?We’re a long way from normality, football or otherwise. I got so bored last week that I took my PlayStation and TV onto the roof at sunset like I was living in some American high school film just to feel something. The feeling turned out to be confusion.
What happens to the football season is anyone’s guess at this stage, and clubs are already starting to feel the pressure in wake of the product they make money off not being available.
Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici told Tuttosport (via ?Marca) last month that it’s likely that the next transfer window will feature more trade deals than transfers because of the financial climate football’s now in, throwing in a comparison with NBA trades.
So that got us thinking – who can the big dogs trade for this summer? What assets can they flip? What could teams use as makeweights in the absence of draft picks? Are we going to try and match salaries like NBA teams have to? (No)
Here are 90min‘s top picks for deals that could happen.
Timo Werner to Liverpool; Naby Keita, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi to RB Leipzig
I weighed up throwing ?Dejan Lovren into this package, but after some consideration, that weakens the deal.
Are ?Liverpool giving up too much in order to get their man? Probably, but they aren’t alone in the race for Timo Werner, so they would probably have to go a bit overboard to land him.
It’d be slightly annoying for them considering all three players are useful, but would they rather have another 20 goal a season striker or three bench players?
The Red Bull network get to welcome back two of their former players who still have everything to give, with ?Keita in particular more likely to thrive back in ?Bundesliga surroundings, while they also get a versatile forward with experience of playing in Germany. A package to suit all needs.
Neymar to Barcelona; Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Arturo Vidal to PSG
The idea that ?Barça could flip Antoine Griezmann and ?Ousmane Dembele in order to finance a return for Neymar has been rumoured ever since the former first arrived at Camp Nou last summer.
Perhaps now more than ever, this may be the avenue the Catalans walk down in order to bring the Brazilian back. But PSG have always stood firm on their valuation of ?Neymar, and it would take a lot more to pry him away.
How about another French left-footed centre-back and an experienced midfielder?
‘Oh, go on then.’
Four players out, one in. Never said that Barcelona were any good at squad planning.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona; Philippe Coutinho to Arsenal
After a few years away, it seems pretty certain that Philippe Coutinho belongs in the Premier League. Largely because he’s failed everywhere else.
He’s been ?recently linked with a move to ?Chelsea, but the Blues are reluctant to meet Barça’s demands, and they don’t have many players they’d give up just to get Coutinho in.
?Arsenal, on the other hand, have a world class striker with a year left on his current contract, and Barcelona are in need of another potent forward.
Alternatively, he could be used as another piece in a deal for Neymar. Whatever floats your Bartomeu.
N’Golo Kante to Real Madrid; Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Sergio Reguilon to Chelsea
?A source has told 90min that Chelsea could part ways with loveable Mini Cooper enthusiast ?N’Golo Kante if they receive the right offer, so it’s time for ?Real Madrid to hand over some of their bench fodder.
Chelsea receive another superstar in ?Gareth Bale (after Madrid agree to pay some of his wages just to get him out of there), a young left-back that they so desperately need in Sergio Reguilon, and either a good attacking midfielder in ?James Rodriguez or a good asset that can be offloaded…again in James Rodriguez.
Thomas Meunier to Tottenham; Serge Aurier to PSG
?Serge Aurier has admitted that he’d like to return to PSG one day. ?A source told 90min that ?Spurs want Thomas Meunier. An old fashioned NBA sign-and-trade in which the Belgian signs his new deal with his current club before immediately being swapped.
I now pronounce you average right-back and average right-back. You may now exchange teams.
Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich; Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez and Corentin Tolisso to Manchester City
Listen here, ?Man City. Leroy Sane has one year left on his contract and it doesn’t look like he’s going to sign another. You’re not going to get many good offers, particularly since his heart looks set on a move to Bayern Munich. UEFA are already breathing down your neck over Financial Fair Play, it won’t be easy to just bring in players willy nilly. You have three top options in wide areas currently, anyway.
Do you want this random assortment of players who might or might not be useful in return for him or do you want to lose Sane for free next summer?
For more from ?Sean Walsh, follow him on ?Twitter!