Can you smell it, folks? That’s the sweet scent of the Premier League season closing in and money being burned on random signings left right and centre.
We have more transfer rumours than Team GB have medals in the Olympics for you to enjoy(?) today – feel free to join us in the mockery of most as, frankly, there are some crazy ones here today. I mean, Phil Jones being linked to another Premier League team? Loco.
Up at Anfield, King Kloppo is getting understandably frustrated given the lack of activity in the market for Liverpool – who, you know, wouldn’t mind trying to win that title back. It’s all very well saying getting Virgil and Joe Gomez back is like “having new signings” but Jurgen would like some actual new signings.
The club have been linked to West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen in the last week – no, he’s not a central midfielder – and Wolves’ Adam Traore (no, he’s not either). Germany midfielder Florian Neuhaus is a central midfielder however, and can join the long list of other potential £30m+ signings that probably won’t happen this window. Still, Trent’s signed a new four-year deal – that’s something, no?
Manchester City are waving a new contract under the nose of their keeper, Ederson – no doubt, that’ll get signed as efficiently as he plays the ball 100 yards out to Sterling’s feet with a single cursory glance forward.
All the other talk at the Etihad continues to surround Jack Grealish and, to a lesser extent in the last seven days, Harry Kane. City are thought to have finally but £100m on the table to Villa who will accept it if Jack really, really wants to go – if not, they’ll happily tie him down to a new deal.
In unrelated news, John Terry has quit as Villa’s assistant manager as he wants to spend some time preparing himself for a hot seat in the near future. He felt it would be unfaithful to Villa to be looking around whilst still employed by the club. I know, I know – that’s very unlike JT to reach that conclusion.
New goalkeeping contracts seem to be all the rage as Villa want to get Emi Martinez sorted for many more years just in case Arsenal realise what a clanger they dropped letting him go and try and woo him back.
Having signed Leon Bailey for £30m-ish, Dean Smith still wants more wide attacking options – it’s almost as if he thinks Jack would really, really like to play for City. Todd Cantwell of Norwich City could be on his way meaning that Villa could line up with two-thirds of a Premier League attack that got relegated two seasons ago.
Smith is still very keen to get Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse up to the Midlands but is probably going to need to find more than £25m to tempt the Saints – no matter how much JWP fancies it.
Chelsea have continued their interesting trend of quirky third-choice goalkeepers by signing ex-Fulham stopper Bettenelli. Well, at least there won’t be any relocation costs for him.
There’s lots more happening at Stamford Bridge as Tommy T has demanded Jules Kounde is signed from Sevilla – with Kurt Zouma being used as bait. However, Zouma isn’t keen on being bait for anyone and would much rather stay in London and wear the colours of West Ham instead.
Bizarrely, long-term target for everyone with money, Erling Haaland, has said that he hopes that links suggesting he might be joining Chelsea for £150m are “just rumours”. As much as that might cheer up Tammy Abraham, it’s unlikely to see his potential sale slowed down – Chelsea still want £40m but West Ham, Villa and Arsenal would rather not pay that – mind you, hold your line long enough Blues and you’ll find Arsenal probably will pay that and more.
AC Milan still believe Hakin Ziyech wants out of a fight for a place at the Bridge and would much prefer life in Serie A and Trabzonspor are likely to be the next club to rent out Michi Batshuayi for a season.
Over in Madrid, Manchester United have the guy who pestered Dortmund into eventually selling them Jadon Sancho delegated to a new task – United believe a deal can be done on both Kieran Trippier and midfielder Saul Niguez, though Liverpool are quite right to remind everyone he is very much on their shortlist of midfielders they will not sign.
There is also false hope at Old Trafford that because Ole has known Haaland since he was a baby that this could be enough to close the deal for the Norweigan goal-machine. It’s that kind of thinking that has pushed United forward since Sir Alex called it a day, after all.
As ever, there’s been chat about Paul Pogba but, far more importantly, since United have confirmed the signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, Eric Bailly wouldn’t mind a little reassurance about his future.
Tottenham really need to get busy otherwise they could have a shocker of a season, and are being linked to a striker who scored 20 goals in Serie A last season – but they were for Crotone who got relegated. In fairness, Simy is pretty decent and would be a great backup to Kane next season if, well, you know, Spurs manage to lock Kane in their empty trophy cabinet so he cannot physically sign for City.
Having had a deal nailed on for Argentine defender Cristian Romero, it looks like that deal has stalled – seriously, I do wonder what happens for Spurs once their new Director of Football has run out of people in Serie A to call.
Arsenal also need to get busy – though, they have spanked £50m on Brighton’s Ben White leading to little dances of joy at the Amex, messages in WhatsApp groups saying “they paid HOW MUCH???” and immediate plans to reinvest the money very sensible indeed.
Lautaro Martinez won Serie A with Inter last season and Inter have expressed an interest in Hector Bellerin so a genius in the Arsenal recruitment department has put two and two together and come up with a £20m + Hector offer which reminded many of us of the time they offered £40,000,001 for Luis Suarez.
Oh, it was turned down if you are interested.
Arteta continues to “monitor” Schalke’s Matthew Hoppe which feels like a strange thing to be doing given that Schalke’s season has not started so nothing will have changed.
Potential outs at the Emirates include Reiss Nelson who is Patrick Vieira’s latest young, English muse and, still, Xhaka who could have walked to Roma and signed a deal by now.
Unsurprisingly, Arteta is still keen to get Willian out of the club and, equally unsurprisingly, is struggling to find any other club stupid enough to pay his wages.
And Real Madrid would love to get rid of Martin Odegaard for £40m or so and, guess what? They think Arsenal might be the punter of choice.
Mind you, the Gunners are still being closely linked to Italy’s Manuel Locatelli – that’s if Juventus fail to stump up the cash to buy him.
Crystal Palace, Brentford and Watford have been scouring the Olympics for any bargains and all agree that New Zealand’s Matthew Garbett might be a good bet.
West Ham are the club laughably looking to give Phil Jones a Premier League lifeline – that said, it’s very much on a pay-as-you-play deal apparently, meaning it will probably cost them precisely nothing.
Brighton need a goalscorer and Benfica’s Darwin Nunez is one of those so you can do the maths on this one.
Leeds missed out on getting Conor Gallagher on loan from Chelsea so will have to make do with signing Lewis O’Brien from Huddersfield instead.
Newcastle fans will be delighted by the reports that Steve Bruce is to be offered a new contract at St James’ Park. If they can tear themselves away from that anger for five minutes, they’ll learn that they are the preferred destination of Man Utd’s Axel Tuanzebe for a loan deal and that there is still a good chance of getting Arsenal’s Joe Willock back for another season – though Monaco are said to be sniffing around on that one.
Everton’s least Rafa-like player in the squad, James Rodriguez, has ruled out a return to Real Madrid this summer – presumably based on the fact that he isn’t good enough for Real Madrid anymore.
Fabian Delph deserves some credit for becoming the more-hated 31-year-old international at the club with some of his recent social media commentary and Rafa remains unconvinced that Dutch right-back Denzel Dumfries is a player he wants to sign. True, Dumfries does like to venture over the halfway line.
In the least shocking news of the week, Wolves’ £35m purchase of Fabio Silva from Porto has been caught up in the investigation of many “suspect” Portuguese transfers in recent windows.
Finally, Arsene Wenger is expected to turn down the chance to become the new Switzerland manager – there is some irony that the manager who never saw anything and would sit on the fence is turning down a job with the most neutral country in world football. Maybe it was just the thought of having to manage Granit Xhaka again?