Premier League Transfer News And Rumours: 31st July 2015

Arsenal

Arsenal have signed Petr Cech. We’re not sure whether you’ve noticed, because they’re trying to keep it quiet, but they have. And he’s basically the only bit of transfer business they’ve done so far this summer. After their 6-0 rout of Lyon in a pre-season game Arsene Wenger suggested that he was happy that he hasn’t had to intergrate too many players into his squad this summer. Yet given that last year they added Alexis Sanchez to the team – who was arguably the best player in the league last season – but actually accrued less league points, some Arsenal fans might be slightly concerned that those at the top seem to think Cech will be enough to win them the league.

The papers, meanwhile, continue to link Arsenal with a move for a whole host of players, not least of which is Karim Benzema. It seems the French international has been rumoured to be heading to Arsenal since his conception, and this summer is no different. This time it’s The Express that are running the story, saying that the Gunners have had a £31 million approach rejected and so are heading back with £40 million in their kitty. Quite where the Arsenal accountants are getting their figures from is anyone’s guess; someone must feel a £9 million increase will be the key to his capture.

The Daily Star have decided to branch out from pictures of women wearing little to no clothes and have instead opted to get some clicks on their website by linking the Arsenal with a £120,000 a week contract offer for Sergio Busquets. A bit of a weird one considering that the player has four years left on his contract with Barcelona, meaning it will presumably take a bit of a mammoth bid from the Gunners to get the Catalan club to release him.

The good news for Gunners fans is that both Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla have extended their contracts at The Emirates this week. Walcott has signed a new four year deal worth £140,000 per week, putting an end to rumours that he might move to Liverpool in order to get more game time. Cazorla, meanwhile, has extended his time at the club by abother two years.

Maxisport / shutterstock.com

Maxisport / shutterstock.com

Finally for Arsenal, The Week are reporting that Fernando Llorente’s agent is in London in order to finalise an £11 million move for the Juventus forward to the glorious Northern part of the nation’s capital. Arsenal definitely need to improve their attacking options, but whether a 30 year old Spaniard who wasn’t even Juventus’ first choice forward last season is the right way to go remains to be seen.

Aston Villa

Igor Bulgarin / shutterstock.com

Igor Bulgarin / shutterstock.com

After the shell shock of Christian Benteke’s departure matched alongside Fabian Delph’s abrupt U-turn in order to head to Manchester City, it seems as though things are starting to settle down for Aston Villa and Tim Sherwood. No sooner had their Belgian forward signed his contract with Liverpool and they’ve already signed a replacement in Ghanian Jordan Ayew, a 23 year old forward who has been plying his trade in France with Ligue 1 club Lorient. And this week has also seen the arrival of a 28 year old Spanish defender named Jose Angel Crespo. Along with Jordan Amavi and Micah Richards the new signing will add some much needed experience to the Villa back line.

The Express are reporting that Villa’s business is far from done yet, too with the Midlands club in negotiations with Blackburn over the £7 million signing of their striker Rudy Gestede. The 26 year old scored 22 goals for Blackburn last season, leading Tactics Tim to be keen on bringing him in to Villa Park.

The Independent think Gestede isn’t the only striker that Sherwood is after, with the former Tottenham manager hoping to be reunited with his former charge Emmanuel Adebayor. The 31 year old reportedly had a medical this week with a loan move likely to be finalised by Monday at the latest.

Finally the BBC have today confirmed that Villa have signed Jordan Veretout from Nantes. The 22 year old French midfielder becomes Villa’s 8th signing of the summer and the 4th player to come from the French leagues. Sherwood said about the signing, “I know Veretout is very highly rated over in France so we are delighted to get this deal over the line”.

Bournemouth

The Cherries have been reasonably busy in the transfer market so far, and Eddie Howe has admitted their not done yet, according to The Daily Mail. That notion is backed up by The Daily Mirror’s report that Bournemouth are close to bringing in Glenn Murray from Crystal Palace. The 31 year old is yet to be offered a new contract by the Eagles, causing him to explore his options moving forward. Bournemouth have been quick off the mark, offering Palace £3 million for the veteran striker, with Norwich also monitoring developments.

