Premier League: Five essential picks for your fantasy team
On the eve of the new Premier League season, several clubs are still hoping to get another deal or two over the line in time for their opening weekend squad, though several sagas look set to drag on into the final weeks of the transfer window. One of those is Frenkie de Jong, with the Barcelona midfielder seemingly preferring a move to Chelsea over Manchester United, but not keen to give up the salary owed to him by his current club. The Catalan and west London club could be doing further business too, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso linked with a switch to the Camp Nou, while Xavi Hernandez hopes to have Man City star Bernardo Silva as the replacement for De Jong if all goes to plan.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are trying to land at least two more players for their defensive ranks too – but Brighton released a stern statement rejecting reports that Marc Cucurella was all but sold to the Blues, despite claims that personal terms were agreed for the left-sided player. Wesley Fofana remains an option if Leicester are open to sell, while new reports claim Thomas Tuchel wants Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Stamford Bridge.
Elsewhere, Newcastle United are still hoping to sign James Maddison, Manchester United are keen on Serginio Dest, fellow Barca backup Neto could be heading to Bournemouth and Nicolo Zaniolo is still high on Tottenham’s list of priorities, if they can offload fringe players.
Follow all the latest transfer news, rumours and updates below.
Nottingham Forest to make renewed approach for Morgan Gibbs-White
Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White seems to be much in demand, other than at his own club, who have loaned him out for the past couple of years and don’t seem to be able to find a role for him.
It’s Nottingham Forest who are still most keen, having had a bid turned down earlier this summer, but they’re set to go back with another improved offer, say Sky Sports.
Their last bid was around £25m and it’s set to be increased, but Wolves are unwilling sellers with two years left on his deal.
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 14:45
European transfers: Wijnaldum, Torreira, Moukoko and more
Here’s a round up of European-based transfers going on today, according to media from Spain, Germany, Italy and beyond:
- Gini Wijnaldum is close to finalising his loan move from PSG to Roma, with an option to buy included
- Lucas Torreira will decide which club to join from Arsenal “in a short time”, with Galatasaray presenting the “best offer” according to his agent
- Jordan Veretout is heading from Roma to Marseille despite fans campaigning against his signing
- AC Milan have been offered Tanguy Ndombele from Spurs but may prefer to sign their youngster Pape Sarr
- Alex Meret is set for a move on loan to Spezia, with Napoli set to sign Kepa from Chelsea in goal instead
- Youssoufa Moukoko is undecided over signing a new contract with Borussia Dortmund, with his current deal over in a year
- Nice, Mallorca and Salernitana are all keen to sign out of favour Villarreal attacker Boulaye Dia
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 14:30
West Ham agree to meet Maxwel Cornet release clause
Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet could be on his way to the London Stadium.
TalkSport say West Ham United have “seen off interest from Newcastle, Everton and Forest” to land the attacker, though that appears to be more because they are willing to activate his release clause rather than any sporting, financial or sweet-talking reasons.
The Hammers have agreed to pay the £17.5m clause up front, which none of the others were willing to do, making them the “most likely” landing spot for Cornet.
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 14:15
Nottingham Forest want three more signings including Jizz Hornkamp
More deals in the pipeline for Nottingham Forest. Steve Cooper is hoping to land Dutch forward Jizz Hornkamp as another striker to call upon this season, after he impressed last year at Willem II.
The Athletic say he is among “several targets identified” to provide cover and competition to club record signing Taiwo Awoniyi.
24-year-old Hornkamp scored four times in the Eredivisie last season after only joining in January.
Two more signings in addition to a new forward are still in Forest’s plans, the report claims.
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 14:00
Steve Cooper faces twin challenge after Nottingham Forest’s summer of excess
After a 23-year absence from the top table of English football, Nottingham Forest won’t be able to point to the excuses of a Norwich City or a West Brom if their stay only lasts a single season. Where the Canaries opted for financial prudence, Forest have been outlandish in their spending. Where the Baggies kept faith with many who saw them promoted, the Reds have made wholesale changes to the squad.
It’s a bold (and partly necessary) move from those both in the ownership and management groups, with the official tally currently standing at 21 departures (including youngsters, loans and out of contract players released) and a current net expenditure of around £80m, with more to come.
Karl Matchett looks ahead to the Reds’ return to the top flight after a busy summer in the transfer market.
A return to the top flight has seen huge investment, increasing the expectation on the play-off winners to survive but also thrive
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 13:45
Chelsea sign Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa in £20m deal
The 18-year-old midfielder, who was part of the England side that won the Under-19 European Championship this summer, moves to Stamford Bridge having decided against signing an extension to his Villa contract, which was due to expire next summer.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard left the midfielder out of the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and he had been training with the under-23s. Gerrard was understood to have put a £20million price tag on the player.
Chukwuemeka, who turns 19 in October, made his first-team debut in May 2021 and last season made 14 appearances but just two of them were Premier League starts.
He said of his switch to Stamford Bridge: “It’s been quite hectic but I couldn’t get Chelsea out of my head the last few days so I’m just happy and relieved that it’s all done.”
More on the Chukwuemeka signing:
Blues chairman Todd Boehly believes the 18-year-old ‘is one of the most exciting young players in Europe’
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 13:30
Man United have two Frenkie de Jong alternatives – but neither are available
Manchester United face at least three barriers in signing Erik ten Hag’s first-choice transfer this summer, midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
First, is his finance-based stand-off with current club Barcelona. Second is the suggestion from some areas that he is not too keen on a move to Old Trafford anyway, a point of view United are not in agreement with. And third is that Chelsea are also in the running and keen to land him too, and have Champions League football to offer.
So, alternatives are a sensible solution – but neither of the two names at the top of the list are available this summer, report the Athletic. They name Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and West Ham’s Declan Rice as the preferred other options for United, but moves for either one would have to wait until next year.
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 13:15
Wolves and Everton to fight over Batshuayi
Michy Batshuayi still plays for Chelsea. That’s the first piece of insight. He hasn’t actually played there since 19/20 though.
Loan spells in Germany, Spain, south London and Turkey have ranged between good and dreadful, but another temporary stint beckons for the 28-year-old Belgian, with Wolves and Everton both reportedly keen.
He has one year left on his contract and is not in Thomas Tuchel’s plans, say Sky. Wolves are also considering Bordeaux striker Ui-jo Hwang.
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 13:00
Barcelona agree terms with Bernardo Silva for transfer
We know by now that Bernardo Silva is Barcelona’s widely reported target to replace Frenkie de Jong, if the Dutch schemer departs the Camp Nou.
The Mail now update that story by reporting “personal terms between club and player are already all-but agreed”, though there’s no evidence that City and Barca have undergone talks to set a price tag.
Barcelona are hoping that offloading De Jong, and signing Silva, would present similar transfer fees, with the dramatic saving coming in salary earnings – with De Jong in line for up to €45m across the next two years, compared with around €20m for Silva.
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 12:45
Man United plan more talks for Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko
Manchester United are still struggling to get the numbers through the door Erik ten Hag wants.
More talks are planned over RB Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko, reports the Athletic, but even so his pricetag is viewed as prohibitive and the Austrian club do not want to sell as they apparently feel he can reach similar heights to Erling Haaland.
It has also emerged United turned down the chance to sign Sesko for £2.5m three years ago, with his pricetag now standing around at least the £50m mark.
Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalajdzic has also been linked.
Karl Matchett4 August 2022 12:30