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Five potential transfers that need more hype, including the next Bruno Fernandes – Inside Football

Flick through the transfer story round-ups these days and you will find a list of the same old rumours: Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba, Harry Kane, Gianluigi Donnarumma…

So this week we decided to use this column to discuss a few potential deals you need to know about that are not in the headlines every day – but possibly should be.

These are future stars – five of the top talents aged 22 and under – that look likely to land moves to huge clubs in the coming months.

Dusan Vlahovic, Fiorentina

Dusan Vlahovic

Image credit: Getty Images

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Serbian forward Vahovic cemented his place as a regular starter for Fiorentina towards the end of 2020 and has never looked back.

He has scored 11 goals from his last 17 Serie A matches and it has catapulted him into the thinking of some of Europe’s elite – particularly AC Milan.

Arsenal, Roma, Atletico Madrid and RB Leipzig have all been credited with interest in the front-man but sources are indicating that Milan are leading the race at this stage.

Boss Stefano Piolo will be given backing in the next transfer window as the club attempt to build on this season’s impressive campaign and one of their priorities is to sign a new striker.

Vlahovic, 21, has long been on their radar and now that he is truly fulfilling his potential it is likely they will attempt to land him.

Michael Olise, Reading

Michael Olise

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Reading’s 19-year-old midfielder has made such an impact in the Championship over the past year that he has major clubs in England, Germany, Italy and France now pursuing him.

He passed through Chelsea and Manchester City’s academies and is now widely considered the most exciting talent in the Championship, thanks to his lovely attacking style of play from the centre of the park.

Often playing in the No.10 role, Olise loves to drift wide and he is currently on 10 assists for the season – the second highest number in the division.

Hs contract runs to 2022 but it is expected he will move this summer, given the calibre of teams keen to sign him.

Among them are Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Napoli and Monaco.

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Think of how Jack Grealish has made an impact in the top-flight since promotion from the second tier with Aston Villa. That’s the sort of potential Olise has to unleash.

Pedro Goncalves, Sporting CP

Pedro Goncalves of Sporting CP celebrates

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There can be no doubt that Bruno Fernandes’ move from Sporting to Manchester United has been a huge success and now clubs are looking back in the direction of Lisbon for the next Portuguese gem.

Goncalves, 22, is an exciting player that can play centrally or on the wing and it is being suggested among inner football circles that he could land in the Premier League ahead of next season.

So far he has been linked with Manchester United, and it is true they have been compiling detailed reports on his performances. However, they are not the only club interested.

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Sources say Arsenal have him on their radar too as they look for fresh options in 2021/22.

The signing of a creative attacker is going to be a priority in north London and Nabil Fekir of Real Betis has been linked, as has Norwich City’s Emi Buendia, with both being credible targets.

However, we all know the main objective for the summer is to go for Martin Odegaard and nothing else will happen until that situation is cleared up.

It is thought the player could become available this summer and he has a £51.7 million buyout clause. Interest from other clubs is expected over the next month as transfer budgets and plans begin to filter out of boardrooms.

Nuno Mendes, Sporting CP

Nuno Mendes

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Sporting are top of the league and unbeaten in Liga NOS this season and 18-year-old Mendes has also been a key figure in the success.

He has started 20 of their 24 league games and in doing so has emerged as one of the most sought-after teenagers in the game. He is already a full Portugal international.

With the ability to shine as a modern attacking full-back he has so many of the attributes that many top clubs look for, and the fact he is nowhere near the finished article yet makes him even more intriguing.

Manchester City are very keen as Pep Guardiola looks for a long-term solution in this area of the pitch. The €70m buyout clause may be slightly problematic, though City have history for paying those sorts of figures for full-backs – such is their importance in a Guardiola set-up.

It is understood there could be potential for an initial deal to be agreed that would see him remain at Sporting next season to continue his progress, but any decision is unlikely soon as there are so many other clubs checking him out at the moment.

Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid are just some of the clubs to have made scouting reports on Mendes over the course of the season and the general feeling within the game is that this player is going to be a player we talk about regularly over the next decade.

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Abdallah Sima, Slavia Prague

Abdallah Sima of Slavia Prague celebrates

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It has been impossible to watch Slavia Prague’s Europa League run this season without being hugely impressed by 19-year-old Sima.

Across the Slovak Super Liga and Europa League he has 15 goals and six assists from 28 appearances. He is so tricky to mark, with his dribbling style and directness, that he also has the danger element of forcing defenders to concede penalties or free kicks in key areas.

His displays against Leicester City and Rangers in Europe are starting to convince scouts that he does have the capability of playing at a higher level already and various clubs are looking at him now ahead of the summer.

Juventus have had a look at him as a potential future star, in line with them considering how they can prepare their front line for the next few years, but currently the sides most actively looking into a deal are thought to be West Ham and Arsenal.

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The Gunners will get to see him close up soon, as they have been drawn to face his Slavia side in the Europa League quarter-finals. If Sima gets the better of them it might convince recruitment staff to make sure they are at the front of the queue when it comes to making an offer.

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