Right then, folks – get comfortable because we have a lot to get through today. All the rumour-creators are back after their post-Euro 2020 getaway and they’ve been cranking out the rubbish to get Spurs fans excited about what players they probably won’t be signing.
Before we get into all that, however, we should doff a cap to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Ole has earned a further three-year deal at Old Trafford for “improving the culture of the club”. That’s right, the days where trophies meant success for United are in the distant past and OGS has been rewarded in the same way a teacher gets a pat on the back for controlling a rowdy Year 6.
The hottest topic of this window is around two England stars of the summer – Harry “I definitely want to get away” Kane and Jack “actually, I’m coming round to the idea of staying” Grealish.
The week started with reports that Spurs had accepted a £160m bid from Man City and it was ALL ON. Within an hour, both clubs had denied that was the case – City going big in their statement and calling it NONSENSE. There are denials, and there are denials. Spurs continue to assert he is not for sale but Kane continues to believe they are bluffing and that gentleman’s agreement he thinks he has will be honoured – especially as there is an alleged £400K a week contract on the Ethihad table.
Whether the deal happens or does not happen, Kane is unlikely to be on the field when the two sides oh-so-conveniently meet on the opening weekend of the Premier League season. Random fixture generators, eh? What were the chances?
Grealish seems to have started listening to people that have been saying things like, “you realise you won’t actually play that much?” and “weren’t you a bit bored watching all those England games this summer, it’ll be like that at City”. Villa are waving a new deal in front of their captain and pointing to the fact they’ve made some pretty cool signings so far and are being linked to several more (to be revealed not-so-exclusively later). Grealish is tempted – the signing on bonus alone might clear that £10k bar bill he racked up on holiday.
Some people are scratching their heads more than ever about Arsenal. Having sold Emi Martinez for just £20m last summer despite him clearly being their best keeper, they are seriously considering paying £32m for Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United – he who has been relegated twice in a row. They’ve had two bids rejected and are going back in again – just like they’ve done with Brighton’s Ben White who could finally be announced this week for anything up to £60m.
Arteta is not stopping there – he wants to bin off Alexandre Lacazette to free up some cash to end Tammy Abraham’s Chelsea hell. If he has any change left after paying Tammy £125K+ a week and the £40m he will probably cost, plus the £20m from flogging Granit Xhaka to Roma, Arteta wants to add Dortmund’s Denis Zakaria to his midfield labelled “this lot look good on paper”.
Chelsea are starting to sense that Dortmund are not overly keen to sell Erling Haaland to them, even at a crazy price. As a result, Chelsea have scoured the Earth for a cheaper alternative and have contacted the agent of Robert Lewandowski (as I am sure we’ve reported several times already). With Abraham moving out and Timo Werner open to the idea of heading back to the Bundesliga, the Champions League winners need to do something – which could well be getting neither and keeping Abraham and Werner.
That said, they are also still being linked to Romelu Lukaku – so who knows? We certainly don’t and neither does Hakim Ziyech who is still being linked to a loan move to AC Milan.
He won’t be replaced by Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard who has zero interest in returning to the Bridge – which is a relief to most Chelsea fans – but the club do fancy bringing in Sergio Romero to be the 3rd choice goalkeeper this season. He’s on a free having left United and would tick the box of “quirky 3rd choice” for Chelsea – an absolute must.
Liverpool have flogged Harry Wilson to Fulham and are still keen to find a way to get Divock Origi, Shaqiri, Nat Phillips and Neco Williams out to raise £60m or so.
They’d like to spend some of that on Italy star man Fede Chiesa, but Juventus said no to their £86m bid. Damn you, Juventus – that could have been the ultimate “sign a player after a few good tournament games and regret it forever” moment.
More realistically, Liverpool like the look of West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen who may or may not have played alongside Andy Robertson at Hull. If the deal happens, I’m sure that will get cleared up.
Kloppo also likes the look of AC Milan’s Franck Kessie to do a job in midfield. Good at penalties too, is Franck.
It wouldn’t be a rumour-based column if Paul Pogba didn’t get a shoutout. He doesn’t look likely to sign a new deal but PSG’s fans have made it quite clear they don’t want him joining on a free next year.
As much as Solskjaer protests, there is a big chance Pogba will be off this summer and Massimo Allegri would not be against him returning to Juve.
United are still taking forever to get the Raphael Varane deal done, haggling over the last £10m and have apparently joined Arsenal in the race to sign Wolves’ Ruben Neves. Unfortunately for United, their initial talks with wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga have been written off as “quite disappointing”. Cutting.
Donny van der Beek has got wind of Pogba being out the door and has decided to stick around in case he gets a game just because he is still there. Anthony Martial won’t be so lucky as OGS sees no need for his inconsistent consistency now they have Jadon Sancho and will sell him to anyone who wants a moody Frenchman who doesn’t score enough for £50m.
Those signings Villa have been promising Grealish look something like this – Todd Cantwell from Norwich, Leon Bailey from Leverkusen and, er, Julian Alvarez from River Plate. You can see why he is tempted to stay, no? No?
Crystal Palace are signing anyone who claims to be a footballer currently as they’ve realised they need some players in time for the new season – coming in are Joachim Andersson (went down with Fulham last season), a freebie from Sunderland (maybe) and possibly Ozan Kabak – who spent the end of last season on loan at Liverpool.
Everton are collecting wide players like… well, a club that sold all their wide players and now have a manager who really wants wide players. Andros Townsend and Demari Gray are in – significant upgrades on Ademola Lookman, Theo Walcott and Bernard I am sure you will all agree. Oh, and Alex Iwobi.
They’d also like Jesse Lingard from United if he does end up leaving and West Ham can’t afford him.
If West Ham can’t get Lingard, they want Ross Barkley to see if Moyes can repeat the same trick twice. On top of that, Matty Perreria from WBA is on the list which is utterly bizarre given he is (a) more expensive than Grady Diangana who went the other way last year and (b) not as good as Grady Diangana who went the other way last year.
Newcastle and Leeds are fighting over Swedish midfielder Jens-Lys Cajuste from FC Midtjylland. Leeds want to add him to the signing of Lewis Bate from Chelsea – another young Chelsea kid joining another Premier League side – a bit like Myles Peart-Harris who joined Brentford. As did, Kristoffer Ajer finally – getting away from the Scottish Premiership to fulfil his dream of playing alongside Pontus Jansson.
Still with us? Good – a bit of Spurs as you’ve been so patient. They have signed an Italian keeper on loan, are looking at a Serie A defender and a Serie A striker. It’s almost as if their new DoF is Italian or something. Cristian Romero might be coming from Atalanta and Joaquin Correra from Lazio.
Paratici will be gutted he missed out on Ashley Young, no doubt.