THE metric that determines which transfer stories get the full Hollywood treatment has yet to be properly formulated but it’s safe to say that players linked to Manchester United, and rumours involving England internationals, usually get top billing.

Beyond them, Liverpool and Arsenal transfer links reside in the second tier, which still amounts to a good deal of attention, the latter mainly because – and this is said with no judgement at all – Gooners have a voracious appetite for them, clicking through with reliable enthusiasm. Indeed, it’s been known from certain quarters of the media to switch Arsenal for whichever club is legitimately keen on a player purely to garner more clicks. Outside of the broadsheets this is common practice.

The reason this is highlighted is because presently there is an abundance of value in the transfer betting markets and so often this is explained by the lack of column inches accompanying the link. So often media attention is conflated with how sincere a club’s interest is in Player X and that is not always the case at all.

Take Maxwel Cornet to Everton. Type the player’s name and the Toffees into Google and exclusively what comes up are articles along the lines of ‘Three relegated players Lampard should be looking at this summer’. Exclusively too, these articles originate from local press, designed to appeal to the Toffees fan-base.


Yet we know that Everton contacted Burnley in late May, along with several other interested parties about the availability of a winger who enjoyed a sensational first season in English football, scoring nine top-flight goals into the bargain. We are almost certain too – to the point of it being factually stated elsewhere – that the 25-year-old has a £17.5m relegation clause, a fee that will be deemed affordable to the cash-strapped Blues.

Furthermore, we are aware that Richarlison will very likely leave Goodison during this window while Tottenham’s interest in Anthony Gordon is reportedly real. It is fair to surmise therefore that Everton will be in the market for precisely the kind of player Cornet is, at precisely his price-range. He has the qualities to excite and pacify the fans. He has the versatility to become a prized asset in an otherwise thin squad. And Frank Lampard will believe he can improve him still.

Just because there is so little noise around the prospect of Cornet heading to Merseyside don’t believe for a second that his odds aren’t tempting in the extreme.

The Clarets flyer is 5/1 to join Everton this summer.

Briefly staying with the Ivory Coast international, don’t discount either the possibility of Leicester re-entering the fray. The Foxes were one of the interested parties back in May who made enquiries but pulled out, believing a move elsewhere was imminent. The longer the player remains available, the more his 9/1 odds look like a decent shout because Cornet and Leicester are a neat fit in so many ways.

Tottenham’s interest in Gordon has emerged only in recent days, as too has Chelsea’s desire to make their swoop for Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling a double one, looking to bring Nathan Ake back to Stamford Bridge for good measure, and the latter link offers us a great chance to get ahead of the curve and draw our own conclusions, thus finding terrific value.

By all accounts, Chelsea are serious in their chase for Ake and City crucially, are willing to talk and should this unexpected transfer go through that leaves us with the fascinating proposition of the league champions needing a centre-back before 2022/23 begins, a narrative that has yet to be explored in print.

Put simply, City’s ongoing quest to bring Brighton’s Marc Cucurella to the Etihad will ultimately cover them at left-back but it is unimaginable they will go into a long and demanding campaign with only three centre-backs. Which has us guessing as to who they might target.

From the most prominent options, Juventus’ Matthijs De Ligt stands out, a defender Chelsea have apparently deemed too expensive after falling short with a £60m bid that included Timo Werner thrown in. Should they indeed come good for Ake – for a fee estimated to be north of £45m – then it’s worth noting that City are already in profit this summer after selling an array of their academy prospects. A colossal bid for De Ligt therefore is not out of the question.

More so, De Ligt leaked earlier this month that he had little intention of joining Manchester United – another club that has him firmly on their radar – with his preferred options being to remain in Turin or switch to PSG or City. Granted, we are in the realms of speculation here but regardless, the current odds on the 22-year-old joining Pep Guardiola’s reconfigured Blues is too good to pass up. At the very least, we can expect those odds to tumble soon time soon.

De Ligt is a generous 20/1 to join Manchester City in this window.

Staying with speculation – because why not? – leads us to the possibility of Newcastle meeting Real Sociedad’s estimation of Alexander Isak in the coming weeks.

The Magpies are now conclusively out of the running for Hugo Ekitike having been put off by his exorbitant wage demands but remain in the hunt for a new striker, the must-have for any ambitious club recently bolstered by enormous wealth. Does the young Swede fit the bill?

It seems so according to several reports, and additionally common-sense dictates this is a link well worth taking seriously, especially when their rivals for his signature can all-be-discounted.

Arsenal are presently shorter odds to secure the forward’s services, a forward who has scored 32 La Liga goals as his stock rises, but with Gabriel Jesus heading to North London will the Gunners blow anywhere in the region of £40m to £65m on another striker when their budget only stretches so far and other positions need strengthening? It feels unlikely.

The same reasoning meanwhile can be applied to Barcelona while for Real Madrid and Juventus – 11/1 and 14/1 punts respectively – Isak is frankly a level below their elite criteria at this moment in time, too prone to lapses in form.

Assessing the situation as a whole puts Newcastle much more in the frame than their current odds suggest though don’t rule out the prospect of the ever-improving talent staying in San Sebastian for another year.

Isak is 7/1 to join Newcastle before the window shuts.

Lastly, we come to James Rodriguez whose desire to leave Al-Rayyan in Qatar has received very little fanfare in the British press largely because his destination will not be the Premier League.

PSV Eindhoven appear to be firmly in the driving seat to sign the former Everton creative, having recently relinquished Mario Gotze, though the longer odds on him dazzling here and there in the MLS next term jump out as a great shout. The Colombian play-maker has recently made public his desire for a ‘new adventure’ and regularly holidays in America, with close friends residing there.

Inter Miami meanwhile are in search of glamour buys even if Rodriguez’s £6.5m a year salary could prove a hindrance.

Rodriguez to any MLS side is a worthwhile punt at 6/1.