The Hard Tackle takes a look at the latest transfer news surrounding Premier League giants Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
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 will have a major advantage among other European heavyweights, with the league being one of the most financially stable ones in Europe. 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 Manchester City are facing a battle to keep hold of their star players amid Pep Guardiola’s plans to add further quality into the squad following their defeat in the UEFA Champions League final.
Chelsea are ready to invest big after an extremely promising start under Thomas Tuchel, but they may have to get rid of their unwanted players before Roman Abramovich can give the green light for big money investments in the market.
And, here at The Hard Tackle, we will delve into the latest transfer happenings surrounding the Premier League bigwigs.
Hakim Ziyech wanted by AC Milan
Chelsea are bracing themselves for yet another AC Milan raid – this time for the pursuit of Hakim Ziyech, reports Calciomercato. They are apparently eyeing a loan move for the attacker, although are heavily reliant on Chelsea to pay his hefty €7 million per year wages.
The Rossoneri have already bagged Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea this summer, signing the defender on a four-year deal. The Englishman was never really a wanted man at Stamford Bridge, although his departure will give Thomas Tuchel to pursue his desired targets like VfL Wolfsburg’s rising star Maxence Lacroix.
The same case can be made for Ziyech, who struggled in his first season in England. He is not highly favoured by Tuchel either, and it won’t be surprising to see him move elsewhere, along with Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is reportedly a target for Bayern Munich once again.
Atletico Madrid interested in Hector Bellerin
Chelsea aren’t the only London club expected to get rid of their unwanted players in the summer, though. According to James Benge of CBS Sports, Arsenal are now ready to cash in on Hector Bellerin for £20 million, with Atletico Madrid and Villarreal among clubs interested in his services.
Atletico’s pursuit of Bellerin, though, will largely depend on the future of Kieran Trippier. The England right-back is wanted by Manchester United this summer, although the Red Devils have slapped with a whopping £40 million price tag.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are already scouting potential replacements for Bellerin in the right wingback position. The Gunners have been recently linked with a move for Jesus Corona, whose £21.4 million release clause makes him an appealing target for the club.
Tiemoue Bakayoko on Atletico Madrid radar
Back to Chelsea, and it seems Ziyech is not the only player tipped to join Tomori on the exit door at Stamford Bridge this summer. According to El Gol Digital, Atletico Madrid have registered interest in Tiemoue Bakayoko. It appears the Chelsea midfielder has been identified as the ideal like-for-like replacement for Thomas Partey, who left Atleti to join Arsenal last summer.
A member of the Chelsea side since 2017, Bakayoko spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Napoli. He was often used as a midfield enforcer by Gennaro Gattuso but is set to return to Stamford Bridge in the summer. His future at the club, however, still remains uncertain with new coach Tuchel not being a fan of physically oriented midfielders.
Instead, the German tactician is hoping to sign more technically gifted midfielders who can further improve his style of play at Stamford Bridge. Bundesliga’s teenage sensation Jude Bellingham is among the long list of players linked with a switch to west London this summer, although it is highly unlikely that the youngster will be leaving Dortmund any time soon.
Bernardo Silva in talks with Barcelona
Away from London, Manchester City have been dealt with a blow as Bernardo Silva has announced his desire to leave the club in the summer. The playmaker is already keen on a move to Barcelona, who, along with Atletico Madrid are the two clubs interested in acquiring his services, if reports from Daily Mail are to be believed.
Manchester City’s priority is to keep hold of Bernardo in the summer, but Pep Guardiola will not prevent the player from sealing a move elsewhere. Unfortunately the Portuguese international, though, Barcelona could face major difficulties in sanctioning the €60 million Man City are demanding for Bernardo this summer.
The Catalans are open to involving players in order to sweeten the deal, but the Premier League giants are only interested in a direct cash payment. Fortunately for Barca, they are already on the verge of sealing the signature of Memphis Depay, as Joan Laporta’s smart investments in the market continue.
Carles Alena on Wolves radar
More news about Barcelona comes from Mundo Deportivo, who suggest that the Catalans are facing a battle to keep hold of Carles Alena. The young midfielder emerged on the radar of Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, although they are set to face stiff competition from Valencia while Getafe are keen on making his loan move permanent.
A product of the famed la Masia youth academy, Alena spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Getafe, enjoying a lot of success under Michel. He has returned to Nou Camp but now wants to resolve his future, with the player not held in high regards by Ronald Koeman.
Wolves, as a result, are prepared to make a move, as they prepare for life without Ruben Neves, who has emerged as a target for Arsenal this summer. With Nuno Espirito Santo having left the club, the Portuguese international is almost destined to leave as well.