The Early Sub: RumorMeter Featuring- Bale, Sanchez, and Perisic

Ligue 1 is underway is kickoff looms for each European league this month. The Premier League begins this upcoming weekend, with the Bundesliga, La Liga, and Serie A starting the week after that. Even with kickoffs being imminent all around Europe, it’s still August which means the transfer window is still open. And the usual suspects are still at work. Both Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are still looking to improve their sides before the window slams shut. United are looking to build on their disappointing 6th place finish last season, while also trying to build some depth for the upcoming Champions League Campaign. PSG shockingly, surrendered their Ligue 1 crown the previous season, but are a sure lock to regain it this season. Their main concern is with higher glories, and that’s the Champions League. Could Neymar not be enough for the French giants? Can United spend even more then they already have this window? This is The Early Sub RumorMeter.

Gareth Bale to Manchester United

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One of the two players in this article that have been recently linked with the Red Devils. Gareth Bale is one of the most recognizable names in the sport. Moving to Real Madrid in 2013 for a record breaking transfer fee of about 86 million Euros, he’s won 3 Champions Leagues, a La Liga and a Copa Del Rey during his tenure with Los Blancos. He found new ceilings under Zinedine Zidane where his form reached astronomical heights in 2015/2016. To the point where there were rumblings that Bale was superior to Ronaldo in the Madrid squad. His heroic performances for Wales in the EUROs, leading them to the Semifinals before falling to his teammate Ronaldo and Portugal. Bale is one of the top wingers on the planet, but his heavily injury plagued time in Madrid has begun to cost him. Isco has received a promotion to starting XI minutes and it’s repaid Zidane and Los Blancos with a La Liga and Champions League double. His wonderful dribbling ability and his eye to pick out a lethal, attacking pass makes him the more logical option in Zidane’s attack. He can play off of Modric and Kroos, while being the primary distributor in the attack. He tucks in from his right wing position, receiving the ball from Kroos or Modric and dribbles the ball up field. With the talent to allude multiple defenders, Bale just doesn’t quite fit into the scheme. Ronaldo and Benzema have become more of a strike partnership up field, playing off each other once Isco softens up the defense and finds them on a direct run to goal. Isco is what makes the offense run, and you can’t take out the face of your club, and primary goal scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo. Bale could play as a center forward, but Benzema is more suited for the role. The window is closing for the Welshman, he’s running out of slots to fit in Zidane’s visionary machine. His minutes are beginning to dwindle and it’s evident in the 13 minutes he played against Juventus in the Champions League Final. Manchester United have the wallet to pay his high demands, although he’d stagnate the development of Rashford and Lingard and would soak up Juan Mata’s and Henrik Mkhitaryan’s minutes. Jose Mourinho hasn’t been much to develop talent anyways and may prefer Bale in the end. Mourinho was caught saying “I can’t sign you if you don’t talk to me!” to the Welshman in the tunnel before their International Champions Cup match a few weeks ago. As much as this link drags on and on, it’ll very well happen in due time. As soon as January if Zidane sinks his minutes early on in the season. Zidane’s pretty good at rotating the lineup though, and Bale has the ability to play on either the left or the right as well as at center forward. He’ll receive some time and Zidane will perfectly keep everyone’s fitness. So I say he won’t leave until next summer. RumorMeter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Ivan Perisic to Manchester United

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This one has less of a chance of happening, and quite frankly, I think it would be a mistake for Manchester United to sign Perisic. Already not showing a desire to come to the Premier League, while also entering his age 29 season. Perisic wouldn’t thrive at United. Being under the scrutiny of Old Trafford due to his lack of goals, when 20 goals a season isn’t his game would drive him mad. With that being said, he would be a positive signing for United in other ways. I don’t believe he’s a Jose Mourinho type of player, but he has pace and skill and brings width to the attack. He enjoys to play off of his left back in order to find a way into the box for a cutting ball across the goalkeeper, or for a window to open for him to unleash a shot with his left foot. If entering the box isn’t an option for the Croatian, he’s been known to be a very decent crosser of the ball which could work well with Lukaku’s big frame. Perisic is a Croatian international and Inter’s 2nd best player with plenty to bring to the table. But at 29, I just don’t think he’d work well with Lukaku. The Belgian prefers to hold the ball up and play short passes to his support so he can find space to take the ball back and dribble, dictating the attack. He doesn’t want to sit in the box and chase down fly balls, he wants to drop deep and touch the ball, and dribble the ball. Perisic doesn’t play close enough to the center for him to be an effective attacking partner with Lukaku. That type of game seems more suited for an Anthony Martial to take place at Left Wing. He wants to dribble and play short passes more towards the middle like Lukaku, they’d sync well with an omnipresent Pogba always in support. Although Perisic is a more then capable player with a Bundesliga and 2 Pokals to his name, this whole move just doesn’t seem right. His unwillingness to leave a club that finished an abysmal 7th in Serie A, for a club that offers Champions League football is beyond me. United are one of the top 15 clubs in the world right now, while Inter aren’t even in the top 40 right now (Rankings based off I think Perisic is trying to tell everyone that he’s found his niche in Milan, and he’d rather not leave it. He’s close to his native Croatia and can play in a top league with a top club. Inter just makes sense for him and Manchester United just doesn’t, and that’s why I don’t think he’s going to leave. RumorMeter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Alexis Sanchez to PSG

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I mean, they scooped up Neymar, so I really don’t think that anyone is too out of reach for Paris. How they convinced, and dug up the money to get Neymar to leave Barcelona for France is beyond me. So why can’t they convince a world class attacker in his prime to leave Arsenal for France? I think they totally could, but they won’t. Why should they? They got Neymar. When it seemed like Paris was attempting to get both Neymar and Sanchez, I knew all along that they were really trying to nab Neymar and Sanchez was Plan B. But now that the Brazilian is in the Parisians’ hands, there’s no way the Chilean Sanchez would leave North London for Paris. Sure he could win the Champions League with Paris when he can’t do that at Arsenal, but he can’t win the Premier League with PSG. And even with Neymar on Paris’ squad, I have a hard time seeing them get past Real or Atletico Madrid, Bayern, Barcelona, Juventus or Chelsea for the Champions League. Hell I even think Tottenham is better then PSG right now (now only if they can find their form in Europe). I think Sanchez would rather use this season as an audition season for Bayern, or a La Liga side next season. I also think it’s an audition for Chelsea and Manchester City most of all because Alexis has already expressed his desire to stay in England. He leaves on a free in the summer and will have the freedom to choose from a host of suitors looking to receive the Chilean’s signature. PSG would be the wrong destination because Alexis wouldn’t even garner as many minutes as he would like while playing in an inferior league. Where would he play? Not Left Wing, PSG have a shiny new Brazilian for that position. Not striker, they have a 35 goal scorer in Cavani there. And not Right Wing, they a 55 million Pound Angel Di Maria there. His audition season can be his final go at winning the Premier League with Arsenal before the departing for greener pastures like a realistic Champions League winning team in England. No offense to Arsenal, but it’s been apparent that they don’t have loftier ambitions then just a Premier League title. And even at times, Arsenal don’t even seem dead set on a Premier League title. Ever since their move to the Emirates, Arsenal have failed to set a higher expectation then satisfaction. It’s no longer about being a force in Europe and competing for league titles. It’s about top 4, and an FA Cup or League Cup is acceptable. While teams like Tottenham and Liverpool that have the same financial back, if anything less financial backing then Arsenal, are realistically competing for the Premier League. And that’s what has donned on Alexis, and that’s why he’s dead set on leaving. But for Manchester City, not PSG. RumorMeter: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


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