Serie A transfer targets: Lautaro, Milinkovic-Savic & the top 20 stars to watch as Italian football restarts

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Kalidou Koulibaly Sergej Milinkovic-Savic Lautaro Martinez Napoli Lazio Inter GFX
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With the Coppa Italia returning on Friday, and Serie A resuming the following weekend, Goal goes through the most in-demand players in Italy

  1. Mario Balotelli
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    Mario Balotelli

    Where next for Mario Balotelli?

    Hopes were high that last summer's transfer to Brescia would represent a happy homecoming for the enigmatic forward. Unfortunately, Balotelli's dream return to the city in which he was raised from the age of two has turned into a nightmare.

    At the time of writing, his contract has not yet been terminated but even with Serie A set to resume next week and Brescia battling relegation, it now seems certain that Balotelli has already played his last game for the club.

    Galatasaray has been mentioned as a possible destination but it's unlikely that many top clubs will be interested in a player who will turn 30 in August and appears sadly unlikely to ever realise his full potential.

  2. Andrea Belotti
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    Andrea Belotti

    Three years after becoming one of the most coveted forwards in Europe with 26 goals in Serie A for Torino, Andrea Belotti is a wanted man once again.

    The Italy international has had some fitness problems in recent years but he was looking like his old dynamic and prolific self before the current campaign was halted.

    Torino president Urbano Cairo used to claim that he would never let Belotti leaving for anything less than €100m (£89m/$113m) but times have changed and the 26-year-old could now be available for just over half that figure.

    As such, Everton have edged ahead of Napoli, Fiorentina, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid in the race for the striker's signature.

  3. Ismael Bennacer
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    Ismael Bennacer

    Ralf Rangnick is set to take charge of AC Milan this summer and it is believed that the German wants to build his team around midfielder Ismael Bennacer.

    That's hardly surprising, of course, given the Algerian has been a revelation since arriving at San Siro last summer for just €16m (£14m/$18m).

    However, the likes of Manchester City and PSG are lining up to test the Rossoneri's resolve to hold on to the 22-year-old, who was on Arsenal's books between 2015 and 2017 but never made a senior appearance for the Londoners.

    Bennacer is precisely the kind of talent that Milan need to help push them back towards the summit of Serie A but, given their long-standing financial issues, they may find a massive offer too good to refuse.

  4. Federico Bernardeschi
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    Federico Bernardeschi

    Last month, Federico Bernardeschi signed with Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports agency.

    Whether that was with a view to securing a move away from Juventus is not yet known but there is no doubt that the 26-year-old finds himself at a crossroads in his career.

    Bernardeschi has to decide whether to stay at Juventus, where he has never been anything more than a utility player since arriving from Fiorentina in 2017, or seek regular football elsewhere.

    The versatile attacker's agent has previously held provisional talks with Barcelona over a move to Camp Nou, which only serves to highlight the Italy international's talent, and it would not be a surprise to see Bernardeschi joining a top club this summer on the back of a strong finish to the season.

  5. Jeremie Boga
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    Jeremie Boga

    One of the breakout stars of the 2019-20 Serie A season, Jeremie Boga is now one of the most coveted players in Serie A.

    The 23-year-old joined Sassuolo from Chelsea in 2018 for a knockdown price of £4m because the Blues insisted upon inserting a buy-back clause in the winger's contract.

    However, as revealed by Goal, the Londoners are now willing to give up their right to re-sign Boga for £13.5m (€15m/$17m) in exchange for a one-off payment from the Italian side.

    Sassuolo could, of course, decide to keep the Ivory Coast international for another season but it seems more likely that they will cash in on Boga, who is being openly courted by Napoli and also being linked with Inter, Juventus, Roma, Lazio and Milan.

  6. Gaetano Castrovilli
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    Gaetano Castrovilli

    It's been quite the season for Gaetano Castrovilli.

    Since returning to Fiorentina after a two-year loan at Cremonese, the midfielder has become a Serie A regular, with his dynamic displays earning him a new contract in October and then, just a month later, a first cap for Italy.

    Castrovilli has also attracted the attention of clubs around Europe, with both Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham said to have tried to sign the 23-year-old before the coronavirus outbreak.

    He is reportedly keen to remain in his homeland, though, and it only remains to be seen whether Fiorentina can hold on to arguably the breakout star of 2019-20.

  7. Federico Chiesa
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    Federico Chiesa

    No Italian transfer window would be complete without speculation surrounding the future of Federico Chiesa.

    The versatile Fiorentina winger has been linked with a move to one of Europe's elite clubs for the past three years but now, it seems, the Tuscans are willing to sell.

