B/R Football Ranks Transfer Rumours: Bernardo Silva, Ansu Fati and More

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportAugust 14, 2020

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva, right, runs with the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Bournemouth at the Ethiad Stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. (Laurence Griffiths/Pool via AP)
Laurence Griffiths/Associated Press

The B/R Football Ranks transfer column is your guide to which rumours are legit and which ones you can dismiss.

Our secret sources have top intelligence on the inside stories, and our informants have details on the delicate dealings of talks between top clubs and superstar names.

The aim here is to open up the truths inside this transfer window—so this week we analyse five more rumours and their believability.


Completed: Willian to Arsenal


This one looked very strange when it was first touted but slowly a deal has progressed and Willian was announced just as this column was going to publish.

Chelsea could not agree personal terms with the 32-year-old Brazilian attacker, largely due to his request for a three-year deal. Arsenal are going to give him the security he is looking for in hope his experience adds extra depth and dimension to their squad for next season. 

The Gunners are focusing on value from the free-agent market and while this deal has been helped by the fact that his agent, Kia Joorabchian, seems to have a growing hold on what happens with the north London club's plans, there is a general feeling that this £100,000-per-week contract brings good value because of his success in the Premier League.

It is thought he will be used in a more central role than he ever was at Chelsea, but Arsenal were not quite brave enough to give him Mesut Ozil's No. 10 shirt.


Looking good: Tiemoue Bakayoko to AC Milan

Luca Bruno/Associated Press

Chelsea need to offload Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer after the midfielder spent the past two seasons out on loan.

He is being most heavily linked with a move to Milan, where he enjoyed a spell in 2018/19, and sources in Italy are convinced he will help make a return come true.

Chelsea have made it clear they want him to leave permanently, and while Milan wanted another loan, they now need to come up with a package that satisfies them. We understand Milan would not want to offer more than £15 million if it was permanent. Chelsea have been looking for almost double that amount.

Sources are indicating that the player is so keen to leave, and Chelsea so desperate to finally sell him, that there is going to be some room for negotiation from the west London club. Insiders predict this one might end up being settled around the £20 million mark.


Work to do: Zeki Celik to Tottenham Hotspur

Michel Spingler/Associated Press

Tottenham are working within a tight budget so their policy for this summer is one in, one out.

A report from Matt Law in the Telegraph suggests Spurs are angling for Lille's right-back Zeki Celik, and sources have been suggesting the position is a priority area for this transfer window.

The issue is that they ideally need to offload Serge Aurier before they can sign him—and that won't be easy. Spurs value Aurier at around £20 million, but the main suitors for the player, AC Milan, are not currently willing to go above £13 million, we are told. 

Celik is a target, but Daniel Levy and Co. are going to have to come up with a smart plan to make it happen. The club also have fallback plans they are working on in the background in case the deal does not pan out.


Long shot: Bernardo Silva to Barcelona

Catherine Ivill/Associated Press

Phil Foden's role as a wide attacker at Manchester City in recent times has had plenty of people wondering how Bernardo Silva fits into Pep Guardiola's plans.

B/R sources have suggested for a while that he could be used in a deeper role next season, though, similar to the one that City had initially been expecting Foden to fill.

Now, Telegraph reporter Mike McGrath has noted Barcelona might try their luck with a cash-plus-player deal to tempt City into a sale.

It will be extremely tricky to convince City to let him go; he's regarded as a hugely important part of their squad for next season.

But let's wait and see who Barca are willing to offer as part of the swap deal—City are on the lookout for a centre-back, left-back, versatile midfielder and a forward and will only become tempted if someone very tasty is thrown into the deal. 


Not Happening: Ansu Fati to Manchester United

Joan Monfort/Associated Press

This story has been cropping up all year, so it was little surprise when Sport reported United's interest in Ansu Fati with the saga over the Red Devils' pursuit of Jadon Sancho saga rumbling on.

Sources at United are adamant his name has not been discussed. But further than that, Fati's contract at Barcelona includes a 170 million (£153 million) buyout clause, which means he is valued higher than the €120 million (£108 million) United are already refusing to play for top-target Sancho.


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