Starting in west London, Kai Havertz, 21, has reportedly said he wants to join Chelsea and has handed in a transfer request to Bayer Leverkusen.
The German attacker is valued at $113 million by Leverkusen and although that transfer fee may be a little high for Chelsea, it is clear that Havertz will be worth it.
Per multiple reports, Havertz wants to join new signings Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech in reshaping the Chelsea attack and is ready to hand in a transfer request to make it happen.
Frank Lampard has revealed his admiration for Havertz and if Chelsea can pull this deal off, their attack is set. The big problem for Chelsea is in defense as they continue to make silly mistakes at the back but with Werner and Ziyech arriving, plus Havertz on the way and Christian Pulisic in fine form, this Chelsea attack will be lethal next season.
Heading to north London, Mesut Ozil could be heading to MLS according to a report from The Sun.
Ozil, 31, has one year left on his huge contract at Arsenal but continues to be on the outside looking in when it comes to Mikel Arteta’s plans.
According to the report, Ozil will see out the remaining year of his contract at Arsenal and will then move to either MLS or Turkey. He has told close friends those are the two places he wants to play next.
Could we see Ozil in MLS next summer? I could.
His talent is undoubted but his career is fizzling out at Arsenal and in the Premier League. He earns over $440,000 per week and can’t even get off the bench for the Gunners.
Starting in London, Arsenal are in the market for a new defender and Athletic Bilbao star Unai Nunez has emerged as a target for plenty of Premier League clubs.
According to AS in Spain, Nunez, 23, is wanted by the Gunners, Everton and West Ham and has a release clause of $34 million.
Nunez is a talented center back who wants a move away from Athletic Bilbao and Arsenal certainly need help defensively. Mikel Arteta has made them a more solid unit but there is likely to be upgrades needed on their current center back group of Callum Chambers, Rob Holding, Sokratis, Pablo Mari, David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal may not have plenty of cash to spend this summer but upgrading their defensive unit should be at the forefront of their plans. The last person at Arsenal called Unai didn’t fare too well, but Nunez is a solid, powerful defender and the Gunners certainly need more stability to help Arteta continue the positive start to his rebuild.
Switching to Manchester, it has been reported that Manchester City and Juventus are now the favorites to sign Adama Traore if he leaves Wolves.
According to ESPN, Traore, 24, will weigh up his options this summer and if Wolves don’t qualify for the Champions League via their Premier League finish or winning the Europa League, he will look to move on.
Wolves have Traore signed to a contract for another three years and will reportedly ask for $100 million for the speedy winger who has forged a superb partnership with Raul Jimenez in attack.
With Leroy Sane sold to Bayern Munich, it is believed Pep Guardiola wants to sign a new winger and Traore would be a perfect fit in his system. Juventus and Barcelona also remain interested in Traore, who came through the academy at Barca before joining Aston Villa as a youngster, then heading to Middlesbrough before arriving at Wolves in the summer of 2018.
Raheem Sterling and Traore on the wings. Sergio Aguero up top. Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden pulling the strings in midfield. My goodness, that would be something.
Apparently Solskjaer told Ake: “We need a left-footed centre-back, so keep going.”
Ake, 25, has been linked with a return to Chelsea (who have a $48 million buy-back clause) and Manchester City, but it appears Nathan Ake to Manchester United has some legs. Solskjaer has been looking for a new center back with Kalidou Koulibaly, Dayot Upamecano and others linked to line up alongside Harry Maguire.
Victor Lindelof has struggled at times and is ahead of Eric Bailly in the pecking order and Man United do need to strengthen their defense slightly as they have plenty of options in midfield and attack, although a new true holding midfield could be a must in the next few windows.
If Bournemouth are relegated from the Premier League, Ake will surely leave and Man United could pick him up for a lot less than $48 million.
Switching to west London, Declan Rice could be heading back to Chelsea this summer.
A report from The Times states that Chelsea want Rice, 21, to return and become a ball-playing center back to shore up their defensive unit.
The report goes on to state that the boyhood Chelsea fan is seen as the perfect successor to John Terry at the heart of the Chelsea defense.
Rice has shone in recent weeks and is the one player in West Ham’s team who has been consistent despite their struggles at the wrong end of the Premier League table this season.
Chelsea have been searching high and low for defensive reinforcements and want more power and strength at center back. Rice can play at center back and in a three he would be prefect. His main position is in holding midfield and his flexibility to strengthen Chelsea’s shaky defense would be key. Rice is close friends with Mason Mount and after leaving Chelsea’s academy as a 14-year-old he has forged out a very good career for himself as a regular for West Ham and England.