    However, Viola president Rocco Commisso is reportedly refusing to lower his €70m (£62m/$80m) asking price, which could prove prohibitive in the current market.

    Juventus have a long-held interest in Chiesa, who is the son of former Italy forward Enrico, but speculation is mounting that Inter might be willing to stump up the cash required to sign the 22-year-old, given they may soon be looking for a replacement for Lautaro Martinez.

  8. Douglas Costa
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    Douglas Costa

    Douglas Costa has admitted that he got so down during his constant injury issues that he even considered retirement.

    Happily, the Brazilian winger is fit and firing ahead of the Serie A restart, with Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri set to deploy the 29-year-old in an attacking triumvirate alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala.

    If Costa finishes the season with a flourish, it could well persuade the Bianconeri to retain the services of a player who has missed a plethora of games over the past three years.

    However, it may also tempt them to cash in on the Selecao star, who has been previously courted by both Manchester clubs, or use him as part of a direct swap deal for Chelsea's Jorginho.

  9. Theo Hernandez
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    Theo Hernandez

    In a season of uncertainty at San Siro, Theo Hernandez's fine form has arguably been the one thing AC Milan fans could rely upon to lift their spirits.

    Of course, the problem with any player that excels in a struggling team is that he is bound to be the subject of transfer talk, and the Frenchman is no different.

    The 22-year-old only joined Milan from Real Madrid last summer but his agent has already revealed that "several clubs" are keen on signing his client this summer.

    Juventus and PSG are reportedly among the interested parties but the Rossoneri will demand at least €50m (£45m/$57m) for one of the best full-backs in Serie A.

  10. Kalidou Koulibaly
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    Kalidou Koulibaly

    Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis seems finally ready to cash in on Kalidou Koulibaly.

    The outspoken film producer has previously claimed to have turned down a bid of €120m (£107m/$136m) for arguably the best centre-half in Serie A but is now reportedly willing to let the Senegalese go for 'just' €100m (£89m/$113m).

    Whether any club will meet such a lofty asking price in the current economic climate remains to be seen but Koulibaly has plenty of admirers, including Manchester United, Liverpool and PSG.

  11. Marash Kumbulla
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    Marash Kumbulla

    Opinion may be divided over which club Marash Kumbulla will join this summer but there is no question mark over the 20-year-old's potential.

    The Italy-born Albania international has been a revelation this season for Verona, who are eighth in the table, perfectly poised to make a surprise push for European football.

    Kumbulla has been key to their sensational season, with his dominant displays at the heart of the defence.

    As a result, Serie A's finest are now lining up to sign the centre-back, who, despite intense interest from Juventus, as well as Tottenham, Everton, Lyon, PSG, Lazio and Fiorentina, is now expected to join Inter.

  12. Lautaro Martinez

    Lautaro Martinez

    Barcelona's interest in Inter ace Lautaro Martinez is no secret.

    However, Nerazzurri sporting director Piero Ausilio is adamant that there is no way the Argentine attacker will leave San Siro this summer unless the Blaugrana meet the 23-year-old's €111m (£99m/$125m) buy-out clause, which expires on July 15.

    As it stands, the Catalans are unlikely to be in a position to make that happen given their financial problems, which is why they are desperately trying to make some unwanted members of Quique Setien's squad part of the deal in order to reduce their cash outlay.

    So, expect the biggest transfer saga of the summer so far to run right until the buy-out clause deadline.

  13. Arkadiusz Milik
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    Arkadiusz Milik

    Napoli have been very open about Arkadiusz Milik's situation at the San Paolo: if the striker does not extend his contract beyond 2021, he will be sold at the end of the season.

    The Partenopei would obviously like the Poland international to commit his future to the club, given he has netted nine times in just 16 Serie A appearances this term.

    However, a cash offer would be very difficult to turn down given Milik has entered the final 12 months of his current deal and it is expected that Juve will make a move for a new No.9 if Gonzalo Higuain decides to return to Argentina this summer.

  14. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

    Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

    We don't yet know how Lazio's surprise Scudetto challenge is going to pan out but it now appears inevitable that influential midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will leave the Stadio Olimpico at the end of the season.

    Indeed, sporting director Igli Tare has already admitted that he has a replacement in mind for the Serbia international, who was back at his brilliant best before the suspension of Serie A.

    Where Milinkovic-Savic will end up is not yet clear but long-time admirers Paris Saint-Germain are now leading the race to sign the 25-year-old.

    The Qatari-funded French champions have emerged relatively unscathed from the financial crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and are, thus, one of the few clubs in the world who could still afford to sign a player Lazio president Claudio Lotito once valued at €100m (£89m/$113m). 

