The transfer window is well and truly open and there are plenty of clubs looking to do some wheeling and dealing to recoup some of the money lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are also lots of bargains up for grabs as Premier League clubs have little more than a month to get their squads ready for the new season.
It’s all in today’s RUMOUR MILL…
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LEEDS’ TRIPLE SWOOP
Leeds United have reportedly singled out at least three new signings to make as Marcelo Bielsa looks to strengthen his squad for his first crack at the Premier League.
According to the Mirror, Leeds are looking for a striker first and foremost and have identified Stuttgart’s Nicolas Gonzalez for £20m.
They say Gonzalez, who is Argentine like Bielsa, is one of the hottest young properties around after managing 14 goals in 27 games to see the German side earn promotion back to the Bundesliga.
Bielsea has reportedly tracked the 22-year-old throughout the second half of the season and is excited by what he has seen.
He is unlikely to be Leeds’ biggest signing of the window, however, with £25m-rated Brentford striker Said Benrahma also looking to move after missing out on promotion.
The Telegraph say that Benrahma is wanted by a whole host of clubs so Leeds face plenty of competition, with West Ham, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Leicester City all keeping an eye on the Algerian international.
The third player on Bielsa’s radar is Rangers’ Croatian left-back Borna Barisic.
CITY STAR WANTS OUT
Pep Guardiola has revealed young defender Eric Garcia has turned down a new contract at Manchester City amid interest from Barcelona.
The Etihad giants have been keen to tie down the 19-year-old centre back to a new improved deal – with his existing one due to expire next summer.
But he appears to have his head turned by the interest from his boyhood club Barcelona – and City may now be forced to sell him in the current transfer window.
Asked about Garcia’s future, Pep said: “He announced to us that he doesn’t want to extend his contract with Manchester City.
“He has one more year and after that, yeah. We want it but he doesn’t want to extend it – so I imagine he wants to play in another place.”
Garcia has made the breakthrough into City’s first team three years after arriving at the Etihad from the Nou Camp.
ARSENAL FLOGGING STARS FOR CASH
Arsenal have put Ainsley Maitland-Niles up for sale in a desperate bid to raise money – just days after he helped win them the FA Cup, reports The Sun.
Maitland-Niles has become the first high-profile casualty of the club’s post-COVID-19 cost-cutting exercise, which has already seen them make 55 staff members redundant.
The Gunners are looking for bids of around £30million for the versatile midfielder as they scramble around for funds to finance a rebuilding programme under boss Mikel Arteta.
The decision will come as a shock to many who saw the 22-year-old academy product as an important figure in the club’s future going forward.
Maitland-Niles made 32 appearances for Arsenal last season, including nine following the restart of the season, so was clearly highly thought of by Arteta.
The Spanish boss even decided to start the London-born player in the FA Cup Final win over Chelsea ahead of the much-rated Bukayo Saka as part of a key tactical decision for the game.
Arteta exposed the alarming gaps in behind the Chelsea defence by instructing his players to hit Maitland-Niles out on the left at every opportunity.
But Arteta has been told he needs to cash in on some players to help finance the new contract for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as bring in new faces over the close season.
And with the likes of Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi not commanding much value in the transfer market it has been decided Maitland-Niles has to be sacrificed to at least bring in some decent money.
– With The Sun