Brentford

Transfer rumours: Bailly to Fulham, Dybala to Napoli, Hickey


© Reuters

Sports Mole rounds up the latest transfer rumours, as Napoli join the race for Paulo Dybala and Brentford close in on the signing of Aaron Hickey.

Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly reportedly has no interest in swapping Old Trafford for Fulham during the current transfer window.

The 28-year-old will likely be allowed to depart the 20-time English champions this summer after making just seven appearances in all competitions during the 2021-22 season.

A move to Craven Cottage has been mooted for the former Villarreal man, who only has two years left to run on his contract with the Red Devils.

However, The Mirror claims that Bailly is not considering a transfer to the newly-promoted side this summer as he wants to prove himself to Erik ten Hag in pre-season.

Bailly already finds himself behind Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in the pecking order and could be pushed further down if Lisandro Martinez makes the switch from Ajax.

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Meanwhile, Napoli are now thought to be the latest club to join the race for Paulo Dybala, who is officially a free agent after running down the final few months of his Juventus contract.

The 28-year-old has struggled with injuries over the past couple of years but is one of the most in-demand free agents on the market after racking up 115 goals in 293 games for the Old Lady.

Inter Milan and Man United have both been linked with moves for Dybala, but according to AS, Napoli have now made contact over a potential move for the Argentina international.

Luciano Spalletti is set to be working without Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne for the 2022-23 season, while Victor Osimhen has been attracting glances from several clubs across Europe.

Inter are still said to be the favourites to sign Dybala, although the Nerazzurri have already bolstered their attack by welcoming Romelu Lukaku back to the club on loan from Chelsea.

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Another player who could be set to depart a Serie A club is Bologna's Aaron Hickey, who was originally thought to be on the way to Arsenal and link up with fellow Scot Kieran Tierney.

However, the Gunners have now switched their focus to Ajax's Lisandro Martinez and are said to have identified Benfica's Alex Grimaldo as their top alternative to the Argentine.

As a result, Sky Sports News reports that Brentford are now leading the race to sign Hickey and have agreed a deal worth £14m plus add-ons with Bologna.

The 20-year-old is now poised to travel to England next week and complete his medical, and Thomas Frank's side will sign the left-back after trying and failing to strike a deal in January.

Hickey was on the books at Celtic and Hearts before signing for Bologna, where he registered five goals and an assist from 36 Serie A appearances last term.

© Reuters

Over in the West Midlands, Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz reportedly believes that his time at the club has come to an end after a productive three-year spell.

The 24-year-old was a regular fixture of Steven Gerrard's midfield last term and has garnered interest from other clubs after registering two goals and three assists in 34 Premier League outings last season.

Luiz's contract at Villa Park will expire at the end of next season, and according to Corriere dello Sport, the Olympic gold medallist is ready to force an exit from the Premier League club.

AC Milan are thought to be leading the race to sign Luiz - valued at £21.5m by Villa - as a replacement for Franck Kessie, who is set to join Barcelona as a free agent.

Milan's top target Renato Sanches is expected to sign for Paris Saint-Germain, leading Stefano Pioli to consider a move for Luiz, who has five goals and eight assists to boast from 111 games in a Villa shirt.

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