Premier League: The deals being chased by Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Big Six rivals - Inside Football
Deadline Day is getting closer, with just two and a half weeks until the August 31 shut-off. So which teams in the Premier League ‘Big Six’ need to start panic buying? Dean Jones is back with his latest insider column, revealing the deals that could still be done by Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.
It’s been an amazing summer so far but the transfer window does not close until August 31 so there is still time for a few more big storylines to unfold.
Here we take the chance to assess the Premier League’s traditional Big Six and determine what their major needs are in the market - and how they are going about pursuing potential deals in those positions.
One thing missing from the Premier League champions is a focal point of the attack and that’s where Harry Kane comes into the picture.
City have seen Sergio Aguero leave and now they want to find a new No.9. It’s pretty obvious Kane is the man they are focusing on but the window closes in two and a half weeks with no signs of a breakthrough.
The two clubs face each other in the Premier League this weekend and a new bid from City is expected next week - but will it be enough to convince chairman Daniel Levy to let him leave?
Spurs don’t want to sell and have a valuation of at least £160 million on him yet it is understood City feel a package of £120m plus add-ons - that could amount to a further £20m - is as far as they can go.
If it doesn’t happen then City face a season without an elite striker for their defence of the title. For most clubs that would be a disaster, but Pep Guardiola would most likely just find new ways to reinvent his team before going back into the market in January to try again.
England's forward Harry Kane (L) and England's midfielder Jack Grealish react after the UEFA EURO 2020 Group D football match between Czech Republic and England at Wembley Stadium in London
Where’s the replacement for Gini Wijnaldum? Not only was it surprising to see such a key member of the team leave for free this summer but no one has been brought in to fill his role. There are players that can step in, of course. But Liverpool did not strengthen after winning the league in 2020 and failing to do so again makes you wonder if they can truly keep pace with other title hopefuls.
All hope is not completely lost of Liverpool making a signing that can influence their season. Whispers out of the club suggest they will go into the market if a good value deal comes along. But at the moment it is not looking likely.
Liverpool have had a good pre-season campaign and believe they are going to be in the hunt to win the league even without additions.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and goalkeeper Alisson
Now that the deal for Romelu Lukaku is complete, Chelsea are focused on improving their defence and trying to find a breakthrough with Sevilla over Jules Kounde.
The club have decided to prioritise a centre back ahead of a new defensive midfielder and Kounde is the top target despite the club also checking out Varane, Kalidou Koulibaly and Pau Torres.
Negotiation around the fee for Kounde now becomes key as he has a £68.5m release clause. Chelsea have been keen to get that figure down but Sevilla stuck to their guns when Manchester City came knocking with a £47million bid last year and insist they intend to do the same now.
Chelsea’s squad is obviously already one of the best in the world - they are European champions, after all - but they refuse to stand still. A midfielder is going to be next on their to do list and Declan Rice is still seen as the main man.
It’s been a pretty good transfer window for Arsenal but they need someone that can now make a difference and decide games - and that’s why they are on the hunt for a creative midfielder.
James Maddison has been the main focus over the past fortnight but Leicester are pricing him out of the market at the moment and Arsenal will have to give up their pursuit soon if they are not willing to negotiate or accept any player exchanges.
With this in mind the door to Martin Odegaard at Real Madrid may reopen.
At the back end of last season he was prioritised for a transfer yet was very expensive and also wanted to have a shot at finally proving himself at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Sadly for him, it does not seem to have worked out again, and Madrid are willing to listen to offers - even on loan.
Arsenal will now revisit the situation to discover the terms of any agreement as Mikel Arteta remains a huge admirer of the player and the fact he has already had a taste of life in north London means he should settle quickly into the new season.
James Maddison of Leicester City celebrates with The FA Community Shield following victory in The FA Community Shield Final between Manchester City and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium o