Liverpool FC Transfer Talk: Zaniolo, Koulibaly, Traore

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With the exception of Belarus, South Korea and now, Germany, global football is currently suspended. The Premier League has been given the all clear by the government to restart in June, behind closed doors. Liverpool FC resumed training today, albeit in small groups only.

However, there are still plenty of question marks when it comes to Project Restart, and we’ll learn more as the days go by. Until football actually returns, we still have plenty of transfer news items to cover. So let’s take a spin through the Liverpool rumor mill in cyberspace.

For today’s Liverpool news and notes segment, go here.

Today, it’s all about United vs. Liverpool (with other teams involved too) in the transfer market, and we start with AS Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo, a 20-year-old midfielder. The northwest England giants will face competition from Tottenham Hotspur in the race to acquire his services.

His season ended early following an anterior cruciate ligament injury in January, and because of that (and Roma having concern about their finances) he could be available for a cut rate in price.

According to NBC, Roma “wanted over $85 million for Zaniolo, who has over four years left on his current contract, but it’s safe to say that like most deals for the foreseeable future, the transfer fee will be a lot lower than that.”

roma

The coronavirus pandemic has hit all of football hard, but for Roma, it’s been a double or triple whammy. They are well aware of how likely they are to lose out on Champions League revenue next season, and a big money change in ownership, via the Friedkin Group, is on pause due to the COVID-19 situation.

Another player wanted by both clubs, by Manchester City and Bayern Munich as well, is Wolverhampton Wanderers star Adama Traore.

That’s according to French outlet le10sport, who note that the 24-year-old winger/wing back still has three seasons left on his current deal. And finally, we go back to a familiar transfer rumor, Kalidou Koulibaly.

Reportedly, United and Liverpool are in the race to acquire the Napoli centre back. Both United and Liverpool already have a dominant, transfer fee record breaking central defender in Harry Maguire and Virgil van Dijk.

Now imagine how strong the spine of their back line would be if they had Koulibaly to pair with Maguire/VVD? Per Gazetta dello Sport, Man United are now ‘ready’ (whatever that means) to return with a bid much lower than the amount they had made previously (and seen rejected).

The 28-year-old could now be available for $75 million (70-80m Euro) rather than the previous figure of $109 million (about 100M euro). Why the drastic price cut?

Three reasons, first, see above about the pandemic hitting football hard and making for a weird transfer window. Secondly, like Roma, Napoli will likely miss out on UCL revenue next season.

And finally, at age 28, this is probably the peak valuation in terms of what Napoli reasonably expect to get for him.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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