Man City want wonderkid Joao Felix while Liverpool eye David Neres and United make Aaron Wan-Bissaka their top target: How Premier League’s ‘big six’ plan on spending their millions as the window opens for business TODAY
- The Premier League’s ‘big six’ are expected to be busy in the market this summer
- Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and United will all strengthen
- Here, Sportsmail take a look at each club’s transfer targets and summer plans
Manchester City and Liverpool will be seen as the yardstick by the chasing pack after they pulled away to set up a tantalising race for the Premier League title last season.
Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and United were left in their wake and will want to close the gap next campaign by investing heavily in the summer. Liverpool, equally, know they may need to delve deep into their pockets in order to take that next jump while Pep Guardiola has never been one to rest on his laurels – even after successive Premier League titles.
All of the ‘big six’ are expected to have busy summers as they look to strengthen over the coming months. Here, Sportsmail have outlined their targets, strategy and which players could be on their way out as the transfer window opens for business.
The Premier League’s big six will want to invest to close the gap on champions Man City
The transfer window will open just after midnight on Thursday, May 16 and will remain open until 5pm on Thursday, August 8
Domestic transfers can be completed from midnight on May 16 but transfers from abroad can only be finalised once the FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS) opens at midnight on June 9.
In France, the transfer window will open on June 11. In Italy and Germany it will be on July 1 and in Spain it will be on July 2.
Targets: Goalkeeper, full-back, centre-back, def midfield, midfield, forward
Who could go: Claudio Bravo, Danilo, Nicolas Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala, Vincent Kompany, Ilkay Gundogan, Leroy Sane
Budget: £150m plus player sales revenue
Plan: Pep Guardiola only needs to tweak his fantastic squad but City’s recruitment will be influenced by key players getting older and a potential transfer ban looming.
Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho and David Silva will all need to be replaced over the next 18 months while contract issues remain unresolved with Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane. With that in mind this summer could be busier than expected as they plan ahead with some targets lined up now for future windows.
Benfica’s Joao Felix is of interest and £60million-rated Rodri of Atletico Madrid is highly regarded though a move for Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell is likely to be put on hold for a year after Oleksandr Zinchenko improved. Atletico Madrid among others want Nicolas Otamendi.
Manchester City are keen to sign Benfica wonderkid Joao Felix in the summer window
Defender Nicolas Otamendi could leave City in the summer with Atletico Madrid interested
Targets: Goalkeeper, left-back, winger, striker
Who could go: Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Daniel Sturridge, Dejan Lovren, Rafael Camacho, Xherdan Shaqiri
Plan: Liverpool have a strong core in place and some talented youngsters pushing to make a breakthrough. Sporting director Michael Edwards and his recruitment team have been astute in their work and want to continue building a legacy so will target young, hungry players who can put the current first team under pressure.
They will look at players in their early 20s with a work ethic to suit Jurgen Klopp’s philosophy and a sensible price tag. Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze, Ajax’s David Neres and Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt have been assessed as have Nicolas Pepe at Lille and Bristol City’s highly-rated 20-year-old defender Lloyd Kelly.
A goalkeeper will be brought in as back-up for Alisson Becker should Mignolet leave but Liverpool look to have cooled interest in Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez.
Liverpool are one of several Premier League clubs chasing Ajax forward David Neres
Xherdan Shaqiri could depart in the summer despite a decent debut season on Merseyside
Targets: Left-back, centre-back, midfielder, winger, striker
Who could go: Eden Hazard, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Davide Zappacosta, Danny Drinkwater, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Gary Cahill
Plan: Chelsea don’t want to let any key players leave while under a transfer ban. They are hoping that their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over FIFA’s ban allows them wriggle room to trade in this window.
Eden Hazard wants to join Real Madrid though they must improve on the offer made in March and come closer to the £100m Marina Granovskaia wants. In turn, Chelsea obviously need quality cover for such a departure or indeed others.
