8 EPL Transfer Deals That Could Go Down to the Wire
In the final days of the transfer season which concludes on August 31, there could be a number of summer sagas and last-minute deals that can be resolved. With Deadline Day fast approaching, let’s take a look at eight potential deals which could be completed in the mad scramble which takes place in the final days of the transfer season.
A star striker, Fernando Llorente has excelled in La Liga for Athletic Bilbao as a goal-scoring machine for the Basque club. After his remarkable totals last season where he scored 29 goals in all competitions, Llorente has become highly sought after across Europe after making his intentions of moving on from Spain very clear. For a while, Juventus seemed like the favorite for the Spanish forward as they don’t have any strikers who can score on a prolific basis like Llorente.
However, Llorente’s agent Arino Bajo has opened the door about a move to the Premier League to either a London or Manchester club. While his transfer to Manchester United or Manchester City seems hard to fathom considering how deep both clubs are with forwards, London-based clubs like Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal seem more sensible. Considering that Tottenham are reportedly after Brazilian Leandro Damiao and that Arsenal already acquired forwards Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, Chelsea seems like the best fit since they only have Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge up top. Llorente would be a quality addition to the Blues because he is exceptional with headers and is arguably a better finisher than Torres and Sturridge.
For what seems like an eternity now, there has been constant speculation over the state of Manchester United’s midfield. Whether it was Wesley Sneijder last summer or more recently Joao Moutinho, Manchester United have constantly been linked with potential deals for dynamic midfielders which never come to fruition. Although the possibility of Moutinho’s arrival could still occur, the newest solution to Manchester United’s midfield woes could come in the form of Pachuca midfielder Hector Herrera.
Herrera is a 22-year-old midfielder who plays for Pachuca in the Mexican Primera Division as well as for the Mexican U-23 national team. Herrera is box-to-box midfielder who is capable of defending in terms of making robust tackles and vital interceptions. Herrera is also able to move forward to create attacking chances as well as score himself. Tom Marshall, an analyst on Mexican football for MLSSoccer.com, described the young Herrera as “an all action midfielder cast in the same mold as a young Steven Gerrard, Bryan Robson or Roy Keane.”
Marshall also reported Herrera himself was unaware of interest from Manchester United. However, Pachuca have claimed that Manchester United have made contact for Herrera who was an essential player in the Mexico U-23 team which won Olympic gold this summer in London. Ultimately, Herrera may be a valuable short and long-term option United may become seriously interested in. Liverpool has also been credited with an interest in Herrera as they look set to compete with United for his signature.
With Manchester United signing Robin van Persie, it has also further indicated that Dimitar Berbatov is the odd man out and should be destined for a move away from Old Trafford. A quality striker who has excellent first touch and ball control, the Bulgarian has sparked interest with a number of clubs including QPR, Zenit St. Petersburg, Newcastle, Sunderland, Fiorentina, A.C. Milan and Dynamo Kiev. Manchester United has refused to let him go for a free transfer and have stuck by a £5 million price tag for the 31 year old.
With his calm, composed style and strong football intelligence, Berbatov has plenty left to offer for any club that signs him. Berbatov has always been a true professional at Manchester and has handled himself with class when criticized for his play and with his lack of playing time. Manchester United should allow Berbatov to move on to a club that will guarantee first-team opportunities for the Bulgarian ace.
After another tumultuous summer, Arsenal could make one more significant move by signing Rennes midfielder Yann M’Villa. A defensive midfielder who has drawn comparisons to legends like Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira, M’Villa is an exceptional deep-lying playmaker who can win the ball from opponents and begin building attacking opportunities. An exceptional passer with great vision, the 22-year-old French superstar would fit in well with Arsenal as he can assist in retaining possession.
M’Villa was linked with Tottenham as a potential replacement for Luka Modric but Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas stated their interest in signing him had ended. He was linked with Zenit St. Petersburg but he has reportedly rejected that option because of the instances of racism associated with their fans. Manchester United would also seem like a possibility because he has enough versatility to play as a box-to-box midfielder which he has done for Laurent Blanc’s French National team.
Arsenal though seems like the favorites to acquire M’Villa after Rennes general manger Pierre Dreossi stated, “Arsenal? Maybe. You need to ask Arsene Wenger. I think Arsenal will look for a player in this position. He (M’Villa) could go there or to a club which sells Arsenal a player.”
Clint Dempsey’s noteworthy standoff with Fulham makes sense in that the American has perhaps realized that because of his age (29), he doesn’t have many years left in the prime of his career. Therefore, Dempsey’s demand to move to a bigger club like Liverpool is an ambitious in that will add to his star power. Overall, he would be an excellent addition to Liverpool’s midfield because of his resilient play and his goal-scoring abilities which would take some pressure off forwards Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.
Even though he has also been linked with Sunderland, Liverpool seems like the most likely destination for the American. His holdout with Fulham is strange considering according to manager Martin Jol, Liverpool hasn’t followed up their interest in Dempsey with an offer. However, Dempsey’s mess with Fulham looks irreparable so another offer from Liverpool before Deadline Day should be imminent.
Yet as Jol put it, “I can assure you that our chairman is strong enough. At first we didn’t want to get rid of him, later on we had to change our position. But our view is that we won’t let Clint Dempsey go on the cheap, that’s for sure.”
After only making 10 starts last season, Manchester City winger Adam Johnson looks set to be on the move before August 31st. So far, Sunderland are the only club to have made an official offer but Tottenham and Liverpool have shown interest in the British playmaker who has often fallen short of making manager Roberto Mancini’s starting eleven at Manchester City.
It’s a little surprising that Johnson is only 25 so he is definitely open for regular first-team opportunities in the prime of his career. At a reported price tag of £8-12 million, Johnson will provide decent shooting skills and can take on defenders from the wing. Sunderland was believed to be favorites for his signature but Liverpool’s interest has put that under doubt. While Liverpool could acquire the England international who would compete with Stewart Downing, Manchester City would be then expected to launch a serious bid for Swansea City’s Scott Sinclair. Whether Sinclair would have more opportunities than Johnson in the starting lineup is something that would remain to be seen.
Edinson Cavani or Hulk
Hulk and Edinson Cavani are put together because they have both been linked with a move to Chelsea. Cavani or Hulk would be expected to light up Stamford Bridge and instantly make Chelsea more of a legitimate contender for the Premier League title. While Cavani is more of a prolific finisher, Hulk would provide more creativity to Chelsea’s attacking prowess.
While Hulk has commented on how he would like to play in the Premier League, there haven’t been any credible reports yet about Chelsea making a serious bid for either superstar. Plus, if Chelsea ends up getting Llorente, the likelihood of either player coming to Chelsea would decrease. The Spanish striker would also be cheaper than Hulk or Cavani who would have astronomical price tags.