For all the talk of a Covid-enforced tightening of purse strings, it’s been quite the summer transfer window. And we’re not done yet. With a day to go we’ve looked at the Premier League signings that could still happen…
Kurt Zouma’s move to West Ham was supposed to pave the way for Kounde’s arrival at Chelsea, but they’ve hit a snag. The Blues thought they had agreed a price of around £50m for the Frenchman, but Sevilla now want the full buy-out clause of £68.5m. And reports suggest transfer chief Marina Granovskaia is unwilling to bend to the Spanish club’s demands and the club are willing to stick with their existing options and reconsider in January.
It’s not a do or die situation – Trevoh Chalobah’s emergence ensures they have five decent options for the three centre-back spots. Six at a push with Reece James; seven at a shove with Ethan Ampadu. Remember him?
Leeds may finally be about to get their man. He was pictured, Leeds shirt in hand, back in January 2019, only for the transfer to fall through at the eleventh hour. Manchester United signed him from Swansea six months later, but now have little use for him.
The Welshman must have felt uneasy when Jadon Sancho arrived, perplexed and annoyed by Anthony Martial staying, before presumably accepting a fate that is now close to being reality when a deal was done for Cristiano Ronaldo. Working under Marcelo Bielsa – who clearly hasn’t wavered in his admiration of the 23-year-old – will make the step down less jarring.
Manchester United could do with a right-back and Arsenal need a right-back. Both are interested in Trippier, who may be made more available by Atletico Madrid on deadline day. Diego Simeone’s side have so far been unwilling to accept offers below Trippier’s release clause of £34m, but that could change should they get a deal done for Lille’s Zeki Celik.
Only ten players provided more key passes in the Premier League than Lookman (60) last season. He was one of few Fulham players to look at home in the Premier League and Brendan Rodgers is now interested in bringing him into the Leicester fold. If there’s a spot in the Foxes’ side in need of strengthening, it’s the one currently occupied by Ayoze Perez, who’s never looked like £30m worth of footballer. Lookman and Harvey Barnes flanking Jamie Vardy would be a frightening counter-attacking force.
Lookman could become the first good advice to play for Leicester since Drinkwater. https://t.co/jAmnQrExJG
— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) August 30, 2021
Fair play to Oliver Skipp, who’s slipped into the Spurs midfield and had a big hand in three clean sheets to start the season. But alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, it’s a duo that inspires confidence over excitement. Reports claim Tottenham have decided to keep Tanguy Ndombele, which stinks of a Harry Kane ‘decision’ rather than any great desire; he’s unlikely to be relied upon.
McKennie, who has a greater forward impetus than the other options, is thought to be available after Juventus signed Manuel Locatelli. West Ham and Aston Villa have also been linked.
The Brazilian joined Barcelona for £10m in January 2019 but made his first start for the Catalans in the 2-1 win over Getafe on Sunday, having been on loan at Real Betis. Spurs have reportedly made an initial €30m (£25.7m) bid for the 22-year-old. It had been mooted that Serge Aurier may be included as part of the deal, but Barcelona appear to have nipped that particular mistake in the bud.
Chelsea were interested in the Atletico Madrid star before N’Golo Kante aggravated an ankle problem against Liverpool; they’re now looking to ‘force’ through the loan deal with an option to buy the Spaniard. Saul is keen on a move away from the Spanish champions but is said to want assurances over playing time wherever he might land.
Thomas Tuchel is unlikely to be able to make any such guarantee with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic joining Kante as three outstanding options in the deeper midfield positions. Competition at Manchester United – who have also been heavily linked – would be nowhere near as fierce.
Mikel Arteta is apparently ‘unfortunate’ because of the timing of Eddie Nketiah’s injury, who of course would have been playing now despite starting just four Premier League games in the whole of last season and featuring for a total of 410 minutes. The 22-year-old’s contract is up at the end of this campaign and Arsenal are keen to secure a fee now or in January, rather than losing him for free next summer. Crystal Palace need a striker to take the load off Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher, who scored both of their goals in the draw with West Ham and thus all of their goals so far this season. £10m may be enough to get Arsenal to the negotiating table.
“All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted & where I’m gonna play,” Maitland-Niles posted to Instagram on Monday. Someone’s forgetting their five touches from the bench against Manchester City; there’s no pleasing some people. There’s obvious talent there – he was in the England squad a year ago – but for some reason it’s being entirely wasted at Arsenal. Everton are said to be in talks over a loan move with an option to buy.
It would be really, really sad if Lingard stays at Manchester United. “I think we together can have great moments,” Solskjaer said earlier this month, in a statement of clear false hope for a player destined for the odd Carabao Cup appearance and a Premier League minute or two as a substitute, if he even makes it to the bench. United want over £30m, which is fair enough given his stellar performances on loan last season, but West Ham are unlikely to be able to stump up that much cash. A loan with or without options or obligations would do the trick – anything for him to be playing football, as the Premier League is far less enjoyable without him on the pitch.
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