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Eight quality midfielders dominating the transfer headlines right now

Transfer talk is dominating the headlines with the summer window open for business.

Clubs in the Premier League and across Europe are tirelessly working behind the scenes in a bid to get deals done, as sides look to strengthen with new signings and upgrades to the squad. With speculation and transfer rumours relentless right now, we’ve looked at eight quality midfielders who are dominating the headlines.

Eight quality midfielders dominating the transfer headlines right now

Declan Rice

Declan Rice is perhaps the most in-demand name of the Premier League transfer window, with last season’s top two scrapping for the services of the West Ham captain. Arsenal had appeared frontrunners in the race for Rice with Mikel Arteta having made the midfielder his leading transfer target, but Manchester City will provide serious competition.

Both clubs have seen offers turned down, as West Ham hold out for a fee of around £100m for the England international. The Hammers’ valuation comes after Rice captained the club to a first major trophy in 43 years last season, having evolved into one of the most influential box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League.

His ball-winning is elite having led the Premier League for ball recoveries and interceptions last season, but Rice is now more rounded than during his early emergence with an improved range of passing and an ability to maraud forward from midfield.

The 24-year-old is already closing in on 50 caps for England and would offer long-term presence to whichever side secures his services. West Ham will hope a bidding war can take his price-tag upwards, with substantial funds required to replace the influence of the club captain.

Mason Mount

Mason Mount’s future remains up in the air after talks between Chelsea and Manchester United reached an impasse. The latter have seen three bids turned down for the 24-year-old, who is out of contract at Chelsea next summer and has offered no indication that he is willing to sign an extension.

United are understood to have left their third offer – believed to be worth £55m – on the table, in the hope that Chelsea reconsider their £65m valuation of the midfielder amid the risk of losing Mount on a free transfer.

Erik ten Hag has made the signing of Mount a priority, but is prepared to move on to alternatives if Chelsea do not change stance. The England international is viewed as an ideal addition to the Red Devils midfield, with his off-the-ball work – both offensively and defensively – an upgrade on Christian Eriksen.

Mount’s intelligence in the press and intensity would be a welcome addition to Ten Hag’s team next season, while a return of 22 goals and 25 assists in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons is an indication of the end product the midfielder can provide despite a dip in form last season.

Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva has regularly been at the centre of transfer talk in recent windows with the midfielder having agitated for an exit from Manchester City. The Portugal international remains a key figure for the treble-winners, but has been cryptic when discussing his future with suggestions that he is open to a new challenge.

Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Saudi Arabian sides are all interested in signing the 28-year-old, but Manchester City hope the offer of a new deal can persuade Silva to stay at the Etihad. He is contracted for another two seasons at the European champions, who will demand a huge fee should the midfielder push for an exit.

Silva’s exit would be a major blow to Pep Guardiola, who has already seen Ilkay Gundogan decide against signing a new contract in favour of a free transfer move to Barcelona. The loss of Silva would be even more sizeable, given the Portuguese playmaker is at the peak of his powers and has the flexibility to perform in multiple roles.

James Maddison

Leicester’s relegation from the Premier League has seen top-flight clubs circle for the Foxes’ leading names, with James Maddison attracting interest.

Newcastle have held a long-standing interest in the 26-year-old, but Tottenham are leading the race to sign Maddison and have agreed personal terms with the midfielder. Spurs remain in negotiations with Leicester over a final fee for Maddison, who is valued at around £50m at the King Power Stadium.

Maddison scored 10 goals and laid on nine assists for Leicester last season despite the club’s relegation, form which earned the attacking midfielder an England recall.

Maddison has produced consistent form and numbers despite operating in multiple positions for Leicester. He has been used as a number eight, from the right, and as a traditional number ten operating off a main centre-forward and his mix of flexibility and production will make him a major asset to Spurs if, as expected, he becomes Ange Postecoglu’s first marquee signing in north London.

Frenkie de Jong

After spending the entirety of last summer in a saga involving interest from Manchester United, Frenkie de Jong is back in the headlines once again.

Barcelona’s ongoing financial concerns have meant De Jong’s status in Catalonia has rarely been assured, with the Dutchman often viewed as a saleable asset given considerable (and wealthy) admirers in the Premier League.

Erik ten Hag remains a huge admirer of the midfielder after working with De Jong at Ajax, while Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG and Bayern Munich have also each been named as potential suitors.

De Jong excels as a conduit in midfield, technically excellent in tight areas of the pitch and able to progress the ball efficiently with passes or progressive carries. The 26-year-old ranked in the 96th percentile or higher among midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues last season for passes attempted, pass completion percentage, progressive passes and progressive carries last season, the sort of standards which have placed De Jong in such demand.

Manchester United fans, in particular, will not want to hear the midfielder’s name unless there’s substance to the speculation this summer, but expect the rumours to rumble on as the window progresses.

Moises Caicedo

Brighton continue to punch above their weight in the Premier League, but the downside to such success is that England’s wealthiest will also continue to come circling for the club’s prized possessions.

Alexis Mac Allister has already headed for the exit door to sign for Liverpool and Moises Caicedo looks set to follow before the end of the summer. Chelsea and Arsenal both saw offers for the Ecuadorian turned down in January and each remain interested, with the former leading the chase as new manager Mauricio Pochettino looks to rebuild from sorry season at Stamford Bridge.

Caicedo has excelled as a ball-winning bundle of energy in the Brighton midfield and ranked second in the Premier League for both tackles and interceptions in 2022/23. Industrious, tenacious and with room to develop, the 21-year-old is valued at around £80m at the Amex Stadium and could fetch Brighton a record sale before the window’s closure.

Chelsea’s focus has been on sales in the summer to date, but expect interest in Caicedo to accelerate as the west Londoners look to beat competition to one of the Premier League’s most coveted talents.

Khephren Thuram

Liverpool’s rebuild in midfield has seen no shortage of names linked with a move to Merseyside, though links to Khephren Thuram have gained considerable momentum in recent weeks.

Thuram’s mix of physical presence and drive in possession has reportedly made him a leading transfer target for Liverpool, with the 22-year-old having impressed to be named in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year last season.

The midfielder – son of France great, Lilian – made his debut for the national side in March and Liverpool centre-back and compatriot Ibrahima Konate has endorsed the club’s reported interest in the Nice star.

“I would be very happy for him [Thuram] to come to Liverpool and I would take him under my wing and I would do everything for him to progress and become the player he wants to become,” Konate said, as per RMC Sport.

“If Khephren has the opportunity to come to a club like Liverpool, I think he will be surprised by the enthusiasm that will come behind him. It’s up to him to work. He’s still very young but he has an incredible margin for improvement so I’m confident.”

Romeo Lavia

Romeo Lavia was the standout in Southampton’s season despite the club’s relegation to the Championship.

The teenager signed from Manchester City last summer and made an immediate impression during his first season of Premier League football. No u-20 player in Europe’s top five leagues won possession more times in the middle third than Lavia, whose composure on the ball and tenacious work to regain it has made him a top target for several sides this summer.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been linked with the 19-year-old, who made his senior debut for Belgium in March.

Lavis is perhaps not a readymade option for the Premier League’s top teams and his on-the-ball contribution requires improvement, but the potential is clear with the Belgian and there’s a number of teams prepared to hand him an instant top-flight return.

Read – Five Championship stars primed for Premier League transfers

Read Also – Noughties Nines: Henrik Larsson – Celtic’s King of Kings

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