The Hard Tackle takes a look at the latest transfer news surrounding Premier League giants Arsenal, Chelsea, 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 while Chelsea are ready to invest big after an extremely promising start under Thomas Tuchel.
And, here at The Hard Tackle, we will delve into the latest transfer happenings surrounding the Premier League bigwigs.
Arsenal have £40 million bid rejected for Ben White
Starting with Arsenal, it appears they have identified Ben White as a priority target this summer. According to Sky Sports, the Gunners have recently had their £40 million bid rejected by Brighton & Hove Albion, but they are expected to return with an improved offer for the versatile English international.
Arsenal ended the 2020/21 campaign with the third-best defensive record in the league. However, Mikel Arteta is determined to add more quality to the setup, especially as the club braces itself for the departure of David Luiz and Sead Kolasinac while Hector Bellerin is likely to be offloaded in the summer.
White has emerged as an ideal option, as the Brighton starlet can operate at centre-back, right-back, right-sided centre-back in a back three and holding midfield. They have to rely on player sales in order to afford Brighton’s lofty £50 million price tag, though.
Chelsea take lead in Achraf Hakimi race
In a market riddled with financial crises left and right, following the pandemic, one club that can afford to throw silly money around this summer is Chelsea. And the newly crowned European champions are taking full advantage of their situation as well, with reports from Sky Italia suggesting that they are closing in on the capture of Achraf Hakimi.
It appears the Blues have taken the lead over PSG in the pursuit of the Inter Milan fullback. Although they are still yet to meet the €80 million asking fee, Thomas Tuchel’s men are prepared to include the likes of Emerson Palmieri, Marcos Alonso or even Andreas Christensen in the deal, with the latter courted heavily by Inter.
The abundance of fringe players scattered around Europe and indeed their own roster is going to play a significant source of income for the Blues this summer. Fikayo Tomori, for one, is expected to make his loan move at AC Milan permanent, for a reported fee of €28 million.
Tom Heaton completes Manchester United medical
Manchester United, meanwhile, are still facing a goalkeeping dilemma as they choose between David de Gea and Dean Henderson. On the flip side, though, the club has started their preparation for life without Sergio Romero, with Tom Heaton completing his medical at Old Trafford, as per Fabrizio Romano.
The experienced Aston Villa goalkeeper, formerly of United academy, is set to sign a two-year contract. He is expected to serve as the number two in between the sticks, with the Red Devils likely to offload either de Gea or Henderson.
Henderson is apparently the most likely candidate due to his questionable attitude in the dressing room. The Englishman has no shortage of suitors though. In fact, Milan have emerged as the latest club to be linked with a move for the goalkeeper, who is also courted by Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal set sights on Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Moving back to Arsenal, the recent report from Fichajes claims that they have entered the race to sign Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Mikel Arteta is reportedly ready to undergo a complete overhaul in the attacking department, with the coach even ready to sacrifice Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Lacazette was already offered to FC Barcelona earlier in the summer. His departure could go a long way in helping Arsenal rebuild their squad, while Aubameyang’s exorbitant wage packets also play a key role in stifling the club’s financial powers in the market.
Landing a deal for Calvert-Lewin will be tricky, as the Everton forward is more than likely to cost a fortune. Not to mention, the Gunners are expected to face competition from Manchester United, among other clubs.
Matteo Guendouzi on Borussia Dortmund radar
In order to afford deals to sign White and Calvert-Lewin, Arsenal need to cash in on a few of their players. And on that note, they might just get lucky as Borussia Dortmund have entered the race to sign Matteo Guendouzi, as per Fussball Transfers.
The midfielder was earlier linked with a move to Marseille, but it seems Dortmund are exploring the possibility of a transfer for the player, who spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Hertha Berlin.
That said, Dortmund have identified a potential alternative as well, in the shape of Manuel Locatelli. It might not bode well for Arsenal, who are also in the market for the Sassuolo midfielder, although the player does prefer a move to Juventus in the summer.
Atletico Madrid set to beat Barcelona, Real Madrid to Aymeric Laporte
Speaking of players performing well in European Championship, Spain’s latest defensive addition Aymeric Laporte could be set for a move away from Manchester City this summer. According to Fichajes, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid have all emerged as potential destinations for the centre-back, although it appears Atleti have taken the lead in the pursuit.
Diego Simeone is reportedly looking for defensive reinforcements in the summer – someone who is particularly good on the ball and can prove to be an upgrade over Mario Hermoso. Laporte has naturally emerged as the desired target, especially after the defender opted to represent the Spanish national team.
Barcelona and Real Madrid, too, are interested in Laporte but their respective acquisitions of Eric Garcia and David Alaba have ruled them out of the race.