The other bit of good news for Cherries fans comes in the form of Callum Wilson signing a new contract. The England Under-21 striker scored 20 goals last season as he helped Bournemouth secure promotion, leading to interest from Aston Villa and even Chelsea and Arsenal. But he’s committed his future to the newly promoted club, putting pen to paper on a new 4 year deal. Wilson told Bournemouth’s official website, “I signed thinking we would get to the Premier League in the next few years and we did it in the first season. There’s no reason, at this moment in time, why anyone would want to leave…Playing in the Premier League is all I have ever dreamed of. You want to be on Match of the Day and play against the players you idolise. I’m more than happy here”.

Chelsea

It’s been a quiet week for Jose Mourinho, settling for making fat jibes at Rafa Benitez and sexist comments to the Spaniard’s wife rather than being overly busy in the transfer market. In fact, it’s been a quiet window full stop for the London club, with only two players of any note, Falcao and Begovic, arriving at Stamford Bridge.

mooinblack / shutterstock.com

mooinblack / shutterstock.com

Mourinho is seemingly determined to add a bit of youth to his defence, though, with Everton defender John Stones high on his list of priorities. Even Gary Cahill has encouraged the 21 year old to join him at the Bridge, with a second bid of £26 million from Chelsea being rejected by the Blue half of Merseyside. They will be back with a 3rd bid, though, and no one will be surprised to see Stones in a Chelsea kit before too long.

The Metro think that Mourinho, who loves a bit of a mind game with Arsene Wenger, plans to wind up his counterpart ahead of the Community Shield match this weekend by placing a bid for one of Arsenal’s chief targets. Who is it they’re bidding on I hear you ask? Lacazette? Benzema? Llorente? No, it’s the other massive target we’ve all heard so much about, Faouzi Ghoulam! The 24 year old has been linked with a move to Arsenal all summer, with Wenger keen to bring in a replacement for Nacho Monreal. But Chelsea also need another full back after Filipe Luis returned to Atletico Madrid and the Napoli player has tickled the self-proclaimed Special One’s fancy.

Crystal Palace

With Glenn Murray likely to make his way to Bournemouth in the coming days, Palace are in the market for a striker and Sky Sports reckon that they’ve had a bid accepted by Sunderland for Connor Wickham. The England Under 21 international netted 5 goals in 3 games at the end of the 2013-2014 season when he helped Sunderland stay in the Premier League, but he failed to take that into last season, scoring just 6 goals in the whole of the campaign. But a £9 million deal plus add-ons will see Wickham join Patrick Bamford as Palace’s second striker signing this summer.

The Eagles have also signed a new goalkeeper this week, bringing in Alex McCarthy from Queens Park Rangers. The 25 year old is Alan Pardew’s third signing of the summer and has come in to offer some competition to Julian Speroni between the sticks at Selhurst Park.

Finally for Palace is the news that Swansea have slapped a £25 million price tag on their captain Ashley Williams in order to discourage any moves for the defender by Alan Pardew’s team. It’s a staggering amount of money to demand for a 30 year old who is, frankly, not that great, but Gary Monk feels he’s a vital part of his team moving forward, and who are we to disagree?

Everton

This summer has been more about the outs for Everton than the ins, with the current battle for John Stones potentially holding the key to the Toffee’s ability to bring in some fresh blood. With Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz having already departed Goodison and Stones likely to leave this summer, the Blues will need to bring in another defender and are chasing Udinese’s Thomas Heurtux, according to The Liverpool Echo. Martinez is keen on the 27 year old Frenchman and is rumoured to be favourite to sign him ahead of Juventus.

Meanwhile the same paper reckon that Martinez could be ready to pounce should Schalke’s move for Xherdan Shaqiri fall through. The attacking midfielder’s move to the German club was all set to go after he failed to settle at Inter Milan, but talks have broken down between Schalke and Shaqiri’s representatives.

Leicester

Claudio Ranieri has yet to make a signing as Leicester manager, but that could be about to change according TalkSport, with the Italian set to bring Atalanta defender Yohan Benalouane in to the King Power stadium. The 28 year old is keen on a move to the Premier League and is willing to ignore interest from Udinese and Lille in order to achieve it. Leicester could place a bid of £7 million in the next few days, which could be vital as numerous other Premier League clubs are also meant to be interested in his signature.

