With the summer transfer window just days from closing, we look at ten major deals that could still take place before 11pm on Thursday.
It can be the most frenetic time of year at many clubs. The start of the new season can expose gaping holes in several teams’ squad reserves, with deficiencies in quality causing many a manager plenty of worry.
The final week is when things can get a little desperate, and with huge transfers common place this summer, expect plenty of major moves to be completed. Here we look at some big names whose future is very much unresolved ahead of the final few days of the transfer window.
The Coutinho transfer saga has rumbled on all summer. According to Sky sources, Barcelona are preparing a fourth bid of £138m for the Liverpool linchpin, but the club remain determined to keep hold of him, despite the astronomical fee reported to be on the table. Replacing the Brazilian’s multi-faceted qualities could prove difficult, and should a player of sufficient calibre fail to become available, Liverpool’s stance is unlikely to change, regardless of Coutinho’s desire to leave. Ousmane Dembele’s move to Catalonia could put pay to Coutinho’s dream move, but there is still plenty of that Neymar money left for Barcelona to strengthen with.
Sky Bet odds: 11/8 to move to Barcelona, 8/15 to stay at Liverpool.
One potential Coutinho successor. Discovered by none other than Gerard Houllier as part of Red Bull’s quest for excellence, Keita went from Salzburg to Leipzig, where the midfielder starred in Leipzig’s unlikely Bundesliga success story. Coutinho remaining on Merseyside could well put pay to Keita’s Premier League move materialising, or, on the flipside, should he become available for a fee Liverpool feel is reasonable, the Reds may be more reluctant to allow Coutinho to depart. Leipzig have been adamant Keita isn’t for sale, having already turned down a £66m bid, but everyone has their price, right?
Sky Bet odds: 11/4 to move to Liverpool.
Angel Di Maria
It seemed that the sensational transfer of former Real Madrid favourite Di Maria to Barcelona had taken place last week, only for the club to release a statement saying the announcement of the deal on Twitter was the result of a hacking. However, with Barcelona short of quality in the wake of Neymar’s departure, and Paris Saint-Germain assembling a myriad of the best forwards in the world, a move for Di Maria – a proven success in Spain – is anything but out of the question. The fact that it would annoy their Clasico rivals Real would be an added bonus.
Sky Bet odds: 6/4 to move to Barcelona, 20/1 Inter Milan.
One of the most coveted young players around, Fulham’s insistence that Sessegnon is not for sale is likely to be tested to the maximum this week, with Manchester United and Tottenham circling. A source has told Sky Sports News that United could be willing to allow Sessegnon to continue his education at Fulham this season by loaning him back to the West London club if a deal could be done. However, Sky Sports News understands Fulham’s stance on Sessegnon remains that owner Shahid Khan and his son Tony, who runs the club, are not prepared to sell the teenager, even if a bid of £25m is received.
Sky Bet odds: 2/1 to move to Tottenham, 7/1 Manchester United.
There is never a dull moment where Costa is concerned, but this summer’s stand-off between Antonio Conte and Costa, exiled in Brazil, has been remarkable. Costa feels like he has been treated like a criminal, something Conte found hilarious in a press conference ahead of the Tottenham clash. Costa has been very open about his desire to return to Atletico Madrid, but the Rojiblancos’ transfer ban, restricting their incomings until January, could hinder chances of a reunion. Big-spending AC Milan are also potential suitors.
It has been over a month since Ronald Koeman proclaimed Barkley’s Everton career to be over, with the midfielder expressing a desire to seek pastures new. While there hasn’t been the scramble for Barkley’s services the England international’s representatives may have hoped for, it isn’t too late for a move to materialise. Tottenham are ostensibly in the market for reinforcements, and a player of Barkley’s ability, who may need nurturing more than most to the top, could be right up Mauricio Pochettino’s street. Chelsea are also reportedly keeping one eye on Barkley.
Sky Bet odds: 11/10 to move to Tottenham, 5/1 Chelsea.
It seemed his dream move to Real Madrid was a shoo-in at the start of the summer, but as Zinedine Zidane seemed more and more settled with his talented lot, in swooped mega-rich Paris Saint-Germain. Remember when Financial Fair Play was a thing? According to Sky sources, Mbappe could be set for a loan move to the French capital, with an obligation included for the Parisiens to buy next summer. Monaco fans are not happy.
Sky Bet odds: 1/10 to move to PSG, 18/1 to Manchester City.
A player often unfairly ridiculed when linked to big clubs, Evans has evolved into a player capable of fulfilling a role in the heart of defence, as well as in the midfield anchor role. His ability to carry the ball out of defence has alerted Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola. Sky sources reported an offer had been made, which West Brom boss Tony Pulis confirmed was rejected. Expect City, who need versatile defensive reinforcements, to return with an improved offer.
Virgil van Dijk
If Liverpool hadn’t been quite as forceful in their pursuit of Van Dijk, the Reds could well have purchased their man a long time ago. Fast forward to now, and the Dutchman is still unhappy at Southampton, wanting to move to a bigger club. No other club has expressed a concrete interest, despite the Netherlands international having proven himself at the highest level. With Liverpool’s need for improvement at the back after a shaky start to the new season clear, bygones may become bygones after their initial apology for making an illegal approach, especially if Liverpool offer big money for the 26-year-old.
Sky Bet odds: 11/10 to move to Liverpool, 8/1 Chelsea.
Having released a statement expressing his desire to leave Leicester back in May, Mahrez will be somewhat exasperated to be still in the East Midlands, when it seemed a move to Roma was in the offing. However, Sky in Italy reported that a club-record bid for Mahrez still did not meet Leicester’s evaluation, so a move is still far from completion. As the window nears its end, desperation intensifies. Another improved bid may seem too good to turn down, while a late Premier League offer cannot be ruled out.
Sky Bet odds: 11/4 to move to Chelsea, 10/1 Roma.