    That price is now set to drop slightly and, with Paul Pogba expected to stay at Manchester United, the way appears clear for Leonardo to land Milinkovic-Savic, whom the PSG sporting director has been pursuing for some time.

  15. Lucas Paqueta
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    Lucas Paqueta

    Lucas Paqueta will be one of the most intriguing players to watch in the coming weeks.

    When the Brazilian attacking midfielder arrived at Milan 18 months ago, he was, inevitably, likened to compatriot Kaka and those comparisons only increased after a bright start to this San Siro career.

    However, Paqueta then suffered a dramatic dip in form, which took a heavy toll on him from a mental perspective, culminating in a reported panic attack before a game against Udinese in January.

    Before the break in play, speculation was rife that the 22-year-old would be sold this summer. Those rumours haven't gone away but Paqueta has returned to Milan in a better frame of mind and excellent physical shape.

    It will now be fascinating to see whether he can convince the Rossoneri to hold on to him amid ongoing talk of a transfer to Fiorentina.

  16. Miralem Pjanic
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    Miralem Pjanic

    Barcelona's attempts to sign Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic as part of an elaborate swap deal may have failed because of Arthur's refusal to move in the opposition direction but there's no guarantee that the Bosnian will still be in Turin next season.

    Much could depend upon how Pjanic finishes the 2019-20 campaign but the feeling is that Bianconeri boss Maurizio Sarri has decided that the 30-year-old is not the type of player he can construct a midfield around, as underlined by Juve's interest in the likes of Sandro Tonali and Jorginho.

    Don't be surprised, then, if Pjanic belatedly moves to Barcelona, given he had already agreed personal terms with the Catalans, who are still trying to persuade Arthur to leave.

  17. Adrien Rabiot
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    Adrien Rabiot

    It's easy to understand why Juventus are open to offers for Adrien Rabiot.

    Firstly, he arrived in Turin last summer on a free transfer, meaning the Bianconeri can make a tidy profit on the French midfielder.

    Secondly, he's performed terribly, failing to register a single assist or goal in 17 appearances for Maurizio Sarri's side.

    His form and attitude have been the source of much frustration at Juventus, particularly as it's clear that there is a talented footballer in there somewhere, which is why so many English clubs are considering making a move for the former PSG star.

    Rabiot has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United in the past but Carlo Ancelotti is said to be particularly keen to offer the 25-year-old the chance to kick-start his career at Everton.

  18. Sandro Tonali
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    Sandro Tonali

    Brescia are unlikely to be in Serie A next season but Sandro Tonali almost certainly will be.

    Despite interest from some of Europe's elite clubs, including Manchester United and Barcelona, the 'new Andrea Pirlo' is expected to sign for either Inter or Juventus this summer for a fee in the region of €30m (£27m/$34m).

    The Bianconeri arguably have the greater need of a player with Tonali's vision, wide range of passing and ability to dictate the tempo of a game.

    However, it is believed that the 20-year-old playmaker favours a move to San Siro, where he would form an exciting all-Italian midfield with Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella under the tutelage of former national team boss Antonio Conte.

  19. Cengiz Under
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    Cengiz Under

    Roma regularly have to sell players to balance the books and Cengiz Under looks set to be the latest talent to leave the Stadio Olimpico because of the capital club's need to adhere to UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

    After exploding onto the Serie A scene in 2017-18, the Turkey international endured a difficult second season.

    However, Cengiz has re-established himself as one of the top prospects in Italy over the past year and is now being linked with Everton, Juventus and RB Leipzig.

    Roma fans will be desperately hoping that their club hangs on to the 22-year-old winger but the financial crisis caused by coronavirus, coupled with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Dan Friedkin's proposed takeover, could force the Giallorossi into selling one of their most valuable assets.

  20. Nicolo Zaniolo

    Nicolo Zaniolo

    It says much about Nicolo Zaniolo's talent that he's at the centre of transfer speculation in spite of the fact that he hasn't played a minute of competitive football since January.

    However, the reports coming out of Roma are that the attacking midfielder has made a full recovery from the ACL injury he suffered in a Serie A loss to Juve that would have ended his season had it not been for the coronavirus-enforced suspension of player in March.

    As a result, interest in Zaniolo has been reignited.

    Juve were heavily linked with a move for the 20-year-old last summer and are now reportedly willing to offer Federico Bernardeschi and Daniele Rugani in exchange for Zaniolo.

    However, Inter are said to be considering an audacious swap deal of their own involving Radja Nainggolan, whom the Nerazzurri signed as part of the original transfer that saw Zaniolo move to the Stadio Olimpico in 2018.