The summer transfer window is finally open and it’s expected to be a record-breaking few months with several big Premier League clubs set to splash the cash. The race for the title and to finish in the top four is expected to be hugely competitive with at least seven clubs now leading the charge. Newcastle United have joined the traditional ‘big six’ after finishing fourth last season while Brighton and Aston Villa also impressed last year.
With so much as stake and competition fierce, clubs are going to be busy strengthening their squads this summer. Let’s take a look at some of the latest transfer rumours:
Kai Havertz to join Arsenal
It has widely been reported that Arsenal have now agreed a deal to sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea. The Gunners are set to pay £60m up front with a further £5m in add-ons for the German international. Havertz has agreed a long-term contract worth around £210,000-a-week and is expected to undergo his medical over the coming days.
The 24-year-old has been hit and miss since joining Chelsea but he did score the winner in the Champions League final against Man City and his versatility will be a valuable asset for Arsenal. Havertz mainly played as a striker for Chelsea last season, but he’s also comfortable playing behind the main front-man, as a box-to-box midfielder or even on the wing. Arteta likes multi-functional players so it’s easy to see why he’s jumped at the chance to sign Havertz.
Rice getting closer to Gunners switch
Arsenal are also desperately trying to agree a deal to sign Declan Rice. West Ham have been firm on their £100m valuation and have so far rejected offers from Arsenal worth up to £90m including add-ons. The Gunners are set to return with another offer which is expected to be much closer to West Ham’s valuation and Rice has made it clear he only wants to join Arsenal, so a deal is likely to go through eventually.
Those with West Ham tickets are not going to be happy with the departure of their captain, but most understand it’s time for him to take the next step in his career. Rice led the Hammers to the Europa Conference League title last season so will be leaving on a high, and he’ll be a superb signing for Arsenal if they can get this proposed deal over the line.
Rice’s arrival will pave the way for Grant Xhaka to complete his move back to Germany. The Swiss international is expected to seal a £13m move to Bayer Leverkusen. Thomas Partey is also being linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium with teams in Saudi Arabia investigating a possible deal. Should Partey leave, then Arsenal will need a replacement and they’ve been strongly linked with Southampton star Romero Lavia.
Partey isn’t the only player who could be heading to Saudi Arabia as several Chelsea players are expected to secure moves to the Kingdom soon. Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly and Hakim Ziyech are all set to move to Saudi Arabia while N’Golo Kante has already sealed his lucrative switch to champions Al-Ittihad.
The money on offer in Saudi Arabia is tempting some house-hold names and Chelsea are taking full advantage. They need to sell around £100m worth of talent before the end of the month to help meet Financial Fair Play guidelines and it seems the Saudi’s are going to do them a favour by buying some of their ‘dead wood’ at decent fees.
Obviously the money from Havertz’s sale to Arsenal will help, while Callum Hudson Odoi is also being lined-up for a move. So we should see a number of players secure moves away from Stamford Bridge over the coming days as they look to balance the books following an unprecedented 12 months of spending. New owner Todd Boehly has splashed over £600m in the previous two transfer windows, so it’s no surprise that they need to sell now or risk falling foul of FFP.
Man Utd bid for Mount
Manchester United are another club who are snuffing around Chelsea’s squad as they look to take advantage of their precarious financial situation. United have recently made a second offer worth around £50m for Mason Mount as they look to lure him to Old Trafford this summer.
Mount has just one year remaining on his contract at Chelsea and has failed to agree terms over a new deal. So the Blues need to cash-in now or risk losing him for nothing next summer. Man Utd are taking advantage of the situation after Erik ten Hag made Mount one of his key targets as he looks to strengthen his midfield options.
However, Chelsea appear to be holding out for closer to £70m – a figure Man Utd are not willing to pay. We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming days but a deal is expected to be reached in the end so we could see Mount securing a move to United this summer.
Mateo Kovacic joins Man City
One player who has already left Chelsea is Mateo Kovacic. The Croatian international has joined Man City in a deal worth up to £30m. Kovacic had just one year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge and made it clear he wouldn’t sign an extension, so Chelsea have been forced to sell and Man City were quick to get a deal in place for the midfielder.
The 29-year-old will be a direct replacement for Ilkay Gundogan – who is set to join Barcelona on a free transfer. Gundogan played a key role in helping City win the treble last season having scored some vital goals during the run in. However, he’s out of contract and failed to agree terms with Man City over a new deal.
Arsenal and Bayern Munich were linked with the German international, but Gundogan has opted to join Barcelona and has agreed a two-year deal with the option of a further year. He’ll be an excellent signing for Xavi’s side, and a huge loss for Pep Guardiola. However, Kovacic could prove to be a more than able replacement for Gundogan.
The transfer window has only been open for a week but there are already some big transfers in the pipeline. Arsenal and Chelsea are going to be two of the busiest clubs over the coming weeks as they continue to reshape their squads, but we should see a whole host of Premier League clubs step-up their transfer business ahead of the new season. Players will start to return to pre-season training at the start of July, so we can expect for some big deals to be done over the coming weeks once they return from their holidays.
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