Ben Fisher on 4 July 2018
Sent packing from Russia far too early for his liking, Cristiano Ronaldo needs a juicy new challenge to sink his glistening pearls into, something to make him want to get out of bed in the morning. And if a whacking great £26.5m-a-year deal to join Juventus doesn’t then, frankly, what will?
The Serie A club are increasingly confident of pulling off a lucrative package for the 33-year-old Portuguese, for a fee of around £88m. For super-agent Jorge Mendes, this is surely only just the start of the fun and games, fully aware that if he can prick the ears of Paris Saint-Germain then he will have something of a beautiful bidding war on his hands. PSG may well fund a bid by selling one of their prize assets, with Adrien Rabiot high on the wish-list of Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Also in the league of big bucks, Manchester City are set to splash out in excess of £100m on both Napoli’s Jorginho and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. Neither have been Pep Guardiola’s best kept secrets. Across Manchester, Old Trafford officials are still hopeful of nabbing the Lazio midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, after Juve stepped back in their pursuit of the crunching Serbia midfielder. Elsewhere, Wolves want Lazio defender Bastos and Everton fancy Rennes mainstay, Ramy Bensebaini, who will cost about £13m.
In the Championship, Kasey Palmer could be set for another stint away from Chelsea, this time with Frank Lampard at Derby County, and Matt Ritchie is of interest to Stoke City.
Elsewhere, Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard will go head-to-head over luring Harry Wilson on loan for the season from Liverpool, with Celtic and Rangers both dead keen on the Wales winger’s services.