Whilst football still faces some uncertainty over how things will look off the pitch when the Premier League kicks off in less than two weeks’ time, transfers are now starting to kick into top gear.
It’s common knowledge the chasing five or six clubs behind champions Liverpool have needed to strengthen their squads ahead of the new campaign to ensure this season will not be a procession of one-way traffic towards the title.
So far both Chelsea and Tottenham have made moves, the West London club had already secured coveted striker Timo Werner from RB Leipzig before last season had concluded and since the end of the season in July have further increased the squad size with the acquisitions of defenders Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Saar, expected when analysing the Blues goals against record last season.
Doubts remain over the goalkeeping position with 39-year-old Willy Caballero preferred to Kepa Arrizabalaga for the final few games of the season, questioning whether Lampard feels his number one is not the answer behind an improved looking defence.
Jose Mourinho and Spurs have strengthened in areas they have needed so far, Joe Hart, Matt Doherty, and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg arriving at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with rumours of a striker and possibly a left back still to come.
Manchester United have begun to make significant inroads into the market with the expected signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek for £40 million over the next few days. Van de Beek is another off the famous Dutch club’s production line and will provide strong competition in an area where United are blessed with the likes of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.
Moves to bring Jadon Sancho to England from Borussia Dortmund appear to have stalled over the size of the fee although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be confident the deal will get over the line with the transfer window open until 5th October for non-domestic moves.
With the Old Trafford outfit having an extra week before the season begins due to their European commitments in August, the Norwegian has a little more time than his counterparts to spend on making deals work and also in the pipeline for the Red Devils could be Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish and defender Kalidou Koudibaly although the latter is now being linked with arch rivals Manchester City and with the expected purchase of Van de Beek Grealish might now be off the radar.
City’s only move in the market has been the signing of centre half Nathan Ake from relegated Bournemouth and like United they have the extra week too after their Champions League exploits and are strongly linked with a move for Lionel Messi if the Argentinian can force a move away from Barcelona to be reunited with former boss Pep Guardiola. They will need to move to replace back-up goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and the mercurial talent that is David Silva on his return to Spain.
Guardiola will not settle for being second best this time around and with the likes of Koulibaly, Ruben Dias and Ferran Torres all linked to the Etihad Stadium, Liverpool might not have things all their own way so easily this coming season if any one of these challengers can mount a challenge.
With a full five weeks until the window closes with a further seven days added after for domestic transfers to complete there is plenty of time for more arrivals in the Premier League but don’t rule out one or two departures, there is a little bit of book balancing to be done.
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