According to The Independent, Leicester are trying to hijack West Brom’s move for Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert. The 33 year old endured a rather disappointing season at his home town club and has fallen even further down the pecking order this summer after the arrivals of Chrstian Benteke and Divock Origi. It does seem as though West Brom are the most likely to get a deal tied up for the footballing journeyman, but Claudio Ranieri could yet pip Tony Pulis to the striker’s signature.

Liverpool

Liverpool have been very busy in the transfer market so far this summer, and many might think that that means they’re as good as done. Yet most would agree that the one area of weakness in the current squad is in the left back spot, so it’s no surprise that they’re being linked with Lucas Digne at PSG. His agent has denied that he’s in talks with the Merseyside club, but his name is one of the chief ones being bandied about regarding a move to the Reds.

If Digne is a likely arrival for the first team then The Express haven’t ruled out the possibility of a move for a Barcelona youth player, with Adama Traore rumoured with a move to Merseyside. The winger has been playing for Barcelona’s B team and scored 3 with 14 assists in 37 appearances for them last term, though he couldn’t help them escape relegation. Manchester United and Everton are also interested in the 19 year old, though he may feel he has more chance of making first team appearances at Anfield given the departure of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City.

Celso Pupo / shutterstock.com

Celso Pupo / shutterstock.com

The Metro, meanwhile, think that Liverpool are going all out to sign Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle, trying to bring him in ahead of interest from Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. Rodgers is apparently impressed with Sissoko’s versatility and Newcastle may accept a bid in the region of £17 million for his signature.

Finally for the Red half of Merseyside is a report that is also in The Metro that Real Madrid are ready to make a deal with Liverpool over the sale of Asier Illarramendi. The technically gifted midfielder had fallen out of favour at the Bernabeu under Carlo Ancelotti, though new manager Rafa Benitez has brought him back into the fold. Benitez could do his old club a favour, though, with the Spanish giants happy to do a deal of around £14 million for the Spaniard.

Manchester City

Manchester City are another team, like Arsenal and Chelsea, that have had a quiet summer so far. Because of the richness of their owners they’ve been linked with pretty much every player on the market, though Paul Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne remain the favourites to be at The Etihad come the start of next season. This week it’s The Daily Mirror who are reporting a move for Pogba will soon be in the offing, with Juventus determined to hold out for a fee in the region of €80 million for their midfield dynamo. Apparently any potential move for the player is being complicated by the fact that his image rights are owned by an old friend of his, Oualidia Tanazefti, meaning that any club that buys the player will not only have to pay an absurd fee to Juventus and around €12 million a year in wages, but also about €15 million to Tanazefti for his image rights.

The Daily Star reckon that Kevin De Bruyne will have to hand in a transfer request if he wants to force through a move to City, with Wolfsburg determined to hang on to their star player. Wolfsburg want to build a team that is capable of challenging Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title and firmly believe that De Bruyne is an important part of that.

Sticking with The Daily Star for the final City story, they think that Nicolas Otamendi sees himself playing in England next season. The Argentinian defender has attracted interest from Manchester United, but The Star are saying that City could make a late bid for his services. He has a £35 million release clause that hasn’t yet been met, but the player himself is convinced that he won’t play for Valencia again in a competitive match.

Manchester United

Louis Van Gaal has had a busy summer so far, bringing in five new players including a new goalkeeper and two high profile midfielders, yet most people accept he still has quite a bit of work to do before the new season gets underway. One such signing could yet be John Stones, with Van Gaal determined to geg in on Chelsea’s attempts to sign the young Everton defender. The Metro reckon that United are willing to go where Chelsea aren’t by bidding £30 million for the 21 year old.

With Angel Di Maria likely to be heading for the Old Trafford exit door this summer, Van Gaal would like to bring in another winger and all of the signs point towards Pedro being the man for United. But whilst The Express are reporting that Barcelona have given the winger permission to talk to the Red Devils after their European Super Cup match against Sevilla on August 11th, The Manchester Evening News are saying that the 27 year old is now set to stay at The Nou Camp. Barcelona President Jose Maria Bartomeu said, “We don’t foresee any departures from the team. I’ve read many things about a Pedro departure, but no one has officially addressed our club. Our squad is complete”.

