The Premier League 2019/20 fixtures were officially released on Friday, which has indicated that the new season of the English top-flight is not too far away. English clubs are planning and plotting for next season as they look to strengthen their squads for another exhilarating year of Premier League action. Here, we discuss all the latest transfer stories surrounding the English Premier League clubs including Liverpool and Manchester United.
Jurgen Klopp desperately wants Lille winger Nicolas Pepe at Liverpool
Liverpool have made an offer for 24-year old winger Nicolas Pepe following a tremendous season with Lille in the Ligue 1. The Ivory Coast international scored 23 goals for the club as they finished second behind Paris Saint-Germain.
Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of the winger and is keen to bring him to Anfield. Liverpool are on the back of a historic Champions League triumph and are looking to strengthen their squad in order to finally lay their hands on the Premier League trophy.
The Reds’ front-three of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane is one of the best in the world, however, Klopp wants world-class backups for the trio if Liverpool were to challenge on both fronts.
Lille manager Christopher Galtier recently confirmed that the Ivorian will leave the club. “Pepe will leave. Life’s like that, football’s like that today. He is a player of the highest level who will have a big decision to make on the choice of his next club”, he said.
Nicolas Pepe is valued at €60m, but it is still not confirmed how much Liverpool are wanting to pay for the winger.
Manchester United to sign youngster Sean Longstaff from Newcastle
Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are on the verge of completing the signing of 21-year old midfielder Sean Longstaff from Newcastle United. The Englishman will be their second transfer this summer after last week’s announcement of Swansea winger Daniel James for £15m.
Longstaff came up through the ranks at Newcastle and impressed Rafa Benitez in pre-season last year. He made his debut for the senior team in December and made the central midfield position his own till the end of the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to bolster his squad following a disappointing season at Old Trafford. The ageing Manchester United squad is in serious need of some young players at the club and Solskjaer is eyeing upcoming talent in the summer transfer window.
Sean Longstaff will be a decent addition in midfield for the Reds following the departure of Ander Herrera. Nemanja Matic and Fred have also not yet earned the appreciation of the United faithful and youngsters Scott McTominay and the incoming Longstaff will provide stiff competition to the two.
Manchester City prying for Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo
Manchester City are looking to bring Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo to the Etihad Stadium to provide competition to Kyle Walker. The €60m-rated Portuguese international has grown into one of the best attacking full-backs in the world and Pep Guardiola has shown great admiration for the defender.
The Manchester City management, however, have told their manager that they only have funds for two or three players. Guardiola and his management have highlighted two positions which need strengthening this summer: at defensive midfield and at centre-back or full-back. The club is currently involved in a huge tussle with UEFA over Financial Fair Play breach.
Joao Cancelo was an integral part in Juventus’ eighth consecutive Serie A title win. He has also excelled for his international team and was a part of the UEFA Nations League triumph against the Netherlands last week.
Manchester City have been heavily dependent on Kyle Walker for right-back duties because of Danilo’s inconsistencies with fitness. Cancelo, however, could provide a different dynamic to Pep Guardiola’s system, slotting in as wing-back in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation which could also deploy Walker at the right centre-back position.
Arsenal close in on winger Alexis Claude-Maurice as Yannick Carrasco interest fades
Arsenal have turned their attention to Lorient’s 21-year old winger Alexis Claude-Maurice as a cheaper alternative to Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser and Dalian Yifang’s Yannick Carrasco.
The Gunners have reportedly agreed personal terms with the youngster, who had a sensational season in the French second division, scoring 14 goals and assisting 4 in 35 appearances. Unai Emery is willing to pay €20 million to bring the French U20 international to the Emirates.
Alexis Claude-Maurice is close friends with midfielder Mateo Guendouzi, who also had a breakthrough season at Arsenal. Both of them played together at Lorient and Claude-Maurice is set to follow the footsteps of his former teammate.
Belgium and Chinese club Dalian Yifang winger Yannick Carrasco was on Arsenal’s radar, however, the 25-year old’s £30m price tag is proving to be a lot for Unai Emery, who has strictly been given a limited budget this summer.
Another winger who had an impressive season was Ryan Fraser, who has heavily been linked with Arsenal, but Bournemouth are playing hardball over his contract situation. The Scottish international expressed his desire to join the Londoners but is himself unsure if the club will meet his £30m valuation.