The Bulls**t-O-Meter: Ranking How Ridiculous July’s Transfer Rumours Really Are

Jan Oblak
Jan Oblak has been linked with a unlikely move to the Premier League | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Domestic leagues around Europe are finally drawing to their conclusion after all the COVID furore, and although it will be a far shorter break than we’ve become accustomed to (thanks, Champions League), you can be sure it will be full to the brim with nonsensical transfer speculation.

But fear not, we’ve got you covered. The bulls**t-o-meter has been cleared as Coronavirus-secure, and is ready to run the rule over a selection of the best and worst rumours July 2020 has had to offer.

Strap in, because it’s a good one.

David AlabaDavid Alaba
Alaba is a Bundesliga champion again, but may well be on the move | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Linked Clubs: Inter, Manchester City

Things are a bit weird at Bayern at the moment. As much as things are going well on the pitch – like, really well – you get the impression they could be approaching the end of an era, with a few previously key players poised to leave.

Thiago Alcantara, at least, seems to be holding the club hostage for a new contract/move to Liverpool (delete as appropriate), while David Alaba – having just found a new home at the heart of defence – is also flirting with the exit door.

It’s feasible to imagine Manchester City moving in, given his previous with Pep Guardiola and their need for someone reliable in central defence. Inter, meanwhile, could sign anyone over the age of 28 at this stage, and it would not be a surprise.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Likely

Likelihood of Summer Move: Moderate

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 3/10

Luka JovicLuka Jovic
Jovic has struggled to break into the Real Madrid first team | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Linked Clubs: Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester, Milan, Tottenham

This season will be remembered at Real Madrid as the year Zinedine Zidane returned to end Barcelona’s domestic stranglehold, and the year Karim Benzema stepped up to the plate left behind by Cristiano Ronaldo.

It might be remembered as the year Gareth Bale took his shithousing of the Madrid press to a new level, or the year of Eden Hazard’s questionable debut season.

It won’t be remembered for anything to do with Luka Jovic, who has taken to life in Spain like an octopus to the Sahara.

A loan move to a Champions League contender is unlikely, and Chelsea even less so considering Timo Werner is in-bound. The rest of the clubs named here, you could almost see happening, in the right circumstances.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Highly Likely

Likelihood of Summer Move: Moderate

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 4/10

Matteo Guendouzi, Neal MaupayMatteo Guendouzi, Neal Maupay
Guendouzi saying something snide about Neal Maupay’s wages, probably | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Linked Clubs: Barcelona, Lyon

It’s not exactly a well-kept secret that Mikel Arteta isn’t Matteo Guendouzi’s biggest fan. Arteta’s ideal player is a model professional, someone whose ability and industry on the pitch is matched only by their humility; generally not the kind of guy who struts about the pitch flaunting his wages to Brighton players.

The fact he hasn’t played a minute since defeat on the south coast does suggest he could leave to raise a few quid this summer, but it’s unclear where he might realistically go.

Loan Lyon with an option to buy? Sure. Complex swap deal with Barcelona involving Philippe Coutinho? Yeah, no.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Likely

Likelihood of Summer Move: Moderate

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 5/10

Wilfried ZahaWilfried Zaha
Zaha finds himself in the same situation every single summer – and the odd January | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Linked Clubs: Everton, Newcastle, Paris Saint-Germain

It’s the same thing every summer with Zaha, isn’t it? Club wants player, player wants move, club demand stupendous price that far exceeds his actual value, move implodes. Player and current club fall out, then kiss and make up after the window closes. Repeat x1000.

Making a move even less likely than normal this time around is the fact he’s had a pretty average season. Four goals and five assists, despite playing virtually every minute of the league season, doesn’t exactly justify the £75m Palace will inevitably demand.

PSG might stand a chance if they’re feeling characteristically reckless, but it’s hard to see Everton or Newcastle holding any lasting interest.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Will Still Have a £75m Price Tag on His Head at 35

Likelihood of Summer Move: Low

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 7/10

Ismaila Sarr, Ben ChilwellIsmaila Sarr, Ben Chilwell
Sarr has made an impression in his Premier League debut | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Linked Clubs: Liverpool, Manchester United

In theory, yeah, why not? Liverpool do need wide reinforcements, and should a move for Jadon Sancho go up in smoke, United will be actively on the lookout for a right-winger of this profile. Add two and two together, you usually get four, right?

Oh wait, Liverpool really, really aren’t looking to spend any money, and no-one, even the widely cited Liverpool.com, is willing to take responsibility as the source of this rumour.

Oh wait, the only person who has ‘recommended’ Sarr to United is Gary Neville, who randomly arrived at the idea off-the-cuff on Sky Sports.

Oh well.

Possibility of Future Transfer: Highly Likely

Likelihood of Summer Move: Low to Moderate

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 8/10

James MilnerJames Milner
Milner is a newly-crowned Premier League champion – sorry, Leeds | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Linked Clubs: Leeds

Leeds fans living in dreamland: let it go, guys. You’ll only hurt your feelings.

Liverpool fans who want him gone: what’s actually wrong? No, really, what sort of horrendous intelligence deficiency possesses someone to hold such a terrible opinion?

Milner is one of the leaders in the Liverpool dressing room, and Jurgen Klopp has said in the past that he ‘can’t imagine’ what it would be like without him. He’s also 34, content with his role in the squad, and literally just extended his contract. What set of real-life, non-FIFA-career-mode circumstances could possibly allow this to happen?

Possibility of Future Transfer: Maybe When He’s 45

Likelihood of Summer Move: No

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 9/10

Jan OblakJan Oblak
Oblak kicking those Chelsea rumours into touch | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Linked Clubs: Chelsea

Swap deal involving Kepa is the rumour here.

It really is difficult to express in words just how much this is not going to happen, so we’ll settle for simply ‘this is not going to happen.’

Possibility of Future Transfer: Not to Chelsea Anyway

Likelihood of Summer Move: Minuscule

BULLS**T-O-METER RATING: 10/10

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