Big European Swap Deals Analysed Ahead of the 2020 Summer Transfer Window

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportMay 8, 2020

SINGAPORE,SINGAPORE - JULY 26: Thomas Partey of Club Atletico de Madrid battles for the ball with Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal  during the International Champions Cup 2018 match between Arsenal and Club Atletico de Madrid (Photo by PictoBank/Getty Images)
Pictobank/Getty Images

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic means football's business model is about to change.

Big transfer fees and long contracts are set to be replaced by swaps, free-agent agreements and loan deals.

For the first time, we will see every major club looking to trade smart, with part-exchange deals expected to become more common than ever before.

It means deals like the one that saw Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap clubs in 2018 will become run of the mill—and it opens up a whole new world of transfer gossip.

The next transfer window will open as soon as the 2019/20 season is concluded, and here we take an early look at four potential swap deals in the offing.


Thomas Partey-Alexandre Lacazette

Mikel Arteta wants to reshape his squad this summer but also has some cost-cutting measures to adhere to.

To keep this brief, sources close to the situation insist Arsenal will mainly be looking at free agents and swap deals when the market reopens.

There needs to be some smart negotiating, particularly if they want to land Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid. Insiders say they are keen to sign a central midfielder and that Partey is top of the list.

Now they need to find a way to make it happen.

Alexandre Lacazette has been mooted by the Telegraph's Mike McGrath (h/t football.london) as the man who could open the door for Partey's switch, although the Frenchman played down the chances of him moving to Atleti.

It's feasible Arsenal would look to include him as a makeweight in the deal, but if not, there are six other first-teamers set to go on the market whom they could offer.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Matteo Guendouzi and Shkodran Mustafi are names who might be interesting to Atletico.

So keep an eye on this one. Somehow, Arsenal aim to make Partey's signing happen.


Leroy Sane-David Alaba

Bayern Munich are stepping up their pursuit of Leroy Sane, whom they have wanted for the past year.

The deal was initially expected to make Manchester City close to £100 million, but the coronavirus pandemic has changed the thinking in Germany, and an initial offer of just 40 million (£35 million) is being discussed instead.

It's a huge valuation decrease and not one that City will agree to. The bid will need to be raised or rolled into a part-exchange deal.

It has been suggested to B/R by two sources that versatile Bayern star David Alaba has emerged as a player who could become part of a swap deal. He's being pursued by Inter Milan, but this move would suit both Bayern and City.

His versatility appeals to Pep Guardiola at a time when he is looking for signings at left-back and centre-back, and a swap could finally help Sane get the move he wants.


Aaron Ramsey-Paul Pogba

Juventus still want to sign Paul Pogba; they just can't meet his £100 million valuation in this market.

Manchester United are planning to wipe the slate clean and expect Pogba to be part of their project for the next year under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but they will still be met with offers in the coming months.

One suggestion from Fabrizio Romano for CalcioMercato (h/t The Sun's Joshua Jones) is that Aaron Ramsey, who only moved to Juve from Arsenal a year ago, could be offered to United in order for Pogba to head back to Turin. But our sources say that particular scenario is unlikely, as Ramsey is determined to become a key member of the Juve squad.

That does not mean the idea of a swap deal is dead, as B/R understands there is a possibility that Adrien Rabiot might yet be used in discussions to take Pogba away from United.

United have a long-term admiration for Rabiot, so that could become interesting. But at this moment in time, it looks like Pogba is stuck at United a while longer. 


Declan Rice-Eric Dier

West Ham United are being forced into a situation wherein they might have to listen to offers for any member of their squad, and that means even Declan Rice is up for grabs.

The Guardian's Jacob Steinberg reported that the England international will cost £70 million, but that price tag is unrealistic for buying clubs.

Spurs are interested in the player, and a report in 90 Min suggested Eric Dier could become part of a deal to take him to White Hart Lane. It carries some weight, as Spurs are also looking for a bit of an overhaul and would be willing to let Dier leave.

But insiders close to West Ham say it's not something they would be interested in. Tottenham would have to offer a different player, as well as cash, if there were any chance it could happen.

Manchester United and Chelsea are also interested in Rice, and while they won't meet his valuation, either, there is a possibility they will propose another option that may suit West Ham.