They know Barcelona are interested in Willian while Bayern Munich remain keen on Hudson-Odoi and Aston Villa and Everton would like to make loan moves permanent for Tammy Abraham and Kurt Zouma.
Christian Pulisic is an important addition because of his skill, pace and versatility and they want greater quality for attacking positions with Luka Jovic and David Neres considered. Other young talents, Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and Bruno Guimaraes of Athletico Paranaense are also under scrutiny.
Chelsea are considering making a move for strike Luka Jovic if their transfer ban is lifted
Eden Hazard is edging closer to his £100m dream move to Real Madrid this summer
Targets: Left-back, centre-back, midfield, winger, striker
Who could go: Serge Aurier, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld, Victor Wanyama, Vincent Janssen, Fernando Llorente, Christian Eriksen
Budget: £150m plus player sales
Plan: Mauricio Pochettino has taken this squad to its limits and now needs to freshen options. His stock is high and this could be the best time for him to flex muscles and extract a bigger transfer budget.
Tottenham need to rebuild their midfield and strengthen down the spine plus add more energy in wing and full-back positions. They will still look for age and re-sale value while taking some tough decisions on who can go.
Who goes may also determine whether they add more homegrown players as their foreign quota became too high last season. Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon is expected to arrive while Bournemouth’s David Brooks and Jack Grealish of Aston Villa have been discussed.
Everton loan star Andre Gomes from Barcelona is of interest as are Gedson Fernandes at Benfica, Ajax’s Donny van der Beek, Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo and Freiburg defender Robin Koch. They will also look to bolster their U23s.
Ryan Sessegnon is expected to move to Tottenham in the summer from Fulham
Tottenham are anticipating a number of offers for creative midfielder Christian Eriksen
Targets: Goalkeeper, left-back, midfielder, winger
Who could go: Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey (agreed to Juventus), Mohamed Elneny, Shkodran Mustafi,
Budget: £50m plus player sales
Plan: Unai Emery wants a centre-back who can combine toughness with an ability to bring the ball out of defence and wants greater goal threat from his midfield and wing.
Incoming technical director Edu is a fan of Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace and wants to inject that kind of pace and directness into Arsenal’s attack but Zaha’s £75m price tag means that option will be difficult hence discussions over Ryan Fraser of Bournemouth and David Neres at Ajax.
Arsenal have held talks over a deal for Manchester United’s Eric Bailly and like Getafe’s Djene Dakonam, Espanyol’s Mario Hermoso and Samuel Umtiti at Barcelona, who will be pushed out if they sign Ajax defender Matthis de Ligt.
They have been offered the likes of Real Madrid’s Marcos Llorente and Adrien Rabiot who is available from Paris St Germain while his teammate Christopher Nkunku is another option. Scouts have also watched Chelsea target Nicola Barella at Cagliari and Sampdoria’s Dennis Praet.
Arsenal are hoping to sign Wilfried Zaha but Crystal Palace’s £75m price tag could be an issue
Shkodran Mustafi is one player who could be sacrificed to raise funds for new signings
Targets: Goalkeeper, right-back, winger, striker
Who could go: David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Eric Bailly, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku
Plan: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants the club to target players of 24 years of age and under as he looks to instil better standards within the dressing room and gather a group that will listen to him and assistant Mike Phelan. He knows some big names could leave as United start over in a bid to improve standards and inject the basics of pace, energy and a hard work ethic.
That means some of the stellar players linked will not be considered. Especially if there are questions about their attitude. However, one exception to those guidelines could yet be Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale who will be recommended by Solskjaer’s pal Ryan Giggs.
Another Giggs favourite, Swansea City’s Dan James has been targeted in a £10m deal while Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a Solskjaer favourite. He also wants a forward and two midfielders with Youri Tielemans fancied but considered pricey at £40m.
Doubts remain over Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku while Anthony Martial is likely to be given until January to prove he can pick up form. Despite concerns, Solskjaer does not currently intend to add a centre-back.
Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka is at the top of United’s summer shortlist
United could however lose star player Paul Pogba with Real Madrid extremely interested