AGIF / shutterstock.com

AGIF / shutterstock.com

Finally another player that United seem set to miss out on is Edison Cavani. There’s no question that the Red Devils would like to add another attacking option to their line-up, with Rooney the only established striker in the team. Yet Cavani won’t be that attacker, according to The Daily Star. The former Napoli star said, “A lot of things have been said about my situation, but all I can say is that the club knows how I feel and what my goals are. I have a contract with PSG and I have to respect that. I am feeling very well in Paris. I am happy here. I have the same goals as the club and I want to score goals”.

Newcastle

It’s impossible to talk about Newcastle without using the phrase “official media partner”, of which we’re not one. Yet the BBC are surely ok to report on the Magpies, so we should take their news that Newcastle have signed Chancel Mbemba this week seriously. The DR Congo international is subject to a work permit being granted and is also under investigation from FIFA because of discrepancies about his age. The (maybe) 20 year old defender made 28 appearances for Anderlecht last season and is now heading to St. James’s Park after an undisclosed fee was agreed for his signature.

The BBC are also reporting that Steve McClaren is ready to add Northampton Town’s Ivan Toney to his roster this summer. The 19 year old striker has scored 13 goals in 60 appearances for the League Two club, attracting some interest form numerous Championship clubs as well as Newcastle. It’s good to see that Mike Ashley has abandoned his usual transfer methods of buying random, unknown players for little money.

Norwich City

The Canaries have quietly gone about doing a decent bit of business so far this summer, with this week being no exception. Their chase of Robbie Brady from Hull has finally come to an end, with the Tigers accepting a bid of around £7 million for the former Manchester United winger. The 23 year old has signed a three year deal with Norwich that sees him return to the Premier League after making 43 appearances in the division over the last two seasons. Canaries manager Alex Neil described Brady as “the perfect fit” for the club.

Norwich have also signed Andre Wisdom on a year long loan from Liverpool. The 22 year old signed a new long term deal with the Reds in May, leading many to think that he was likely to be used by Brendan Rodgers this term. Yet that isn’t to be, with the defender heading to Norwich for the season instead. Wisdom made 24 appearances on loan at West Brom last year, though he fell out of favour somewhat when Alan Irvine left the club to be replaced by Tony Pulis.

Finally, The Eastern Daily Press are quoting Alex Neil in an article, claiming that the Scot isn’t afraid to look abroad for his remaining transfer targets as he aims to get Norwich ready for the Premier League. Neil is hoping to add at least another signing or two to his squad before the start of the season, with a new goalkeeper said to be high on the agenda.

Southampton

Southampton secured a season long loan deal for Steven Caulker from QPR this week, with the defender being brought in to give Ronald Koeman more options at the back. And Koeman isn’t done in the market just yet, with the Dutchman saying “I think still we need some players more to have really competition in our squad”. It’s a terribly constructed sentence, granted, but you get what he’s trying to say.

Having already lost Nathaniel Clyne to Liverpool and Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United, Koeman won’t want any other big names to head out of St. Mary’s before the new season kicks off. Saints fans might be slightly worried by the lack of players being linked to the club, though, with the only real news for Southampton coming in the form of players they’ve missed out on. There’ll doubtless be some new faces arriving at the club before the transfer window slams shut, though at the moment we haven’t got the foggiest who it’s going to be.

Stoke

The biggest news for Stoke fans this week comes with the arrival of Ibrahim Afellay to the Potteries. The 29 year old winger was released by Barcelona at the end of last season, but he’s been chased by most of the big Premier League clubs in his career – including both Manchester United and Liverpool. So Potters fans should be reasonably excited at his arrival on a free transfer. Mark Hughes is building a technically talented team in the Midlands, with Afellay joining fellow Barcelona alumni Bojan, Marc Muniesa and Moha at The Britannia Stadium.

Another technical player who could yet find himself heading to Stoke is Xherdan Shaqiri, reports The Stoke Sentinel. The Potters had a £12 million bid for the winger accepted by Inter Milan earlier this month, only for the 23 year old to refuse to talk to the club about a move. With a potential move to Schalke falling apart, Roberto Mancini has made it clear to the Swiss international that his future lies elsewhere and that he might want to reconsider the offer from Mark Hughes’s club.

