The Hard Tackle takes a look at some exciting transfer stories around Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea.
With just three weeks remaining until the start of the 2021/22 Premier League season, clubs across England have stepped up their activity in the transfer market as they look to get their teams sorted before the start of the season.
Liverpool, for one, have shown a lot of ambition, knowing they must significantly improve their squad in order to mount a challenge for the title next season. But in the process, they may have to offload some of their old guards and fringe players.
Chelsea, too, must sanction the sale of multiple unwanted players in order to kickstart their business. It is no secret that Thomas Tuchel is keen on overseeing several key changes in the squad this summer, so a variety of players might be forced to leave Stamford Bridge next month.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are attempting to further strengthen their ranks as well. They may not have to offload too many players either due to a compact, efficient squad that is ready to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for the league title in the upcoming season.
And, here at The Hard Tackle, we will delve into the latest transfer happenings surrounding these Premier League bigwigs.
Jordan Henderson on Juventus radar
Earlier this month, The Athletic dropped a bombshell report, exploring the fragile nature of some of Liverpool’s experienced players with regards to their contracts. This week, a report from Kaltim Tribune suggests that Juventus are eyeing a shock swoop for club captain Jordan Henderson this summer.
The Liverpool midfielder has emerged as an ideal option as the Italian giants look for reinforcements in the middle of the park. His current deal at Anfield in 2023, with the club yet to offer him a lucrative contract extension. It has led to many speculations, with Jurgen Klopp even appearing quite keen on signing a defensive midfielder this summer, including AC Milan star Franck Kessie.
Henderson has established himself as a cult hero for Liverpool, playing a key role in the club’s success over the past few years. His departure, therefore, will certainly raise some eyebrows, although, given LFC’s lack of depth in the midfield department, it remains highly unlikely that they would sanction the departure of the Englishman.
West Ham told to pay £15 million to sign Nat Phillips
While there are doubts over Henderson’s future, one Liverpool player destined to leave the club in the summer is Nat Phillips. And according to The Athletic, the Reds have slapped a £15 million price tag for the young defender, who is courted by West Ham United among many other English clubs this summer.
Phillips was a key element in the LFC defence last term, in the absence of first-team stars like Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Fabinho and Joe Gomez. He notched up over 1,400 minutes of league football, building a relatively solid defensive partnership alongside Ozan Kabak during the second half of the campaign. Unfortunately, Liverpool have opted not to enforce the buyback clause for Kabak.
Phillips may have to settle for life elsewhere as well, having been linked with a move to West Ham throughout this summer. A fee of £15 million could serve as a decent financial boost for a Liverpool side looking for further reinforcements, after roping in Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig earlier in the summer.
Marcos Alonso keen on Inter Milan switch
Moving on from Liverpool, a recent report from Gazzetta Dello Sport has offered an update on the future of Marcos Alonso. It is no secret that the Spaniard is not wanted by Thomas Tuchel, who is determined to add more quality and better competition for Ben Chilwell at left-back next season. Alonso, too, is keen on leaving Stamford Bridge and favours a move to Inter Milan.
It appears the Nerazzurri are targeting him as a potential replacement for Achraf Hakimi, who snubbed Chelsea to join Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer, and Ashley Young. Although Alonso is a left-back by trade, his attacking prowess may have impressed new coach Simone Inzaghi, who also favours the wing-back system that should allow the former Fiorentina star to make himself useful going forward.
Alonso is not the only Chelsea full-back to be linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge, though, with Tuchel also keen on offloading Emerson. The left-back was courted by Napoli last month, but the defender may gain more traction after successfully filling in for Leonardo Spinazzola in the Euro 2020 final against England.
Manchester United hopeful of signing Saul Niguez in £45 million deal
Our final news of the day comes from Manchester United, who are hopeful of securing the services of Saul Niguez, as per the Daily Mail. The report states that the Premier League giants are weighing up a £45 million bid for the Atletico Madrid midfielder, who is set to be offloaded by the newly-crowned Spanish champions.
Manchester United are facing stiff competition from Liverpool in the pursuit of Saul. However, they are confident they can strike a deal for just £45 million, especially with the Reds struggling to meet Atleti’s demands just yet. The Reds have been linked with a potential player plus cash deal involving Xherdan Shaqiri, but it might not be enough to convince Los Colchoneros.
It leaves Manchester United in the driver’s seat to sign Saul. The Spaniard’s potential arrival could be a massive boon for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, especially at a time when the club may struggle to hold on to the services of star player Paul Pogba this summer, despite the Norwegian assuring otherwise.