OH LOOK, SOME ARSENAL TRANSFER TARGETS
Like clockwork. Just when Arsenal needed to drum up some positivity after it became apparent that Arsene Wenger wants to stay on as manager, out comes a long list of transfer targets for this summer. You won’t believe this, but they’re going all out for the big ones.
The report comes from John Cross in the Daily Mirror, and even he wrote recently that Wenger had to go this summer. That’s when you know things have gone south.
Still, with a pep in his step Cross merrily discusses potential new signings. Loads of them.
‘Wenger is almost resigned to having to plan without them [Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez] and find replacements for the future and Arsenal will back him heavily with a massive budget of over £100m to try to take the club to the next level,’ Cross writes. We’ve definitely never heard that before from Arsenal.
Anyway, the list of players Cross mentions:
– Alexandre Lacazette – Lyon – Striker you’ve probably heard of.
– Kylian Mbappe – Monaco – The next big thing. Will definitely choose Arsenal as his next destination.
– Marco Reus – Borussia Dortmund – More likely. But not hugely inspiring given players that will be leaving.
– Moussa Dembele – Celtic – I’m being harsh here, but I still want to see him outside of the SPL before making my judgement.
– Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Joe Hart – Because David Ospina is also off. Pickford the most likely, if Sunderland go down.
– Kieran Tierney – Celtic – Could happen. Nacho Monreal might leave, but Kieran Gibbs never will. When did two Kierans last play in the same team, eh?
– Jose Gaya – Valencia – Mentions that Manchester City want him, so that’s that.
– Ross Barkley – Everton – To replace Aaron Ramsey, apparently, who could be sacrificed. Seems a bit drastic.
It’s definitely all going to happen. It’s definitely not an attempt at a PR quick win.
LIVERPOOL INTERESTED IN MICHAEL KEANE
This story comes from Simon Jones in the Daily Mail. The first line of his piece is: ‘Liverpool are the latest club to consider Burnley defender Michael Keane.’ Informative and punchy.
Keane is reportedly being watched by a number of Premier League clubs. The Burnley defender was subject to a £20m offer from Leicester last summer, while Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been mentioned since.
The assumption is that Everton are in the driving seat to sign Keane, and that he won’t quite get that move to a top-four club, but Jones believes Liverpool could also make an offer.
Keane was called up to the England squad by Gareth Southgate this week at the expense of Bournemouth’s Steve Cook, a decision that is still reverberating around the footballing world.
EVERTON EYE LUKAKU REPLACEMENTS
With Romelu Lukaku surely off this summer (do not fly far, my sweet prince), Everton thoughts turn to replacements.
In The Sun, an exclusive from Mike McGrath claims that Ronald Koeman is eyeing Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu and Real Sociedad forward Willian Jose for a combined fee of £50m.
I’m aware that Everton would be getting two strikers and selling one, but that really does seem like a huge risk to replace guaranteed goals with two players who have never played in England before. Neither of those transfer fees (£25m each) seems like good value.
Still, Everton do have time to dwell on it.
AND THE REST
Antoine Griezmann, who has been heavily linked with Manchester United, has confirmed he will not be leaving Atletico Madrid this summer… Thibaut Courtois believes Chelsea ‘will do whatever’ to keep Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge long-term… Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho plans to sit down with Marcos Rojo at the end of the season to thrash out a contract extension… Tottenham are weighing up a move for AC Milan’s former Liverpool midfielder Suso… Wayne Rooney did not attend a meeting of England players yesterday in which manager Gareth Southgate laid out his ambitious vision of eventually turning them into world champions.