Sunderland

With Connor Wickham close to joining Crystal Palace it’s evident that the Black Cats will want to bolster their attacking options. No surprise, then, that rumours have emerged of a possible move for Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes. The 25 year old has been linked with a £12 million move to Middlesbrough, but The Metro are saying that it may be a different North East club that he’ll be playing for when the season gets underway.

Sunderland have spent £14 million on four new signings so far this summer and they aren’t afraid to keep splashing the cash in the hope of avoiding another relegation battle this year. The Daily Star feel that Rhodes alone won’t be enough for Dick Advocaat, so the Black Cats are also hoping to bring in Moussa Sow from Fenerbahce. The Star reckon that Sunderland have already had a bid of £12.5 million for the striker rejected by the Turkish club and that they want £14 million for the player who only has a year left to run on his contract.

Swansea

Other than the news that Gark Monk has put a £25 million price tag on the head of Ashley Williams amid news of Crystal Palace and Everton being interested in the Swansea captain, there’s very little to report on the Welsh club’s transfer activity. Even Wales Online know that there isn’t going to be much more activity for the Swans this summer, with the website quoting Gary Monk as saying, “Of course there’s the possibility of doing a bit more business, but I’m very happy with the squad I have”. Don’t expect much more news before the end of the window, then, Swans fans.

Tottenham Hotspur

With Emmanuel Adebayour almost certainly on his way out of White Hart Lane it’s likely that Mauricio Pochettino will want to add another striker to his squad before the start of the season. The Daily Mirror reckon that that striker could be Manchester United misfit Javier Hernandez. The 27 year old has returned to Old Trafford after a year long loan at Real Madrid, with Louis Van Gaal not particularly keen to keep him in his squad.

Meanwhile The Evening Standard are reporting that Spurs have sold Vlad Chiriches to Napoli. The 25 year old defender made just 10 appearances for the London club last year and has fallen out of favour with Pochettino.

Finally, West Brom captain Darren Fletcher has decided to weigh in on the club’s transfer policy, telling TalkSport that it will take a lot more than £15 million to lure Saido Berahino away from The Hawthorns. Spurs are rumoured to have bid £10 million for the striker’s services, with Tony Pulis playing hardball and demanding something more in the region of £20 million for him.

Watford

Watford have been the busiest club in the transfer window, according to the BBC, with the Hornets having brought in 10 new players since the start of the buying period. That includes the recent arrival of Steven Berghuis, the 23 year old forward who has come in from AZ Alkmaar for a fee believed to be in the region of £4.6 million.

The profligacy of the club in the market thus far does mean that there aren’t that many rumours of new players coming in for us to report this week. In fact the only bit of news of any worth concerns the potential signing of Achraf Lazaar from Palermo. The defender is being chased by Roma and Monaco, according to TalkSport, though Watford are also hoping to clinch a £2.5 million deal for his signature. Eleven new signings in one summer! Who do Watford think they are, Liverpool?

West Brom

The biggest news for the Baggies this week is the signing of Rickie Lambert from Liverpool. Ok so the signing hadn’t been confirmed by the time we went to print, but the Reds are keen to offload the Merseyside born journeyman and Tony Pulis is extremely keen to sign him, plus Liverpool announced today that Christian Benteke will wear the number 9 shirt previously on the back of Lambert.

The move for Lambert comes just two days after the Baggies tied up a move for James Chester from Hull. The 26 year old signed a four year deal at The Hawthorns for a fee thought to be in the region of £8 million. Pulis said of the defender, “James did very well for Hull City. I’ve had a good chat with him and he’s the type of player I like”.

West Ham

Two rumours to report concerning West Ham this week. This first one is that the Hammers have made an £8.4 million bid for Fenerbahce’s Moussa Sow, according to The Metro. Slaven Bilic has been keen to bring in a new striker all summer, but a bad knee injury to Enner Valencia in this week’s Europa League match means it’s become a rather more pressing matter. Sunderland are also keen on securing the striker’s signature, but Bilic remains confident he can get in there first.

The second rumour also concerns a striker, with The Evening Standard reporting that Javier Hernandez is a target for West Ham. Diafra Sakho is currently the only first choice striker in the Hammers ranks, so a move for the out of favour United forward wouldn’t necessarily be in place of any attempts to buy Sow. West Ham have reportedly had one bid of £9 million turned down, with another due to be lodged next week.