The Hard Tackle takes a look at the latest transfer news surrounding Premier League giants Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Amid all the excitement surrounding UEFA Euro 2020 and Copa America, the transfer wheel in the market is well and truly running. This is, after all, going to be an exciting yet cautious and steady summer for football, as the majority of the European clubs look to recover from the financial blow they received in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Premier League, being the most financially dominant league in the world, will have a major advantage among other European heavyweights. And with that in mind, clubs across England have already started their preparation for the new season and are poised to spend the big bucks in the summer, albeit to varying degrees.
Arsenal, as ever, have shown a lot of ambition in the market, with Mikel Arteta determined to undergo a major squad overhaul while Liverpool are hoping to reinforce their defensive and midfield units in an attempt to re-emerge as title favourites next season.
Manchester United have a few gaps to fill as well following the failure in the UEFA Europa League coupled with the disparity between them and their cross-town rivals. So, here at The Hard Tackle, we will delve into the latest transfer happenings surrounding the Premier League bigwigs.
Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah wanted by West Ham, Crystal Palace
Although Arsenal are yet to officially make a move in the transfer market, the club is aware that a lot of their dealings will depend on how well they manage to get rid of fringe, unwanted players in the summer. As such, a recent update from transfer expert Fabrizio Romano suggests that Eddie Nketiah is being courted by West Ham United and Crystal Palace, in addition to Bayer Leverkusen.
Unlike Alexandre Lacazette or a few other Arsenal stars, Nketiah is not among the players Mikel Arteta is keen to offload this summer. In fact, the club has reportedly offered the youngster a new contract extension.
However, in light of the player’s lack of game-time this past season, combined with all the speculation surrounding the arrival of new attackers like Nabil Fekir, Nketiah remains unsure about committing his future at Emirates.
West Ham and Crystal Palace are both looking for new strikers this summer, with the Hammers also interestingly linked with a move for Chelsea starlet Tammy Abraham this summer.
Manchester United offer Juan Mata in deal for Saul Niguez
Speaking of offloading unwanted players, Manchester United are ready to sacrifice Juan Mata in an attempt to secure a deal for Saul Niguez, reports El Gol Digital.
A former Premier League champion with Chelsea, Mata has had a bit-part role at Manchester United over the past couple of years. He has fallen behind the likes of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes in the pecking order while his contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the upcoming campaign.
The Red Devils are ready to utilise Mata’s uncertain future at the club by offering him as part of a deal to sign top target Saul. The Atletico Madrid midfielder is valued at around €80 million, although the report suggests that Mata is valued at €4 million – €5 million, meaning the Spaniard’s inclusion in the deal won’t majorly reduce the net value of the transfer.
Manchester United are already involved in an exciting battle to sign Jadon Sancho, whose exorbitant price tag set by Borussia Dortmund remains difficult to be met. The player, nonetheless, has agreed personal terms with the club, though his potential arrival could hinder United’s pursuit of Saul.
Liverpool face Juventus competition for Youri Tielemans
While Manchester United remain in negotiations for a deal to sign Sancho, their arch-rivals Liverpool are facing fresh competition from Juventus in the pursuit of Youri Tielemans, according to Transfer Market Web.
It appears the Italian giants are intent on polishing their midfield unit following inconsistent performances from Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Arthur. Ramsey, for one, has already been linked with a sensational return to Arsenal and as a replacement, Juventus have set their sights on Tielemans.
It might not be welcome news for Liverpool, who were hoping to sign the Leicester City star in an attempt to add more quality in the midfield unit. The departure of Georginio Wijnaldum has already left a massive void at Anfield, with other options like Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also facing an uncertain future at Liverpool.
Arsenal see bid rejected for Albert Sambi Lokonga
Going to Arsenal news, their approach for Albert Sambi Lokonga has been rejected by RSC Anderlecht, as per Daily Mail. It appears the Belgian giants are not happy with the £13.5 million offer the Gunners have made and are holding out for a fee of £18 million.
A central midfielder by trade, Arsenal’s interest in Samba Lokonga likely stems from the shallow depth in the middle of the park. The north Londoners are already bracing themselves for the potential exit of Granit Xhaka to AS Roma while Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have both returned to Real Madrid following the end of their respective loan spells.
Lokonga will serve as an ideal cost-effective reinforcement in the midfield unit, offering Arteta more options at his disposal. The Spaniard, though, is still keen on signing a high-profile midfielder, with Arsenal being linked with a move for Ruben Neves.
Ben White interested in Arsenal transfer
While Lokonga’s deal may require some negotiation, Arsenal have been served with welcome news in the pursuit of Ben White. According to Daily Mail, the Gunners have held positive talks with Brighton & Hove Albion over the potential transfer for Ben White.
The former Leeds United starlet is valued at around £50 million, which has already left Manchester United and Liverpool out of contention. Arsenal, though, are still in the running, with White himself keen on a move to the Emirates as he looks to further evolve into a star player for England, after being selected for the European Championship squad.
White is a versatile defender who can play a variety of positions, including centre-back, right-back, right sided centre-back in a back three as well as a defensive midfielder. It appeals to Mikel Arteta, especially amid the uncertainty surrounding the future of players like Hector Bellerin and William Saliba, who is reportedly wanted by Newcastle United.