Eight stars *definitely* in Romano’s contact book include Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd targets

Lewis Oldham
Romano transfer
Fabrizio Romano could help Martin Zubimendi and Ronald Araujo join the Premier League.

With summer signing silly upon us, we reckon these eight stars have *definitely* asked Fabrizio Romano to spread their transfer wishes so they get a move…


He’s no David Ornstein, but Romano is still a major transfer nerd and he’s done an immense job at building up his profile (and overused catchphrase) to ensure he is one of the go-to reporters during deal season.

Romano is not everyone’s cup of tea; his seemingly endless stream of non-updates (‘it’s too early to say’, ‘nothing is happening’… you know the schtick) and insistence on claiming some credit for stories after piggybacking on other journalists’ exclusives have rightly led to criticism.

But whatever you think of him, his work ethic cannot be denied. I mean, does he ever sleep? I don’t think so.

He’s about to get even busier as clubs/players ramp up their summer transfer plans and his ever-growing contact book (which is presumably littered with wantaway footballers from around the globe) will only become more jam-packed in the coming weeks as players attempt to make use of his following to spread the word to club representatives that they are looking for a move.

The summer window is yet to get into full swing, but it’s already become apparent which players (and their agents, more specifically) are in his DMs from the frequency with which Romano has been talking up their prospects of sealing a summer transfer.

A version of this article produced last summer included Sofyan Amrabat among a sextet of players *definitely* among Romano’s ‘sources’. Here are eight more stars – including Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool targets – who we reckon have the transfer expert on speed dial…


Here. We… GO!

Ronald Araujo (Barcelona)
Barcelona selling players continues to be a hot topic in the footballing world (especially on Romano’s social media feed) as they continue to struggle financially. Uruguay international Araujo is a pricey asset who is most likely to leave and he seems to be searching for an escape route.

Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich are perhaps his most feasible next destination, but he has got Man Utd salivating at the prospect of him easing their injury-inflicted woes in defence. Sir Jim Ratcliffe could have to make him the world’s most expensive defender in a record deal to make it happen, though.

Araujo will surely want Romano to keep him away from that sh*tshow.


Casemiro (Manchester United)
Speaking of players searching for an escape route, Casemiro is seemingly desperate for a way out of Old Trafford after missing the FA Cup final despite – according to one of his teammates – “not being injured”. 

The declining Brazil international appears in pursuit of an obscene Saudi payday, with a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo on the cards at Al Nassr.

Romano has continuously reiterated that the midfielder-cum-(sh*t) defender is “expected” to depart Man Utd this summer and those charitable folks over at PIF seem set to green light a large outlay to land him, thus undeservedly reducing the damage caused by the foolish decision made by United’s previous regime to sign him for £70m.


Paulo Dybala (AS Roma)
Because of Romano’s spouting, every man and his dog will be aware that Dybala has a €12m release clause (to save you doing the maths, that’s just over £10m) in his Roma contract, which allows him to join a non-Italian club for a fee much below his actual valuation.

He has emerged as one of Jose Mourinho’s first three targets as Fenerbahce boss and this one could easily happen. Much like Wesley Sneijder, Dybala looks primed to be a player who is linked with Premier League clubs every year but does not ever sign for a team on English shores. He has a €12m release clause, in case you didn’t know.

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Viktor Gyokeres (Sporting Lisbon)
After an excruciatingly tedious January window, this summer’s transfer window is shaping up to (touch wood) be a classic. Now the attention is finally off headline-hogger Kylian Mbappe, it should turn to the striker market with several elite European clubs on the lookout for a new forward.

Ex-Coventry City star Gyokeres has become the flavour of the month during his 43-goal debut campaign for Sporting Lisbon (he’s the leading scorer of 2024 in the big leagues) and his agent seems keen to strike while the iron is hot this summer.

His £86m release clause feels a bit steep after just a single season in a top European league (sorry, we’re not counting the Championship). Surely no one will be daft enough to pay…hold on. There’s Chelsea and this transfer feels like a banker after they inevitably miss out on Victor Osimhen to PSG.


Goncalo Inacio (Sporting Lisbon)
We suspected Ruben Amorim’s proposed move to Liverpool would lead to an exodus from Sporting Lisbon so jumped the gun and reassigned their best players to Premier League clubs. 

But alas, Amorim messed up this opportunity of a lifetime by meeting with *checks notes* West Ham United. What was he thinking? And with the top jobs (barring Man Utd shortly) occupied, the head coach is likely stuck with Sporting for another season at least.

In another blow, he could still lose one or two of his best players, with Gyokeres and Inacio likely departees. The latter has a more reasonable £51m release clause and Romano has been keen to insist that Man Utd and Liverpool are interested.


Xavi Simons (PSG)
Despite only being 21, Simons has already had a puzzling career as he seems destined to never quite make it at PSG.

The Ligue Un giants made the no-brainer decision to activate Simon’s buy-back clause worth just over £5m to re-sign him from PSV Eindhoven last summer but he spent this season on loan at RB Leipzig.

This proved to be another fruitful spell away from Paris and some anticipated that Mbappe’s move to Real Madrid would allow him to emerge as a regular for PSG. Yet if Simon’s mate Romano is to be believed, he’s one on the market and is set to go out on loan again next season.


Joshua Zirkzee (Bologna)
Anyone already bored of hearing about reported Arsenal and Man Utd target Zirkzee better strap themselves in for a fun-filled summer as the saga revolving around the 23-year-old seems far from over.

For all the talk of a move to the Premier League, AC Milan actually appear to be Zirkzee’s most likely destination this summer, with Romano always sure to mention him among the big-name strikers potentially on the move in the coming months.


Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad)
As per Romano, Zubimendi would be the “perfect” midfielder for Arsenal and they should target him over Aston Villa’s Douglas Luis and Everton’s Amadou Onana. That’s not very objective Fabrizio, tut tut…

In fairness, all indications suggest Zubimendi would be a bloody good signing for Arsenal and an affordable one due to his £51m release clause, which is another detail that Romano is often keen to mention.

As potential replacements for Thomas Partey go, priority target Zubimendi would be pretty good and this signing would enable Mikel Arteta to use Declan Rice further forward. But Barcelona may rear their financially broken heads and scupper the deal if they can find the cash.

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