With less than 48 hours of the transfer deadline remaining, Premier League clubs are running out of time to get their final summer business over the line.
This week has exploded into life already with sizeable bids being thrown around in a bid to secure those last remaining pieces of the jigsaw – and with the window beginning to creak shut, it’s set to become frantic in the transfer world.
A number of big-money deals will go through on Wednesday and Thursday – that much is clear – but which deals are likely to go through, and which clubs will be left disappointed?
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool – Barcelona, £138m)
We may as well start with the Brazilian elephant in the room. The Catalan media are insistent that this deal will happen, the English media not so much. Liverpool have rejected three bids so far for their star asset, but their resolve could be tested one more time with a last, massive offer from Barcelona.
The player himself has made it clear he wants to move, handing in a transfer request and not kicking a ball in anger due to an injury that magically cleared up when he went on international duty.
Thus far, all noises from media close to the club are saying the same thing: no deal. Whether that holds until 11pm on Thursday will be interesting to see.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal – Manchester City, £60m+)
Man City have finally made their first offer for the Chilean international, though that £50m bid was quickly knocked back. That said, all signs point to an increased amount being offered for the Chilean forward in the very near future. He wants to leave the Emirates, of that there is no doubt, and the choice Arsenal now have is whether to accept a huge amount for him now or lose him for nothing for next year.
The Gunners may yet demand a player (possibly Raheem Sterling) in exchange, but their stance is definitely softer than it has been all along.
Diego Costa (Chelsea – Atletico Madrid/Everton, £40m/Loan)
A rare care case in which both selling club and player are desperate for a transfer to happen, but finding the right deal could yet be tricky. Atletico Madrid still have the strongest interest (and are his preferred destination) but the Spanish side have yet to meet Chelsea’s asking price. Furthermore, he would miss half of the season due to Atleti’s transfer ban.
Everton have also been linked, and manager Ronald Koeman has been talking up the possibility of a loan deal until such time as he could play for Atletico.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal – Liverpool, £35m)
This one took a bit of a swerve on Tuesday night. A deal was struck on Monday between Arsenal and Chelsea that would have seen Oxlade-Chamberlain move to Stamford Bridge, the player has rejected that and is now holding out for Liverpool.
The Reds are interested, but it remains to be seen how the England international would fit in with their plans. He would be the alternative should they fail to get Thomas Lemar (see below) but if that deal went through, would he stay at Arsenal and see out the last year of his contract?
Thomas Lemar (Monaco – Liverpool, £75m)
Liverpool have made a late play for the Monaco attacker, but may have left it too late. Two bids have already been knocked back, but the Reds are prepared to break the bank to bring Lemar to Anfield.
Monaco signing Keita Balde from Lazio has heightened hopes of a deal, but it may take Divock Origi going in the direction to convince the reigning Ligue 1 champions to part with yet another expensive star.
Virgil van Dijk (Southampton – Liverpool, £75m)
If Liverpool thought signing Lemar would be difficult, it has nothing on this. Officially, Liverpool would need encouragement from Southampton before they even go near van Dijk again, but they retain a strong interest in him nonetheless.
That he is still Jurgen Klopp’s only defensive target suggests that a lot of eggs are being put into this basket. With Southampton maintaining that he is not for sale, but relations between player and club fraught to say the least, this one could go either way.
Ross Barkley (Everton – Tottenham/Chelsea, £30m)
Barkley is down to the last year of his contract, has already turned down a new one and Everton manager Ronald Koeman isn’t particularly fussed about keeping him. If either Chelsea or Tottenham meet his asking price, a deal will be done.
Chelsea are believed to have already tested the waters with a £25m bid, and it remains to be seen if Spurs join the race and give the Toffees the bidding war they want.
Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion – Manchester City/Arsenal, £30m)
Man City have had one bid rejected already (as have Leicester), and one gets the sense that Evans will be leaving the Hawthorns if the right offer comes along.
Despite interest from Arsenal (though no bid has been made), City must surely still be the favourites to land the former Man United defender.
Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain – Tottenham, £23m)
This is another deal that has already been agreed the two clubs, with the right-back set to swap Paris for London. The only stumbling block at this point is Aurier’s visa application – an assault charge still hangs over the Ivorian and while he was denied entry into the UK for a Champions League clash last season, Spurs are still confident of convincing the Home Office to allow the move to go through.
Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City – Chelsea, £40m)
Reports on Tuesday night suggested that Drinkwater has handed in a transfer request at the King Power amid strong interest from Chelsea. The Blues are believed to have had one offer for the England international rejected already, but will come back in for him if they feel that it might get them somewhere.
Antonio Conte is apparently keen to sign more English players, and a double-swoop for Drinkwater and Barkley would certainly fit that bill.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we speak to Longford boss Neale Fenn about his start to managerial life and look ahead to this weekend’s LOI fixtures and Ireland internationals.
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