The World Cup may have taken the attention of the football world, but that doesn’t stop Premier League teams from wheeling and dealing this offseason.
With the new campaign a little over a month away, transfer negotiations continue to heat up in the English top flight. Most clubs have already made significant signings and acquisitions this summer, while there are teams that are closing in on their top targets despite failing to make a splash in the opening of the transfer window.
Today, we take a look at the latest Premier League news and rumours and determine who are the biggest winners and losers of the recent transfers.
Notable Transfers and Signings
One of the biggest moves of the summer isn’t a transfer, but it sure has big implications in the Premier League.
Earlier this month, Liverpool made a statement and basically told their opponents that they are here to compete when they signed Mohamed Salah to a new long-term contract. According to reports, the Egyptian King signed a lucrative deal without a release clause to stay at Anfield until 2023.
Salah scored 44 goals in 52 appearances for the Reds last season and is undoubtedly Liverpool’s most prized asset.
Meanwhile, in terms of transfers, West Ham are making huge waves with their acquisitions. After bringing in Poland keeper Lukasz Fabianski last month, the Hammers are now set to complete a move for former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.
Jack Wilshere in action against Marcos Alonso during Arsenal’s League Cup first leg match against Chelsea in January
Wilshere is a free agent after leaving Arsenal and is reportedly on his way to London Stadium having undergone a medical. According to the latest updates, the 26-year-old midfielder is close to signing a three-year deal with the club after productive discussions with West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Talking about Arsenal, new manager Unai Emery is slowly filling up spots following an exodus of players. After getting Swiss international Stephan Lichtsteiner (formerly of Juventus) as a free agent and Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen, the Gunners have agreed to a deal to bring veteran defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos to the Emirates from Borussia Dortmund.
Papastathopoulos, nonetheless, isn’t the only Bundesliga player taking his talents to the Premier League. Highly-rated RB Leipzig defender Bernardo is moving to the English top flight as well after a successful capture from Brighton & Hove Albion.
Elsewhere, Newcastle United sign South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, fresh from captaining the Korea Republic national team in the World Cup. Meanwhile, Watford officially signed former Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu on a permanent deal.
Deulofeu spent the second half of the 2017-18 campaign on loan at Vicarage Road after failing to find his stride in the Barcelona rotation.
There are still plenty of big-name stars out there that could find new homes in the coming days. Brazil keeper Alisson, for one, is said to have “agreed terms” to sign for Chelsea.
Alisson started in all of the Selecao’s World Cup matches and conceded just three goals, though the last two against Belgium led to their quarter-final exit in the tournament.
Interestingly, Alisson is tipped to replace Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge, with the current Blues No.1 keen to return to Spain.
On the other hand, after bringing in Naby Keita and Fabinho, Liverpool are said to be considering a bid for Juventus’ Paulo Dybala amid reports that the Bianconeri are positioned to acquire Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester United, meanwhile, have allegedly prepared a €40 million bid for PSV striker Hirving Lozano.
Chucky, who played hero in Mexico’s opening World Cup victory over Germany, has attracted a wealth of interest after his solid performance in the World Cup. Arsenal have also been linked with the 22-year-old attacker.
Xherdan Shaqiri is also an interesting name that continues to float around. Both Liverpool and United are eager to secure the services of the Swiss winger, but they might have to give up a player as relegated Stoke City are considering a loan signing as part of the deal.
On other news, Dimitri Payet could make a shock return to West Ham after leaving the club two years ago, while newly promoted Fulham F.C. joined Chelsea and Arsenal in the race to sign Jean Michael Seri from Nice.
Perhaps the biggest name to watch this transfer window is Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. The Italian’s future with the club is still in limbo and rumours that he could be sacked soon intensified after sources confirm that the club is leaning on appointing former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri.
Maurizio Sarri instructs Napoli players during a Champions League match with Shakhtar Donetsk in September 2017
Winners and Losers
Well, there’s no doubt that the biggest winners here are the EPL fans considering the arrival of quality talents from other leagues.
Sure enough, a move that will alter the Premier League betting odds is yet to be done, but there’s no doubt it has been a great transfer week for the league.
Liverpool and EPL win big by keeping one of their brightest stars in Salah, while West Ham continue to hoard talent that could pay off huge dividends.
Wilshere is a risky signing given his injury history, but he could be a valuable addition to a West Ham team in dire need of playmaking.
Chelsea, perhaps, are the biggest losers as they are yet to make a major signing, unlike their Top 4 rivals. Not to mention that the uncertainty over their manager keeps things difficult for them in making significant acquisitions.
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