The summer transfer window has officially opened and the rumour mill has hit overdrive, with constant speculation set to circle until the window slams shut in September.
We’ve decided to look at some of the notable names grabbing the headlines right now, looking at five midfielders who are in high demand this summer.
Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong is understood to be Manchester United’s number one transfer target this summer, with Erik ten Hag keen to make the former Ajax midfielder his first signing.
De Jong starred under Ten Hag’s guidance at Ajax before a €75m move to Barcelona in 2019, where he has since struggled to find his role in the Spanish side.
Barcelona are understood to be open to his sale this summer as the cash-strapped Catalans look to raise funds, but the club are keen to recoup their initial investment for the Dutch international.
Frenkie de Jong deal. New bid hasn’t been submitted yet, but Manchester United will ready soon with a fresh proposal to Barcelona, as reported on Sunday 🔴⤵️ #MUFC
Talks into key stages between the two clubs. Antony, another name discussed internally – full focus on Frenkie now. https://t.co/0mTIYWkrf3
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 20, 2022
United are believed to remain relaxed about the situation and feel in a strong position to conclude a deal, which would represent a significant transfer for Ten Hag as he looks to implement his preferred brand of football at Old Trafford.
De Jong’s technical talent and tactical intelligence could prove a fine conduit between defence and attack, with the Red Devils’ engine room having been criticised in recent campaigns.
The 25-year-old’s 91.33% pass accuracy in La Liga last season dwarfs the figures of Scott McTominay (85.6%) and Fred (84.1%) and his arrival would bring a touch of composure and class that has been lacking in the club’s midfield.
Manchester City are in the market for a midfield enforcer following Fernandinho’s exit, with Kalvin Phillips having emerged as the club’s lead target.
The 26-year-old has excelled since Leeds’ return to the Premier League, breaking into the England side and impressing during the Three Lions’ run to the final of the European Championship last summer.
Phillips has forged a reputation as a defensive shield with the ability to pick passes and put his side on the front foot, acting as a quarter-back during Leeds’ best performances under Marcelo Bielsa.
Manchester City are working on both Marc Cucurella and Kalvin Phillips deals. First official bid for Cucurella will be submitted soon, while Phillips is considered the main target to replace Fernandinho. 🔵 #MCFC
On Julián Álvarez: many approaches, no intention to loan him out.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 17, 2022
Rodri’s outstanding season means Phillips would arrive as an initial deputy to the Spaniard, but the chance to move to the Premier League champions and compete for major prizes will appeal to the midfielder after a season of struggle at Elland Road.
Guardiola has often cited former Leeds boss Bielsa as a role model and having watched Phillips’ evolution under the Argentine has expressed an interest in signing the star.
Having also shown his ability to push further forward and regain possession in advanced areas of the pitch with England, he could prove a valuable option to a City midfield requiring defensive-minded depth.
There’s a long list of clubs queuing up to sign Christian Eriksen, who is available on a free transfer as he nears the end of his short-term deal at Brentford.
Eriksen signed a six-month deal with the Bees as he made his return to football after last summer’s traumatic events at Euro 2020, making an immediate impact to inspire Thomas Frank’s side away from the Premier League relegation places.
One year ago today, Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest at the Euros.
His return to football has been incredible 👏 pic.twitter.com/nATiWdurTd
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 12, 2022
Brentford won seven of the 11 league games in which Eriksen featured, with the Denmark international scoring once and providing four assists.
Brentford are keen for the inspiration behind their turnaround to sign a new deal, but face competition from a number of leading clubs with Manchester United, Tottenham, Everton, West Ham and Newcastle all said to have made contact.
Former side Ajax are also reportedly interested, whilst there has been an approach from an unnamed La Liga side.
The Dane’s preference is believed to be remaining in London, perhaps handing the initiative to Brentford, West Ham and former side Spurs.
Joao Palhinha has been linked with some of the Premier League’s leading clubs in recent windows, having impressed with his dominant approach to the defensive midfield role.
The 6ft 2in midfielder has shone at Sporting Lisbon, forming part of the team that won the Primiera Liga for the first time in 19 years in 2020/21.
The 26-year-old has also become a regular with Portugal and has earned 14 caps since his debut in 2021, whilst reports have indicated he is closing in on a move to English football.
Fulham appear to be winning the race to sign Palhinha after agreeing an €18m deal with Sporting, in what would represent a significant coup for the newly-promoted west Londoners.
💪 Joao Palhinha's statistically calculated WhoScored strengths:
🟢 Aerial duels
🟢 Ball interception
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 18, 2022
Wolves, however, remain interested and the strong Portuguese contingent at Molineux could prove persuasive. Bruno Lage could be in the market for a replacement for Ruben Neves, who has been linked with an exit.
Palhinha averaged seven aerial duels won and three tackles per game for Sporting last season and his arrival would add instant presence to any Premier League engine room.
Jesse Lingard is among the notable free agents of the summer transfer window, having departed Manchester United after a frustrating period at Old Trafford.
Lingard returned to the Red Devils last summer after an impressive loan spell at West Ham, but struggled to regain his place in the side under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
The 29-year-old made just two league starts and is keen to secure regular first-team football as he bids to regain his place in the England squad ahead of the Qatar World Cup in November.
Born and bred a red. Over the last few weeks, I've been emotional about leaving a club that is family. After 22 years I’ve had so many special memories and moments that I will cherish forever. @ManUtd will always remain in my heart. A massive thank you. Lots of love Jlingz ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PJyglJBsNk
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) June 1, 2022
Lingard is believed to be taking a patient approach to his decision however, in what could prove to be the final major contract of his career.
Newcastle and Tottenham have both been linked, whilst the logical move would be a return to West Ham after excelling during the 2020/21 campaign, scoring nine goals in just 16 league appearances for the Hammers.