Liverpool in search of Malen & Saul; Arsenal get closer to Lokonga and more
The Hard Tackle takes a look at some exciting transfer stories around Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
As we head into the round of 16 at UEFA Euro 2020, the transfer market in Europe is looking pretty good, with several players turning heads with their performances in this continental tournament.
Premier League clubs in particular are among the most active as they seek to take advantage of European football’s poor financial situation by poaching star players from other leagues.
Arsenal, for their part, are preparing for a massive overhaul of their squad after a disappointing campaign that saw Europe miss for the first time in 25 years. As such, Mikel Arteta has vowed to “ruthlessly” screen his squad for next season.
Liverpool are another club set to endure a busy window, with Jurgen Klopp keen to resolve some of the squad’s glaring issues. The Reds are already on the hunt for defenders, midfielders and strikers from across Europe, while their big rivals Manchester United are keen to sign a few players who can further increase their chances of overthrowing Manchester City’s dominance in the championship.
And, here at The Hard Tackle, we’re going to dive into the latest transfer events surrounding these Premier League bigwigs.
Arsenal set to sign Albert Sambi Lokonga
Our transfer starts with Arsenal, with journalist Kristof Terror offering an update on Albert Sambi Lokonga’s club pursuit. It looks like the midfielder is getting closer to a move to Emirates, with RSC Anderlecht already looking for replacements in the market. They recently signed Man City talent Taylor Harwood-Bellis.
A central midfielder by trade, Lokonga could be a smart addition to Arsenal as the club lack depth in the middle of the park. Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have both returned to Real Madrid as AS Roma move closer to capturing Granit Xhaka.
Arsenal are also expected to offload other fringe players, including Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and possibly even Mohamed Elneny. Guendouzi has reportedly agreed to personal terms with Marseille, although Borussia Dortmund have joined the chase to sign the Frenchman, who spent the last season on loan at Hertha Berlin.
Arsenal contacted by Inter Milan for Hector Bellerin
If Torreira, Guendouzi and Xhaka weren’t enough, Arsenal brace for another key start as Inter Milan target Hector Bellerin, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. The Italian giants are currently looking for a possible loan deal for the Arsenal star, valued at around € 20million.
It is believed that Bellerin has been identified as a replacement for Achraf Hakimi. The former Dortmund star is set to move to Paris Saint-Germain after snubbing Chelsea, forcing new coach Simone Inzaghi to find a new option at right-back. Bellerin fits the bill perfectly due to his extensive experience at the highest level of football.
The Spaniard’s departure, however, could force Arsenal to enter the market for a right-back. The Gunners had recently expressed their desire to sign Jonjoe Kenny from Everton as a profitable alternative to main target Max Aarons.
Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City gave Saul Niguez pursuit a boost
After Arsenal, the Premier League appears to be a potential destination for one of Spain’s most gifted players at Saul Niguez this summer. According to a recent report from AS, the midfielder is now ready to leave Wanda Metropolitano after losing his importance within Atletico. The club are also set to take advantage of him this summer.
It gives a massive boost to English clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City, all of whom have been linked with a move for Saul this quarter. Liverpool were the latest club to express their desire to sign the Atletico Madrid star, as Jurgen Klopp intensifies his quest to find a Georginio Wijnaldum replacement after losing him to PSG.
Manchester United, meanwhile, were even ready to offer up to € 80million, although that may be in doubt as the Red Devils move closer to capturing Jadon Sancho. The Borussia Dortmund starlet is expected to cost around € 90million, crippling United’s powers in the market to some extent.
Liverpool want £ 13million for Xherdan Shaqiri amid Lazio interests
The current European Championship has given many players the opportunity to prove themselves at the highest level of football. One of the players who appears to have gained a lot of popularity 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 resisting for a fee of 15million euros (£ 13million), reports Liverpool Echo.
The Reds were initially only hoping for € 7million, but Shaqiri’s performances at the Euro have helped increase their demands. Indeed, the striker played a key role in helping Switzerland reach the round of 16, notably marking an absolute blindness in the victory against Turkey in Baku.
Shaqiri doesn’t appear to have a future at Anfield, so a move to Lazio might make sense. The Switzerland international could even end up directly replacing Joaquin Correa, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer.
Liverpool gave Donyell Malen pursuit a boost
It’s about ‘going out with the old, 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 Netherlands international will indeed leave the club this summer.
This gives Liverpool a huge boost as they are looking for a new striker who can prove to be an improvement over Roberto Firmino. They should, however, face stiff competition from Borussia Dortmund. Both Blacks and Yellows are determined to sign him as a replacement for Jadon Sancho, who in turn is moving closer to Manchester United.
Roger Schmidt, meanwhile, has also confirmed that with target Liverpool Malen, Denzel Dumfries will also be leaving PSV this summer. The talented full-back is just one of the many Dutch players who impressed at Euro 2020, Real Madrid in particular, set to pull him away from the Eredivisie this summer.
Liverpool accept offer for Liam Millar
Our transfer round-up ends with Liverpool, as Liverpool Echo provided an update on youngster Liam Millar’s situation at the club. The striker seems to be getting closer to Anfield and is expected to strike a deal with Swiss club FC Basel.
Liverpool have already accepted a seven-figure offer for the young striker, which is highly regarded as the next big event in Canadian football. Millar will not be the first young player to leave LFC, however, as many players have been forced to leave Anfield in search of a brighter future, including Ethan Ennis, who recently joined Chelsea academy.
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It will be interesting to see if Millar succeeds. Basel are renowned for their ability to train talent, and the club were once home to current Liverpool stars Xherdan Shaqiri and Mohamed Salah.