The Hard Tackle takes a look at the latest transfer news surrounding Premier League bigwigs Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.
With the summer transfer window open for business in England, there has been a flurry of activity already despite the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020. The buzz will likely increase even more in the coming weeks as the international tournament nears its final stages.
Apart from Liverpool, none of the traditional “Big Six” are yet to make any signings, but things are picking up pace as Manchester United close in on Jadon Sancho while Arsenal are set for a double-deal with the impending transfers of Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares.
Things are seemingly quiet at Manchester City and Chelsea, who are biding their time before striking big for their targets, Harry Kane and Erling Haaland, respectively. As for Tottenham, well, they have confirmed Nuno Espirito Santo as their new manager, which is a start.
With things expected to pick up speed on the transfer front, The Hard Tackle will now delve into the latest transfer happenings surrounding these Premier League bigwigs.
Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani wanted by Mourinho and Roma
Starting things off with an old-fashioned ex-manager raid on his former club as Jose Mourinho, now the head coach of AS Roma is plotting a swoop on Manchester United for the signing of Edinson Cavani if reports from Calciomercato are to be believed. The 34-year-old striker is viewed as a replacement for Edin Dzeko, who is expected to make his way out of Stadio Olimpico this summer.
Cavani only recently signed a one-year extension with Manchester United after enjoying a productive debut season in the Premier League. Given the impact that he has made and the value that the Uruguayan adds to the side, it is hard to imagine Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would want to let him go, especially when there are serious questions marks over the future of Anthony Martial.
But, Mourinho and Roma are keeping a close watch on the situation. In fact, it is even claimed that the Giallorossi have an agreement with Cavani over a transfer. However, they are having trouble offloading Dzeko, with no real suitors for the ex-Manchester City striker, which is holding up the deal. Unlikely to happen, but hey, what’s a transfer window without some crazy rumours!
Liverpool push to sign Otavio from FC Porto
Liverpool are making a serious push to secure the transfer of Brazilian midfielder Otavio from FC Porto, claims Portuguese outlet A Bola. The Reds are keen on a deal for the 26-year-old and were said to have established contact to assess the possibility of a transfer. And, in fact, it seems like Jurgen Klopp & co. have quickly followed it up with an offer for the Porto star.
Indeed, Liverpool are said to have made an offer of €23 million plus a player in exchange, in the form of Marko Grujic, who spent the last season on loan at Porto, with the Portuguese club keen on making his transfer permanent. However, the Dragons are insisting that the two deals be treated as separate entities, demanding Liverpool pay Otavio’s €40 million release clause, which is set to rise to €60 million in a matter of hours.
Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour set for Norwich City loan
We move from a potential incoming at Anfield to an imminent exit at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea prodigy Billy Gilmour is set to secure a loan transfer away to newly-promoted Premier League club Norwich City, claims Sky Sports. The 20-year-old has been making rapid strides despite having not played regularly and stole the show for Scotland against England in the UEFA Euro 2020.
But with first-team opportunities hard to come by at Chelsea, the midfielder has now agreed to spend the next season on loan at Carrow Road with the Canaries. It is even said that Gilmour will be having his medical on Thursday, once his ten-day isolation period ends after he tested positive at the Euros. Chelsea definitely see a long-term future for the ex-Rangers starlet, but a loan move would be ideal for his development currently.
Juventus join the race to sign Granit Xhaka
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been in the news quite a lot of late, which isn’t surprising considering how well he has been performing for the Switzerland national team at the Euro 2020. And, these performances continue to gather admirers for him, as Juventus are now said to have entered the race to sign the ex-Gunners captain, who is also on the radars of AS Roma.
Indeed, a report from Calciomercato claims that the Bianconeri are now lining up in the queue to land the Swiss midfielder as negotiations for Manuel Locatelli continue to get dragged on. Xhaka, though, has an agreement with Roma, although a deal is yet to be agreed between Arsenal and the Giallorossi. With the two teams still far off in their valuations, it could open up a window for Juventus to swoop Xhaka away from the Emirates.
Aston Villa hopeful of fending off Manchester City interest in Jack Grealish
Moving to the Premier League champions Manchester City and their interest in Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, The Telegraph reports that the Midlands’ outfit remain hopeful of keeping ahold of their talisman by extending his contract, despite having handed him a new deal in September last year. This new contract would see his base wages rise from £100,000-a-week to £150,000-a-week apart from add-ons and bonuses.
The Villa hierarchy are said to be very serious about ensuring that their best player stays put at the club amid talks of a £100 million approach from Pep Guardiola & co. As per the report, a new deal will draw a line in the sand for any suitors to let them know that Grealish is not for sale. Such a move would also make it more expensive for Manchester City to pull off a transfer as well.
Tottenham set sights on Mauro Icardi
With the managerial appointment now done and dusted at Tottenham, the transfer activity could also ramp up imminently. Thanks to the appointment of Fabio Paratici as the director of football, the Lilywhites have been linked with players based in Serie A or past ties with Italy, with another such superstar – Mauro Icardi – now being touted as a transfer target by Calciomercato.
The report claims that the PSG centre-forward remains a top target for Juventus if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves this summer. However, at the same time, Paratici, who had been pushing the Bianconeri to sign the Argentine in the past, is now at Tottenham and could launch a move if they need a new goalscorer, amid question marks over the future of superstar Harry Kane.