Rice would cost a huge sum and this move to Chelsea may hinge on whether or not West Ham are relegated in the final weeks of the 2019-20 Premier League season.
Starting in west London, Kai Havertz continues to be linked with Chelsea and a report from the Daily Express says that Frank Lampard is willing to sell six players to sign the Bayer Leverkusen and Germany 21-year-old.
Per the report, Marcos Alonso, Michy Batshuayi, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Kenedy, Danny Drinkwater and Emerson Palmeri are the players Chelsea want to offload in order to afford a move for Havertz, plus bring in a new left back.
Havertz has been a star for Leverkusen during the 2019-20 season but they just missed out on qualifying for the Champions League and lost in the German Cup final at the weekend. Havertz is due to play for Bayer in the UEFA Europa League in August, but will he be a Chelsea player by then?
With Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech joining Chelsea this summer, Lampard has a host of attacking options to choose from but Havertz is seen as one of the top young attacking midfield talents and he can also play as a false nine. Chelsea would have to spend close to $112 million to sign him but if they can replace quantity with quality, this has to be the way to go for Lampard.
Chelsea are in a strong financial position given the money they saved during their FIFA transfer ban and with the market values currently low due to the coronavirus pandemic, they have pounced to sign Werner and Ziyech.
Switching to north London, Allan Saint-Maximin has been linked with a move to Arsenal once again. Saint-Maximin, 23, has been sensational since arriving at Newcastle from Nice last summer for $19 million.
The French winger is full of tricks and flicks and his unpredictability is key to his success, with four goals and four assists in all competitions.
According to a report from Le10 Sport in France, Arsenal are among the clubs trying to sign him this summer with Tottenham and Napoli also in the running. It is reported that Arsenal have contacted Saint-Maximin’s agents to see what he thinks about a move to north London.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette potentially leaving this summer, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka would be Arsenal’s main attacking threats, so they could do with some reinforcements in this area. Especially as Mesut Ozil appears to be out of Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Saint-Maximin certainly has the talent to be a main main on a top six team in the Premier League. Could we see his famous Gucci headband and somersaults coming to the Emirates Stadium?
“ASM” has four goals and seven assists in 25 appearances entering Sunday morning’s match versus West Ham and is one of just three players to average more than four dribbles per game, his 4.7 sandwiched between Adama Traore (5) and Wilfried Zaha (4.5).
It’s not just about the numbers with Saint-Maximin, though, whose magnetic dribbling and personality keep both a defense off-balance and a team hopeful and happy. Newcastle is 1W-3D-7L in the Premier League when Saint-Maximin plays, 10-6-5 when he’s out there.
Any sale, especially with Newcastle’s takeover looming, would have to be well over the approximately $20 million paid by the Magpies last summer.
Schick to Newcastle (amongst others)
The same report lays out a more realistic shopping list for the Magpies than many of the rumors since reports emerged of a big money takeover at St. James’ Park.
Newcastle is being linked with Roma’s Patrik Schick, Nice’s Arnaud Lusamba, Benfica’s Florentino Luis, Penarol’s Facundo Pellistri, and Norwich City’s Ben Godfrey.
Let’s focus on Schick and Lusamba.
Schick was once among the most sought-after names in the game. The 24-year-old Czech striker has nine goals in 22 caps for his country.
Three seasons removed from his breakout season at Sampdoria, Schick has profound his footing on loan to RB Leipzig from Roma. The center forward has 10 goals in 22 matches despite Timo Werner carrying the water in fine fashion for Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig.
Like Saint-Maximin last season, Lusamba has been in- and out-of-favor with Nice boss Patrick Vieira. But it’s worth noting that the manager has tried to find a place on the pitch for the 23-year-old center midfielder, deploying him at center forward and right mid at times.
Lusamba averaged 1.2 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per Ligue 1 appearances this season.
Godfrey to Borussia Dortmund
Speaking of Godfrey, could he be going from the bottom of the Premier League table to the upper reaches of Germany? For close to $30 million, to boot?
Two of the Bundesliga’s top clubs continue to monitor top young Premier League talent including the aforementioned Godfrey, with Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig eyeing the 22-year-old.
A center back in Norwich’s maligned and injury-battered defense, England youth international Godfrey has played the seventh-most minutes for Daniel Farke’s Canaries.
Relegation victims have often yielded incredible value for bigger clubs, two great cases in point being ex-Hull City man Andrew Robertson and former Aston Villa force Idrissa Gana Gueye. We don’t need to tell you where they wound up.