Everyone, welcome back. And as we end 1,057 consecutive days of Nations League games and finally – finally! – bring down the curtain on the 2021-22 season, it’s time for the Mill to crank back into action and the real business of modern football to commence: the frenzied splodging of obscene quantities of cash, and fevered speculation thereon. Who will be riding an open-top bus through their city center at the end of August, having “won” the transfer window?
Let’s start with the team that just won the Premier League, because Manchester City are on the lookout for midfield reinforcements, with Kalvin Phillips believed to be at the top of Pep Guardiola’s wish list. City have “made an offer” for the Leeds and England midfielder, who has also been linked with Liverpool and Manchester United, according to Football Insider.
Leeds have been associated with Danny Ings, but despite a disappointing 2020-21 season, Steven Gerrard maintains the striker is still very much part of his plans at Aston Villa, and any asking price would not be much less than the £25 million they paid for him. Leeds have a better chance of landing Bayern Munich’s Marc Roja.
Tottenham made a big splash in January and are ready to do so again, with Richarlison a prospective target. Everton, on the other hand, would demand at least £50 million for the Brazilian. Gleison Bremer of Torino is also reported to be a target for Antonio Conte. Last season, the Brazilian centre-back made 33 appearances in Serie A and scored three goals.
The theme of this summer’s window might be wealthy Premier League clubs raiding the Bundesliga. In light of this, RB Leipzig have set a £100 million price tag on French midfielder Christopher Nkunku, despite interest from Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, and PSG. If Arsenal fails to make the cut, Leicester’s Youri Tielemans might step in as a midfield replacement.
Bernd Leno, the 30-year-old goalkeeper, might be heading the other way via the Emirates revolving door, with yo-yo specialists Fulham interested in the 30-year-old goalie. According to Football League World, the west London club is also leading the race to recruit Liverpool’s Neco Williams, ahead of fellow promoted team Nottingham Forest.
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Lille has been stopped from bidding for their Dutch defender Sven Botman, according to latest soundings. According to the Telegraph, the Ligue 1 club has increased their asking price for the 22-year-old from £30 million to £36 million, indicating that Eddie Howe may have to go elsewhere. However, the Daily Mail reports that Newcastle are still confident of landing the teenaged Reims forward Hugo Ekitike, having slapped £25.6m of their new riches on the table.
Staying in the north-east, Sunderland is fighting to keep Scotland forward Ross Stewart, who scored 24 goals last season to help the Black Cats return to the Championship. The Northern Echo reports that the Rangers are interested, particularly if Alfredo Morelos declines a new contract.