The Hard Tackle takes a look at some exciting transfer stories around Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.
The Premier League clubs, in particular, are among some of the busiest in the ongoing summer transfer window as they look to take advantage of the poor financial situation of European football by poaching star players from other leagues.
Arsenal, for one, are bracing themselves for a massive squad overhaul after a disappointing campaign that saw miss out on Europe for the first time in 25 years. As such, Mikel Arteta has promised to “ruthlessly” filter out his squad for next season.
Liverpool are another club expected to undergo a busy window, with Jurgen Klopp keen on addressing some of the team’s glaring issues. The Reds are already on the hunt for defenders, midfielders and attackers from across Europe, whereas their arch-rivals Manchester United and Chelsea are keen on signing up a few players that can further boost their chances of ending Manchester City’s dominance in the league.
And, here at The Hard Tackle, we will delve into the latest transfer happenings surrounding these Premier League bigwigs.
Arsenal want £15 million for Hector Bellerin
Our transfer roundup starts with Arsenal, with The Sun offering an update on the situation of Hector Bellerin. It appears the experienced right-back is courted by Inter Milan this summer. The Italian champions, though, are not willing to commit to a fee and only want to sign him on a season-long loan deal.
It has left Arsenal unhappy as they are only open to a loan deal if Inter promise to pay a transfer fee of £15 million for the defender next summer when their financial situation improves. The Nerazzurri are not keen on making such commitments despite recently receiving a handsome payout for the sale of Achraf Hakami, the Chelsea target who joined Paris Saint-Germain.
Arsenal themselves are keen on undergoing a defensive overhaul this summer. They are making progress in the pursuit of Ben White, but it won’t be surprising to see the deal hinging on the departures of some of their key players, including Bellerin.
Anthony Martial on Juventus radar
Speaking of offloading players, Manchester United are set to face a potential raid from Juventus for the pursuit of Anthony Martial, reports Italian news outlet Stop & Goal. The French forward has been identified as an ideal target as the Serie A giants look to pick themselves up under the leadership of Massimiliano Allegri.
From a sporting perspective, Martial is set to serve as a potential replacement for Paulo Dybala, who, in turn, is likely to leave Turin in the summer. The Argentine has incidentally been linked with a move to Manchester United, and in extension, the Premier League in the past, although the current financial climate may hinder any big-money move.
Not to mention, the Red Devils have already reinforced their attack by securing the services of Jadon Sancho. Hence, the departure of Martial would only make sense, though it remains to be seen how much the club demand for the Frenchman this summer.
Liverpool reignite interest in Kalidou Koulibaly
Moving on from one big club to another, and it appears Liverpool are in the market for further reinforcements in the defensive department. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, as cited by Paisley Gates, the Premier League giants once again set their sights on Kalidou Koulibaly, who is tipped to leave Napoli in the summer.
The Serie A giants value their star defender at around €50 million, as his current contract expires in 2023. With almost 300 competitive appearances for the Partenopei, Koulibaly offers a lot of experience and quality to the table in defence, which is why even Everton have been linked with a move for him this summer.
If the move does go through for Liverpool, he will become the club’s second high-profile defensive signing, joining Ibrahima Konate. The RB Leipzig centre-back arrived from the Bundesliga earlier this summer for a fee close to €40 million.
Juventus keen on signing Gabriel Jesus
While most top clubs are looking to strengthen their ranks this summer, Manchester City are building a plan to reshape their squad by offloading a few unwanted players. According to The Sun, they might get lucky as Juventus are now stepping up their pursuit of Gabriel Jesus.
It seems Allegri is determined to shore up his attacking options following a disappointing campaign. However, Manchester City are only open to receiving the cash upfront as they are involved in a mess themselves, as far as the goalscoring department is concerned. The summer departure of Sergio Aguero to FC Barcelona has indeed created a massive void in the club’s attacking unit.
It has forced Pep Guardiola to scour the market for a potential replacement. Harry Kane has emerged as the top target for the defending Premier League champions, but they haven’t had much luck in securing his services. It will be interesting to see whether Gabriel Jesus’ potential sale could give them the financial boost they need to complete the deal.
Burnley beat Chelsea to Wayne Hennessey capture
Much like most of their Premier League rivals, Chelsea are another club hoping to renovate their squad in order to mount a challenge for the title race. However, reports from Football Insider suggest that they are set to face a setback in the pursuit of one of their targets in Wayne Hennessey, as the experienced goalkeeper close in on the move to Burnley.
It is no secret that the Blues are in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer as they prepare for life without Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Spaniard was most recently on the radars of Lazio, with Maurizio Sarri eyeing a potential reunion. Signing him could be a challenge, though, especially if Chelsea put up a high asking price for the goalkeeper.
Nevertheless, their pursuit of a new shot-stopper seems logical given the lack of a proper alternative for Edouard Mendy. And with Hennessey likely to join Burnley, they have to set sights on other alternatives, including relegated Werder Bremen’s Czech international ‘keeper Jiri Pavlenka, endorsed personally by Petr Cech.
Aston Villa interested in Valentino Livramento
Our transfer roundup ends with another Chelsea news, with a recent report from Goal exploring the future of Valentino Livramento. The young and talented academy prospect is in a precarious situation, knowing remaining at Stamford Bridge could be a risky choice given the competition in the senior team. Aston Villa are hoping to take advantage of that situation by prising him away from London this summer.
The Villans are actually one of many clubs, including RB Leipzig and AC Milan, to have registered interest in the right wing-back. It is hardly surprising either as they need a backup for Matty Cash, following the departure of Ahmed Elmohamady after his contract ran out last month.
Livramento is an ideal answer to this problem as he has shown a lot of promise in the youth competitions. Although he doesn’t have much experience at the highest level of football, the Chelsea prospect has what it takes to become one of Villa’s star players in the coming years, provided the move goes through.