There’s just over a week to go until the summer transfer window slams shut and Premier League clubs are scrambling to secure deals and perfect their squad balance.
It’s been another summer of record-breaking spending for the Premier League’s top clubs, but the business is far from done with several moves expected to be finalised before September 1.
As time ticks towards the deadline, we’ve selected one ideal incoming for each ‘Big Six’ side before the deadline.
One ideal transfer for each ‘Big Six’ side before the transfer deadline:
Arsenal: Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich)
Arsenal have backed Mikel Arteta once again in the transfer market this summer, with the Gunners leading the Premier League for net spend to date (£162.7m).
The north Londoners concluded much of their business early with the arrivals of Declan Rice – signed in a club record deal from West Ham – Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber, but the latter’s ACL injury has been an early season blow.
Further incomings at Arsenal could be dependent on sales, though Arteta has a number of unwanted assets free to leave in the transfer window’s final stages.
Folarin Balogun looks set to rake in a big fee after impressing on loan at Reims last season, while Rob Holding, Nicolas Pepe, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares could all leave this week in search of regular minutes.
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) August 22, 2023
Arsenal have been tentatively linked with Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard, whose adaptability at the back would be the perfect addition in Timber’s absence. The France international has entered the final season of his contract and is available for a fee in the region €32m (£27.4m). Inter Milan have agreed a deal for Pavard, but Bayern are yet to sanction his sale as the Bundesliga champions seek a replacement first.
Chelsea – Mohammed Kudus (Ajax)
Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that Chelsea remain in the market for the ‘right profile’ of player, having seen a number of names ruled out through injury in recent weeks.
The addition of an extra forward is understood to be on the agenda and Chelsea have been linked with Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus.
Kudus scored 18 goals in all competitions last season and has impressed in a number of advanced roles, with the Ghana international comfortable across the front three and in midfield. His adaptability and potential could see Kudus form an exciting frontline alongside fellow recruits Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku, once the latter returns to fitness.
A comparatively modest price-tag of around €45m in an inflated market adds to the appeal of Kudus, though London rivals West Ham are currently closing in on a deal to sign the 23-year-old.
Liverpool: Joao Palhinha (Fulham)
Liverpool’s midfield rebuild began well with the exciting additions of Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister compensating for the blow of missing out on Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid, but since then it has been somewhat of a s***show on Merseyside.
The unexpected too-good-to-turn-down offers for Fabinho and Jordan Henderson meant more changes than expected were needed to be made, but the Reds made a mess of their pursuits of Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo, flitting between the duo before missing out on both players to Chelsea.
Wataru Endo has arrived to provide experience and, despite statistical evidence to suggest the Japanese midfielder could be a success, the surprise arrival of the 30-year-old from Stuttgart hardly screams of calculated pre-window planning.
Taking tackling to another level 🤝
— Premier League (@premierleague) June 27, 2023
Liverpool lack presence in the centre of the pitch, an issue which could be resolved with a move for Fulham’s Joao Palhinha. At 28, the Portugal international would be a medium-term recruit, but would arrive well-versed in the demands of the Premier League after an excellent debut season at Craven Cottage.
Palhinha led the Premier League for duels won and tackles last season and, while he would cost a sizeable sum, Liverpool have shown with their Caicedo bid that there’s money available for the right player.
Manchester City: Matheus Nunes (Wolves)
Kevin De Bruyne’s hamstring issues have meant Manchester City have re-entered the market, though a bid to sign Lucas Paqueta from West Ham was abandoned after alleged betting breaches against the Brazilian.
City are understood to be juggling a decision between Wolves’ Matheus Nunes and Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze, but Pep Guardiola’s long-term admiration for the former makes him favourite to arrive at the Etihad.
STOP SCROLLING and watch Matheus Nunes’ incredible strike from all angles 🤤 pic.twitter.com/v2KPLN4uIL
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 9, 2023
Wolves have turned down an opening bid worth £47m for the Portugal international, who underwhelmed at Molineux last season but has clear talent. An excellent ball-carrier, Nunes was hailed as ‘one of the best players in the world’ by Guardiola when facing City in the Champions League at former club Sporting Lisbon.
Guardiola might just feel he is the right coach to take 24-year-old to the ceiling of his potential, with a toothless Wolves side short of firepower having failed to bring the best from the midfielder’s talent.
Manchester United: Sofyan Amrabat (Fiorentina)
If there’s one take from Manchester United’s early season performances, it’s that Erik ten Hag has not quite got the balance of his new look midfield right.
Casemiro’s form across the opening two fixtures has been a concern, while Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount having failed to provide adequate defensive cover as both Wolves and Tottenham cut open the Red Devils.
United continue to be linked with Sofyan Amrabat, who is currently training alone at Fiorentina as he agitates for an exit. The Moroccan has entered the final 12 months of his deal in Florence and is available for a cut-price fee of €30m, making him a feasible target for a United side whose spending is constrained by Financial Fair Play rules.
— UEFA Europa Conference League (@europacnfleague) August 21, 2023
The failure to sell the likes of Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Harry Maguire to date means finances are tight at Old Trafford, but Amrabat appears attainable and affordable before the deadline. The 27-year-old would provide a combative energy and bite has has been noticeably lacking in the season’s early weeks.
Tottenham – Gift Orban (Gent)
Ange Postecoglou insisted he had been prepared for the departure of Harry Kane from Tottenham, but the north Londoners remain light at centre-forward.
Richarlison has deputised in a central role to date, while Spurs have agreed a £13m deal to sign teenage striker Alejo Veliz from Rosario Central. Another option is needed and Spurs are believed to be among the clubs chasing Gent forward Gift Orban.
The Nigerian has catapulted himself into the consciousness of Europe’s top clubs since a blistering emergence at Norwegian side Stabæk Fotball last season. Orban finished as the Norwegian First Division’s top scorer in 2022 before a January move to Belgian’s Gent, where he has since scored 26 goals in just 26 appearances.
🏟️ 6 games
⚽ 6 goals
Gift Orban has it balanced this season 💫 pic.twitter.com/y1qoubqTJ3
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) August 20, 2023
The 21-year-old set a new record for the fastest hat-trick in UEFA competition last season after scoring three times in just three minutes and 25 seconds against İstanbul Başakşehir in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Valued at around €30m, he has the potential to make a mockery of that price-tag if he continues on his current trajectory.
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