B/R Football Ranks Transfer Rumours: Bale, Griezmann, Higuain, Rice, Memphis

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportSeptember 8, 2020

Real Madrid's head coach Zinedine Zidane, right, talks with Real Madrid's Gareth Bale during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Granada and Real Madrid at the Los Carmenes stadium in Granada, Spain, Monday, July 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)
Jose Breton/Associated Press

This has already been one of the most memorable transfer windows of all time, helped significantly by the fact that Lionel Messi tried to leave Barcelona. But there are still plenty of big names with their futures on the line.

Big transfers are being lined up for the coming weeks, and here we take a run through the rumours surrounding the biggest clubs and most famous names.

Our sources have intelligence on the inside stories, and our aim is to open up the truths inside this transfer window.

This week we begin with another new face set to arrive at Stamford Bridge very soon.


Nailed on: Edouard Mendy to Chelsea

Chelsea have looked into a host of new goalkeeping options, including Nick Pope of Burnley, but they have been met by a high transfer valuation at every turn. For example, they were told the Clarets 'keeper has a price tag of around £40 million.

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Fortunately, the Blues have been leaning on the expertise of former goalkeeper and current performance director Petr Cech, and he has tapped into contacts to help open up a deal with Rennes for Edouard Mendy.

The Senegal international, 28, will arrive to challenge Kepa Arrizabalaga for the No. 1 spot and will cost less than £20 million.


Looking good: Gonzalo Higuain to Inter Miami

David Beckham has been tapping into the South American market since launch day and already has four Argentinian players in the squad for this season.

The Inter Miami co-owner has been promising that elite names would soon arrive and now appears true to his word. The first, Blaise Matuidi, is obviously not from Argentina, but his former Juventus teammate, Gonzalo Higuain, is a household name there and looks set to become the poster boy of Beckham's franchise.

A two-year contract is expected to be announced as soon as the severance package is clear from Juventus.

Higuain, 32, will leave with the blessing of the Italian club who decided by the end of last season that he would no longer be needed in Turin, but the final terms of his exit are being ironed out before any MLS move can take place.


Deal progressing: Memphis Depay to Barcelona

Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Ronald Koeman has been linked to plenty of Dutch talent since arriving as Barcelona boss, and he is now closing in on two players he knows well from the national team.

Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool is a prime target, but the exciting star he wants to unleash at the Camp Nou next season is Memphis Depay.

The Lyon forward has become a priority signing for Koeman, partly as he needs a replacement for Juventus-bound Luis Suarez but also because Barca want to breathe fresh life into the attack and are struggling to convince Inter Milan to sell Lautaro Martinez.

It's starting to look like Memphis could become the most significant addition for Barcelona this summer. 


Still possible: Declan Rice to Chelsea

Frank Lampard has had the luxury of welcoming six new outfield signings already this summer, but sources say he is still desperate for another defensive player.

West Ham United's Declan Rice is of interest because of his ability to play in defence or midfield, and it is expected that the Blues will attempt to negotiate a price with their London rivals.

The 21-year-old is valued at around £50 million by West Ham, but Chelsea are hopeful they can knock that figure down. The Hammers have been hit hard by the financial impact of COVID-19 and there is a feeling they need to sell players.

Rice is not one they want to say goodbye to but these are testing times at the London Stadium, especially with unrest behind the scenes over the sale of Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion.

A strong offer might yet see this one come through for Chelsea. 


Long shot: Gareth Bale to Tottenham Hotspur

Real Madrid are desperate to get rid of Gareth Bale, but they are going to have to come to an agreement over paying off his lucrative contract in order for it to happen.

The 31-year-old is linked with a return to England pretty much every year, and Manchester United and Tottenham are touted regularly as destinations.

That's the case again this summer, and sources say Spurs genuinely would be interested if they can find a way to satisfy his financial demands. United are too focused on Jadon Sancho to consider it at this moment.

Daniel Levy has always been open to the idea of a Bale return, and sources say his name was even discussed when Jose Mourinho first took over at Tottenham.

For now, we have to assume the finances involved will prove beyond them—but if Bale accepts he really does need to get out of Madrid to actually play football, we should not totally rule out this move.


Not happening: Antoine Griezmann to Liverpool

Antoine Griezmann's £107 million move from Atletico Madrid last summer has not gone particularly well so far, and with Lionel Messi now staying in Barcelona, there is talk that the France international could land in England soon.

It's not likely at all right now, though.

We have seen how careful clubs are being about big fees (apart from Chelsea), and Liverpool—one of the teams regularly linked with the 29-year-old—simply don't have the available funds to push for such a deal at this time.

More than that, Griezmann seems determined to fight for his place at Barcelona anyway.