Welcome back everyone. And as we end 1,057 consecutive days of Nations League games and finally – finally! – bring down the curtain on the 2021-22 season, it’s time for the Mill to crank back into action and the real business of modern football to commence: the frenzied splodging of obscene quantities of cash, and fevered speculation thereon. Who will be riding through their city centre on an open-top bus at the end of August having “won” the transfer window?
So let’s start with the team that merely won the Premier League, for Manchester City are hunting midfield reinforcements, with Kalvin Phillips thought to be top of Pep Guardiola’s list. Football Insider reports that City have “submitted an offer” for the Leeds and England midfielder, who has also been linked with Liverpool and Manchester United.
For their part, Leeds have been linked with Danny Ings but Steven Gerrard insists the striker is very much part of his plans at Aston Villa, despite a patchy 2020-21 campaign, and any asking price wouldn’t go much lower than the £25m they shelled out for him. Leeds are rather more hopeful of securing Bayern Munich’s Marc Roja.
Tottenham spent well in January and are willing to splash the cash again, with Richarlison a possible target. Everton would want at least £50m for the Brazilian, however. Antonio Conte is also thought to be interested in the Torino defender Gleison Bremer. The Brazilian centre-back impressed in Serie A last season, making 33 appearances and scoring three goals.
Wealthy Premier League clubs raiding the Bundesliga could be a theme of this summer’s window. With that in mind, RB Leipzig have slapped a £100m price tag on their French midfielder Christopher Nkunku in the face of interest from Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain. If Arsenal miss out here, Leicester’s Youri Tielemans could come into play as a midfield addition.
Going the other way through the Emirates revolving door might be Bernd Leno, with yo-yo specialists Fulham interested in the 30-year-old goalkeeper. The west London club are also leading the race to sign Liverpool’s Neco Williams ahead of their fellow promoted club Nottingham Forest, according to Football League World.
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When Newcastle arrive in the shop, clubs tend to quickly switch around their price labels, and latest soundings are that Lille have deterred them from bidding for their Dutch defender Sven Botman. The Ligue 1 club have upped their asking price for the 22-year-old from £30m to £36m, the Telegraph says, meaning Eddie Howe may well look elsewhere. However, the Daily Mail reports that Newcastle are still confident of landing the teenaged Reims forward Hugo Ekitike, having slapped £25.6m of their new riches on the table.
Staying in the north-east, Sunderland face a battle to hang on to their Scotland forward Ross Stewart, whose 24 goals helped the Black Cats gain promotion back to the Championship last term. Rangers are interested, says the Northern Echo, particularly if Alfredo Morelos rejects a new deal.