were in the pole position to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, will now have to contend with Barcelona.

Earlier in the week, it looked as though the Blues had secured the transfer after submitting a £55 million offer for the centre-back but the Spanish club have now tried to hijack the deal.

While reports from Sevilla deny the rumours of a Barcelona deal, contrary reports say the deal is swinging in Barcelona’s favour.

Arsenal sign Zinchenko, De Ligt joins Bayern

After a whirlwind couple of weeks, the deals of this week have slowed down a tad with the biggest additions being Matthijs de Ligt to Bayern Munich, Pablo Dybala to Roma and Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal from Manchester City.

Jesse Lingard, who left Manchester United this summer was snapped up by Nottingham Forest for free while Barcelona officially unveiled Robert Lewandowski for £42.6m.

The De Ligt deal cost Bayern £68m while Dybala joined Roma on a free transfer after being let go by Juventus. On the other hand, Zinchenko’s switch from Manchester to London reportedly cost Arsenal £32m.

Done Deals this week

Matthijs de Ligt – Juventus to Bayern Munich, £68m

Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich to Barcelona, £42.6m

Paulo Dybala – Juventus to Roma, free

Oleksandr Zinchenko – Manchester City to Arsenal, £32m

Jesse Lingard – Manchester United to Nottingham Forest, free

Nicolas Tagliafico – Ajax to Lyon, undisclosed

Ozan Kabak – Schalke to Hoffenheim, undisclosed

Ben Mee – Burnley to Brentford, free

Calvin Bassey – Rangers to Ajax, £23m

Gleison Bremer – Torino to Juventus, £34.8m

Christoph Zimmermann – Norwich to Darmstadt, undisclosed

Djed Spence – Middlesbrough to Tottenham, £20m

Sonny Perkins – West Ham to Leeds, free

Fabio Silva – Wolves to Anderlecht, loan

Moussa Wague – Barcelona to HNK Gorica, undisclosed

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