Transfer Rumour Round-Up: Summer 2020 – Part 4

Cameron Ramsey 2nd September 2020

It’s been a little while since we delved into the media’s recent clippings and within that period Mario Lemina and Harrison Reed joined Antonee Robinson as new additions to Scott Parker’s camp. Well, Reed’s always been at home, but three official summer signings is what we have to date.

The links are starting to thin somewhat, although there’s certainly plenty of business to be done before we can deem our squad worthy or top-flight football, so let’s cast aspersions and wax lyrical about the figures we have within this, our fourth transfer rumour edition, yes?

Bertrand Traore – Olympique Lyonnais

Once of the lodgers up the road, Olympique Lyonnais winger Bertrand Traore is allegedly being monitored by Fulham, according to Sky Sports, although the Whites will seemingly be joined by fellow top-flight inhabitants Newcastle United, Leicester City, Everton and Crystal Palace.

The French 2019-20 Champions League finalists paid Chelsea £9m for the 24-year-old winger following impressive loan spells at Ajax and Vitesse Arnhem and though he’s enormously one-footed, he’s an enthusiastic weapon on the break with pace in abundance. Oh yes, I like this one a lot.

Mattia Perin – Juventus

Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport claim that Juventus are wanting to relieve themselves of goalkeeper Mattia Perin’s surplus services and Fulham appear to be the front runners for his signature, which will be available for a supposed £10m price-tag.

The Italian stopper, who has earned two caps for Gli Azzuri, is Juve’s third-choice ‘keeper and, at the age of 27, he definitely has a lot more to give yet. The Whites, though, have Marek Rodak and Marcus Bettinelli on their books and whilst Perin may be a great option, I don’t see him pipping Rodak to a starting place, simply because it would be a damning injustice to our Slovakian representative after last season’s heroics.

Ollie Watkins – Brentford

Subject to a report fed to the masses by The Sun, Aston Villa are poised to beat Fulham and Sheffield United in the quest for Brentford’s £22m-rated makeshift striker Ollie Watkins, who finished second to Aleksandar Mitrovic in the Championship goal scoring charts last term with 26 under his belt.

Watkins is versatile and his transition from winger to main goal threat at the Bees has been seamless and now bigger and better challenges lay before him. It’s said that Villa are primed to offer the 24-year-old a hefty £70k-a-week contract and as he’d effectively play second fiddle to Mitro’, that kind of wage packet wouldn’t be justifiable for the Whites.

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Paulo Gazzaniga – Tottenham Hotspur

We don’t really need another ‘keeper, we’ve already distinguished that, but a piece circulated by The Telegraph indicates that Fulham are also tracking Tottenham Hotspur’s Paulo Gazzaniga.

Since joining Spurs from Southampton in 2017, Gazzaniga has played his fair share of games for the north-Londoners but he isn’t a mainstay, not with Hugo Lloris bearing the No.1 jersey. Now Joe Hart’s effectively Jose Mourinho’s back-up stopper, the Argentine looks set for the exit door and if I were to choose between 28-year-old and Perin, I’d actually choose the former. Still, we don’t need him, so good luck, wherever he ends up.

Emile Smith Rowe – Arsenal

He scored against us at home for Huddersfield Town and now, subject to a report issued by The Mirror, Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe appears to be a Fulham transfer target, as well as Leeds United’s and Crystal Palace’s.

Smith Rowe spent the 2019-10 season on loan at the Terriers and it’s said that the Whites are keen to acquire the 20-year-old playmaker on another season-long loan deal and I, if we didn’t already have a mildly congested midfield department, would be all for it. He’s an England U17 World Cup winner that’s held in high esteem at London Colney and he’s raring for a regular taste of Premier League football. Ho-hum, I guess.

Hubert Mbuyi-Muamba – Paris Saint-Germain

I’ve never heard of the source before, but a piece released by Archyde suggests that Fulham, Stade de Reims, FC Porto, Borussia Monchengladbach and Manchester City are tailing Paris Saint-Germain’s aspiring centre-half Hubert Mbuyi-Muamba.

At 17-years-old, Mbuyi-Muamba – a France U19 international – seemingly has a fair way to go before he breaks into PSG’s first-team, although the serial Ligue 1 champions are reputedly eager to button down the teenager’s future at the Parc des Princes, in order to fend off sniffing suitors.

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Gonzalo Higuain – Juventus

Another rumour scooped straight from pure fiction, our Italian friends at Correire dello Sport, again, have matched us up with a proposed swoop for Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, and Newcastle United are also thought to be after the 32-year-old.

The projected figure for Higuain is unknown, although new Juve boss Andrea Pirlo announced that the former Real Madrid hitman will not be a part of his plans next term. The Argentina international netted 66 goals in 148 appearances for the Turin-based giants and we all know what he’s capable of on English soil, as he plied his trade for Chelsea on a temporary basis during the 2018-19 campaign. Do I see this happening? Not on your Nelly, son.

Martin Erlic – Spezia Calcio

Voiced by the Sunday Express’s transfer supplement, Fulham, closely followed by Palace and Southampton, are tailing Spezia Calcio centre-half Martin Erlic, a former Croatia U19 international that came to prominence at Dinamo Zagreb.

The 22-year-old defender joined Spezia from Sassuolo and his hardened exploits helped the Little Eagles gain promotion from Serie B to Serie A via the Play-Offs, just like us, eh? He’s toiled through injury stricken spells but he is, by all accounts, a very dependable performer but as our rearguard’s lacking real Premier League experience, which hasn’t been tainted by relegation, I’d pass this link by without a second glance, really.