The 2021-22 club season in Europe is less than a month away, with the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 all scheduled to start before mid-August, while Serie A starts on August 22 as the major leagues are gearing up before, the transfer market is still to come.
Large removals were noticeable due to their absence. Liverpool got off to an early start by sealing a £ 36million deal for RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, while Manchester United put an end to a two-year pursuit of Jadon Sancho by paying a £ 72.9million fee for the Borussia forward Dortmund agreed with only the last papers to prevent this transfer from being officially confirmed.
Paris Saint-Germain had an excellent time slot with Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer and Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan.
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But where are the cash register offers that were on the agenda this summer? Harry Kane, Erling Haaland, Raphael Varane and Jack Grealish are still with the same clubs as they were last season while Lionel Messi ended the prospect of a move from Barcelona with the promise of a new contract at Camp Nou.
Paul Pogba and David De Gea have not moved from Manchester United and Mohamed Salah remains a Liverpool player despite ongoing speculation last season about a transfer to Spain.
With the new club season approaching, ESPN has assessed the status of transfer agas waiting to be settled.
It has now been two months since England captain Kane Tottenham Hotspur made it clear that he would like to leave the club this summer, but new Spurs coach Nuno Espirito Santo expects the 27-year-old to be part of his plans for the new season .
Manchester City are Kane’s most likely target as the Premier League champions need a replacement for Sergio Agüero after leaving Barcelona. But with his Spurs deal still running for three years, City will have to pay at least £ 150m to get the London club to sell. Despite their wealth, courtesy of owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, City has consistently steered away from doing business they consider too expensive – Virgil van Dijk is a recent example when City refused to take Southampton’s 75 million in January 2018 Pound valuation to pay – and sources have told ESPN they won’t be paying £ 150million for Kane.
Kane’s contract is the key factor here as Spurs are in no danger of losing their star player as a free agent anytime soon. City have several players they are ready to sack in order to make a deal – Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva and even Raheem Sterling could be used to trick Spurs into an agreement, but Kane may have to the problem with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to have hope of a move this summer.
Mark Ogden and Nedum Onuoha discuss Man United’s pursuit of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.
Now that Manchester United have signed a deal with Dortmund for Sancho, their next priority is to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid. Sources have told ESPN that United are confident the French center-back will be at Old Trafford in time for the Premier League opener against Leeds on August 14. Sources also said Varane would like to join United after 10 years at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The deficit at this stage is Real’s determination to raise the 28-year-old’s transfer fee, with the Spanish side initially wanting £ 70m for a player whose contract expires at the end of next season. Sources have said a £ 50m fee for the defender is more realistic, but United believe that number can be cut even further. Real’s need to raise funds and cut their wage bills to rebuild Carlo Ancelotti’s roster is why they are likely to agree on a deal, but as United have noted several times in the past, how they deal with Real never easy.
United are also keen to sign English full-back Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid. Sources say the player wants to go back to his roots in the north west of England. United want Atletico to cut their £ 35m transfer fee expectation before closing a deal for the 30-year-old.
Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop share their very stern thoughts on a possible deal with Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez.
Messi’s decision to sign a new contract with Barcelona has ramifications for coach Ronald Koeman’s rebuilding plans at Camp Nou. Although the Argentine captain has always been the top priority this summer, the Argentine captain remains a huge drain on the club’s resources despite allegedly taking a 50% salary cut in order to stay. Club president Joan Laporta said the club’s finances are worse than he imagined when he was elected in March, with gross debt of just under 1.2 billion euros.
The cash squeeze has resulted in three free signings so far – Aguero, Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay – but the players will almost certainly leave the club for more deals to come.
Antoine Griezmann, signed by Atletico Madrid for € 120m in 2019, is now expected to return to his former club under an exchange deal with midfielder Saul Niguez. That deal would take Griezmann’s € 300,000-a-week salary off Barca’s payroll. Miralem Pjanic, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Martin Braithwaite and Samuel Umtiti are all available, but their salaries in Barcelona are likely to be a barrier to any club willing to sign them.
The Borussia Dortmund striker has given little indication that he would like to leave Signal Iduna Park this summer, despite being the number 1 target for every major club in Europe.
Needing a proven goalscorer, Chelsea have tried to test Dortmund’s determination this summer as the German club face the Norwegian’s £ 68million release clause that will go live in 2022 but neither Dortmund nor Haaland camp have that Bait accepted. With Sancho’s departure to Manchester United approved, Dortmund are unlikely to switch another of their star strikers this summer, but Haaland is expected to move in 12 months.
Haaland will turn 21 on Wednesday and sources have told ESPN that the former FC Salzburg striker is in no hurry to leave Dortmund and his friends and advisers believe another year in the Bundesliga will help his development. But with arguably the hottest property in world football coming in for just £ 68 million next year, expect an almighty scramble to sign him in 2022.
Read the latest news and reactions from ESPN FC Senior Writer Mark Ogden.
Paul Pogba’s future at Old Trafford has rarely been off the headlines since signing for Manchester United in what was then a world record £ 89.1m deal from Juventus in 2016.
This summer, the ongoing financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the game has lowered the volume of the Pogba saga, but it is perhaps the most important time of his time at United. With the French midfielder’s contract expiring in June 2022, it’s time for United and Pogba. Either he’ll sign a new deal this summer or United risks losing it for free in 12 months. Pogba could negotiate a free agent move to a club outside of the Premier League as early as January 1, 2022.
United have given no indication that Pogba would like to sign a new deal that would tie the 28-year-old to the club for the rest of his career, but due to the lack, there is also no change on the agenda of the clubs ready to take his Match weekly wage of £ 300,000. Sources have told ESPN that Pogba is likely to expire and make his next move next summer – but a new deal with United in 12 months remains an option as few other clubs are able to pay his wages.
Jack Grealish could move to Premier League champions Manchester City this summer for a nine-figure fee. Neville Williams / Aston Villa FC via Getty Images
The Aston Villa midfielder is seen as a primary target by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola but his signing could cost the champions up to £ 100m. With City also on the hunt for Kane, it means City will have to raise funds due to the potential cost by selling some of those players that Guardiola considers redundant.
Grealish signed a five-year deal at Villa last summer that will keep him at the club until 2025. However, it is unknown if the England international negotiated a release clause before signing that deal. But Villa’s £ 33million deal for Norwich midfielder Emiliano Buendia last month suggested the club was already preparing for a life without Grealish, who is not expected at Villa until later this month due to a hiatus after Euro 2020 .
Guardiola’s determination to sign Grealish makes this deal one that is likely to close before the start of the season.
After missing European qualifiers last season, Arsenal have started reworking Mikel Arteta’s squad. Nuno Tavares has already completed a £ 6.8m move from Benfica, while a £ 50m transfer has been agreed with Brighton for England defender Ben White – a deal that could be finalized before the Gunners head to a pre-season tournament in Florida travel to the USA.
But Arsenal will have to face Italian midfielder Manuel Locatelli and Lyons Houssem Aouar. Juventus are in talks with Locatelli over a £ 34.3m move from Sassuolo, which would be a first loan before a permanent deal in 12 months. Sources have said that Sassuolo won’t agree to a permanent deal until this summer, which could increase Arsenal’s chances of signing the Euro 2020 star.
And Tottenham have emerged as main rivals in the race to sign Aouar, who had been an Arsenal target for a year. Sources have told ESPN that Spurs are ready to offer Tanguy Ndombele as part of a deal to sign Aouar, but Arsenal remain on the hunt for the France international.