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Five top-class players who could move this month

We’ve reached August and the start of the new Premier League season, with top-flight football resuming this weekend.

Despite the action getting underway on Friday evening, the transfer window remains open for the remainder of the month and there’s still several sagas which remain unresolved.

As we enter the final weeks of the summer window, we look at five top-class players who could still move before the transfer window slams shut.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s future has been an unwanted distraction during Erik ten Hag’s first pre-season in charge of Manchester United, with the forward having expressed a desire to leave the club this summer.

Ronaldo returned amid much fanfare last summer, but despite a haul of 24 goals in all competitions was unable to help the Red Devils to either silverware or Champions League football.

The club’s absence from the latter competition is believed to be the driving factor behind Ronaldo’s request to leave, as the 37-year-old looks to consolidate his records as the Champions League’s leading appearance maker, goalscorer and assist provider in the latter seasons of his career.

Perhaps to the surprise of Ronaldo, there has been limited interest in his services despite his agent, Jorge Mendes, having touted his services to several Champions League clubs.

Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid have all distanced themselves from a move despite initial interest and as the deadline fast approaches his future remains up in the air.

Ten Hag will want the soap opera to reach its conclusion as soon as possible, as he looks to hit the ground running in English football. Whether that’s with or without Ronaldo in his ranks remains to be seen.

Frenkie de Jong

The saga of the summer, at least for those of a Manchester United persuasion.

Frenkie de Jong was named as the Red Devils’ number one transfer target from the moment that Erik ten Hag was confirmed as the club’s new manager, but despite a long period of negotiations a deal appears little closer.

United are understood to have agreed an initial fee in the region of £63m with Barcelona for De Jong, but issues over unpaid wages and an apparent reluctance to join a club outside the Champions League has complicated a deal.

De Jong is viewed as the perfect player to help transform the side under Ten Hag, having been a metronomic figure in the Dutchman’s Ajax side before making a €75m move to Barcelona in 2019.

His press-resistant dribbling and ability to set the rhythm of the game are attributes which have been lacking from the Manchester United midfield in recent seasons. However, the Red Devils could face competition from Chelsea and interest from the west Londoners will be met with apprehension from Old Trafford.

Chelsea can offer Champions League football and more recent silverware success, while the Blues also have Barcelona targets Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso to use as potential bargaining tools.

James Maddison

Newcastle’s spending has been more modest than most anticipated during a first summer under the club’s Saudi-led regime, though the Magpies have flexed their financial muscle with a £40m offer for James Maddison.

Leicester have turned down that bid, with Brendan Rodgers having dismissed the suggestion that Maddison could leave before the deadline.

“You see his performance, you see how happy he is and he’s not a player we want to sell,” Rodgers told BBC Radio Leicester after the Foxes’ friendly win over Sevilla.

“It’s not for me to put valuations on the players, it’s not my side, but that might just cover three-quarters of his left leg, that price. He’s a top player.”

Newcastle – who have also been credited with an interest in Harvey Barnes – are set to return with an improved offer and a huge fee will be difficult for Leicester to turn down. Rodgers last week said sales were required in order to bring in new names, with the Foxes having failed to make a signing so far this summer.

Rodgers’ side were unable to build on consecutive fifth-placed finishes last season and failed to secure European football. Maddison – who scored 18 goals and provided 12 assists in a career-best campaign – could be tempted by the chance to join Newcastle’s ambitious project.

Marc Cucurella

Marc Cucurella has handed in a transfer request at Brighton, as the left-back looks to engineer an exit amid interest from Manchester City and Chelsea.

Cucurella was a huge hit after signing for the Seagulls last summer, with the 24-year-old named as Brighton’s Players’ Player of the Season and Player of the Season at the club’s end-of-season awards.

The Spaniard’s showings have attracted the interest of City, who are in search of left-footed competition and cover for Joao Cancelo, having allowed Oleksandr Zinchenko to leave for Arsenal.

City have seen an opening bid of £30m turned down and remain some distance from Brighton’s £50m valuation of the defender.

Pep Guardiola’s reluctance to meet that asking price has allowed Chelsea in, with the west Londoners hopeful of securing a deal. Thomas Tuchel is in need of defensive reinforcements before the transfer deadline and Cucurella – who featured both at wing-back and as a left-sided centre-back last season – will provide the Blues with options.

Wesley Fofana

Chelsea’s search for defensive reinforcements has proven a frustrating one so far this summer, with the west Londoners having missed out on deals for Matthjis de Ligt, Nathan Ake and Jules Kounde.

Wesley Fofana is the latest name linked with Stamford Bridge, though the Blues face a fight to persuade Leicester into the sale of the highly-rated Frenchman.

Fofana signed a new long-term deal with the Foxes in March and is contracted until 2027, with reports having suggested that Brendan Rodgers’ side will demand a world-record fee for a defender before allowing the centre-back to leave.

Chelsea have already brought in Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, but look short of defensive depth following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

As the transfer window rapidly reaches its deadline, Thomas Tuchel and his recruitment team could bid big in order to secure much-needed additions.

Read – Five of the best free transfer signings by Premier League clubs this summer

Read Also – Midfield Generals: Edgar ‘The Pitbull’ Davids

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