The Hard Tackle takes a look at some exciting transfer stories around Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
As we head to the knockout stages of the UEFA Euro 2020, the transfer market in Europe is shaping up quite nicely, with multiple players turning heads with their performances in this continental tournament.
The Premier League clubs, in particular, are among some of the busiest as they look to take advantage of the poor financial situation of European football by poaching star players from other leagues.
Arsenal, for one, are bracing themselves for a massive squad overhaul after a disappointing campaign that saw miss out on Europe for the first time in 25 years. As such, Mikel Arteta has promised to “ruthlessly” filter out his squad for next season.
Liverpool are another club expected to undergo a busy window, with Jurgen Klopp keen on addressing some of the team’s glaring issues. The Reds are already on the hunt for defenders, midfielders and attackers from across Europe, whereas their arch-rivals Manchester United are keen on signing up a few players that can further boost their chances of overthrowing Manchester City’s dominance in the league.
And, here at The Hard Tackle, we will delve into the latest transfer happenings surrounding these Premier League bigwigs.
Arsenal on the verge of Albert Sambi Lokonga signing
Our transfer starts with Arsenal, with journalist Kristof Terreur offering an update on the club’s pursuit of Albert Sambi Lokonga. It appears the midfielder is closing in on a switch to Emirates, with RSC Anderlecht already looking for replacements in the market. They have recently signed Man City talent Taylor Harwood-Bellis.
A central midfielder by trade, Lokonga might be a smart addition to Arsenal, as the club does lack depth in the middle of the park. Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have both returned to Real Madrid while AS Roma are closing in on the capture of Granit Xhaka.
Arsenal are also expected to offload other fringe players, including Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and perhaps even Mohamed Elneny. Guendouzi had reportedly agreed personal terms with Marseille, although Borussia Dortmund have joined the chase to sign the Frenchman, who spent the recent season on loan at Hertha Berlin.
Arsenal contacted by Inter Milan for Hector Bellerin
If Torreira, Guendouzi and Xhaka weren’t enough, Arsenal are braced for another key departure as Inter Milan set their sights on Hector Bellerin, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. The Italian giants are currently looking for a potential loan deal for the Arsenal star, who is valued at around €20 million.
It is believed that Bellerin has been identified as a replacement for Achraf Hakimi. The former Dortmund star is expected to move to Paris Saint-Germain after snubbing Chelsea, thus forcing new coach Simone Inzaghi to find a new option at right-back. Bellerin fits the bill perfectly due to his vast experience at the highest level of football.
The Spaniard’s departure, though, might force Arsenal to enter the market for a right-back. The Gunners had recently expressed their desire to sign Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny as a cost-effective alternative to top target Max Aarons.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City handed boost in Saul Niguez pursuit
Moving on from Arsenal, the Premier League appears to be a potential destination for one of Spain’s most gifted players in Saul Niguez this summer. According to a recent report from AS, the midfielder is now ready to depart Wanda Metropolitano after losing his prominence in the Atletico side. The club is also ready to cash in on him in the summer.
It serves as a massive boost for English clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City, all of whom have been linked with a move for Saul this term. Liverpool were the latest club to have expressed their desire to sign the Atletico Madrid star, as Jurgen Klopp steps up his pursuit of finding a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum after losing him to PSG.
Manchester United, meanwhile, were even willing to offer as much as €80 million, although that might be in doubt as the Red Devils close in on the capture of Jadon Sancho. The Borussia Dortmund starlet is expected to cost around €90 million, crippling United’s powers in the market to some extent.
Liverpool want £13 million for Xherdan Shaqiri amid Lazio interest
The ongoing European Championship has offered an opportunity for many players to prove themselves at the highest level of football. One of the players who seem to have gained a lot of traction is Xherdan Shaqiri, who is now a target for Lazio, who are expected to make an offer for the Liverpool player. The Premier League giants are holding out for a fee of €15 million (£13 million), reports Liverpool Echo.
The Reds were initially hoping for just €7 million, but Shaqiri’s performances in the Euro have helped drive up their demands. Indeed, the attacker has played a key role in helping Switzerland reach the Round of 16, notably scoring an absolute blinder in the win over Turkey in Baku.
Shaqiri doesn’t appear to have any future at Anfield, so a move to Lazio might make sense. The Swiss international may even end up becoming a direct replacement for Joaquin Correa, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer.
Liverpool handed boost in Donyell Malen pursuit
It is a matter of “out with the old, in with the new” for Liverpool, as Lazio’s interest in Shaqiri now coincides with a promising update in the pursuit of Donyell Malen. As reported by Mirror, PSV head coach Roger Schmidt has confirmed that the Dutch international is indeed set to leave the club in the summer.
It serves as a massive boost for Liverpool, who are on the hunt for a new forward who can prove to be an upgrade over Roberto Firmino. They are expected to face stiff competition from Borussia Dortmund, though. The Black and Yellows are determined to sign him as a replacement for Jadon Sancho, who, in turn, is closing in on a move to Manchester United.
Roger Schmidt, meanwhile, has also confirmed that along with Liverpool target Malen, Denzel Dumfries will also leave PSV in the summer. The talented full-back is one of many Dutch players who have impressed in Euro 2020, with Real Madrid, in particular, ready to prise him away from the Eredivisie this summer.
Liverpool accept a bid for Liam Millar
Our transfer roundup ends with Liverpool, as Liverpool Echo has offered an update on youngster Liam Millar’s situation at the club. The forward appears to be closing in on a move away from Anfield and is set to pen a deal with Swiss club FC Basel.
Liverpool have already accepted a seven-figure bid for the young forward, who is highly regarded as the next big thing in Canadian football. Millar won’t be the first young player leaving LFC, though, as many players have been forced to leave Anfield in search of a brighter future ahead, including Ethan Ennis, who has recently joined the Chelsea academy.
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It will be interesting to see whether Millar does become successful. Basel are renowned for their ability to nurture talents, and the club was once home to current Liverpool stars Xherdan Shaqiri and Mohamed Salah.
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