Manchester United has just announced a massive and bumper signing of a talented teenager who is tipped to be better than Ronaldo and Messi as jessay number 44 has been customised for him

Manchester United has just announced a massive and bumper signing of a talented teenager who is tipped to be better than Ronaldo and Messi as jessay number 44 has been customised for him


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The Transfer DealSheet: Latest on Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona and more

The Transfer DealSheet: Latest on Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona and more

The Athletic Staff

Jul 2, 2024



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Welcome to the latest edition of the Transfer DealSheet, your weekly guide to what is happening in the summer transfer window.


Every week, our team of dedicated writers, including Adam Leventhal and David Ornstein, will take you inside the market to explain the deals being worked on, the players who could arrive and the ones who are on their way out across the Premier League and beyond. You can read last week’s edition here.


The information found within this article has been gathered according to The Athletic’s sourcing guidelines. Unless stated, our reporters have spoken to more than one person briefed on each deal before offering the clubs involved the opportunity to comment. Those responses, where they were given, have been included in the Transfer DealSheet.


In this edition, we look at Arsenal’s pursuit of a new goalkeeping target, what the latest is with Matthijs de Ligt — and whether he’ll fit in at Manchester United — and how Premier League sides are moving forward after dealing with profit and sustainability regulations (PSR) issues.


Our aim is to bring you analysis you can trust about what is happening at Europe’s leading clubs and the latest information we’re hearing from across the market. Ornstein, our leading transfer reporter, will also deliver his one to watch here each week.


This article is very long but very detailed, so please enjoy it all — or search for the club or player you want to read about.


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David Ornstein’s One To Watch: Matthijs de Ligt

Manchester United’s transfer situation has changed on two fronts in the past few weeks. Firstly, we had the news Erik ten Hag would be staying at Old Trafford. Then, it became clear last week progress had been made on renewing his contract.


On Monday, it emerged they had agreed a deal with Newcastle United to appoint Dan Ashworth as their sporting director.


Ashworth will be involved in plenty beyond transfers at Old Trafford, but his arrival should help them on the recruitment front. They are also in talks to appoint Christopher Vivell on an initial short-term basis to work on the summer transfer window. The former RB Leipzig and Chelsea employee will lend expertise around talent ID and player recruitment.



Ashworth’s arrival will help Manchester United in the market (Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

This is why Matthijs de Ligt has been picked as my one to watch this week. My colleague Dan Sheldon reported on Monday morning that Manchester United are now in formal talks with De Ligt’s club, Bayern Munich.


The 24-year-old appears to be the preferred option in central defence and while it is independent of their move for Jarrad Branthwaite, his potential fee is likely to be more realistic.


This feels like the sort of transfer that could develop as the week goes on.


Will De Ligt fit at Manchester United?

The belief seems to be that a reunion with Ten Hag could revitalise De Ligt’s career. At 24, he still has his best years ahead of him.


However, throughout his career, De Ligt has largely played for teams that dominate possession and operate on the front foot — Ajax, Bayern Munich and Juventus. Across his two seasons with Bayern, he has averaged 67.5 passes per 90 minutes in the league. In contrast, Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire have averaged 54.1 and 52.1 passes per 90 respectively for United.




De Ligt’s stint with Juventus saw him record similar numbers to Martinez and Maguire (53.5 passes per 90 across three Serie A seasons), but the Italian giants averaged 55 per cent possession across those seasons compared to United’s 51 per cent over their past two league campaigns.


Unless United alter their squad, De Ligt will likely get less time on the ball. He will be required to defend more than he is used to. On the flip side, De Ligt might offer much-needed composure at the back, playing alongside another former Ajax defender in Martinez, and improve their build-up given his obvious quality on the ball.


Overall, this looks like a risky move tactically that can break either way.


Anantaajith Raghuraman


What we’re hearing

At least three clubs, including some from the Premier League, have registered an interest in signing Callum Hudson-Odoi from Nottingham Forest. Hudson-Odoi has impressed since joining from Chelsea for a deal worth only a maximum of £5million (including add-ons) last summer. Nottingham Forest already value the 23-year-old in excess of £40m ($50.5m; €47.1m) and do not want to sell. Hudson-Odoi is also happy playing for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side and is not agitating to leave a club who are giving him regular first-team football. Simon Johnson



West Ham hold an interest in signing Jake O’Brien from Lyon. The central defender — featured in the DealSheet last week — is on a list of options that is being reviewed. The Republic of Ireland international is being tracked by several clubs in the Premier League, including Everton. Nottingham Forest also discussed O’Brien as an option in their negotiations with Lyon who have purchased both Moussa Niakhate and Orel Mangala. Lyon have received interest in the player with approaches based around a £17m ($21m) valuation, but that hasn’t progressed as yet. Crystal Palace will receive 25 per cent of the profit of any sale after his departure from Lyon’s fellow Eagle Football Holdings club last summer for a fee in the region of £1m ($1.2m). Adam Leventhal

Aston Villa will review loan options for Lino Sousa for the forthcoming season. The 19-year-old joined from Arsenal in January and spent the remainder of the season on loan at Plymouth. Watford are one of the teams to have shown an interest in the left-back. They are assessing candidates in that position, including Kenneth Paal of QPR, but no official approach has been made for the Dutchman yet. Adam Leventhal

Celta Vigo striker Jorgen Strand Larsen and Brazilian full-back Pedro Lima are both in the West Midlands to complete medicals and finalise their transfers to Wolves. Strand Larsen will cost £25million and is expected to be Wolves’ most expensive signing of the summer, while 17-year-old Lima will cost around £12.7million when he joins from Sport Recife. Steve Madeley

Orlando City are preparing for heightened interest in attacker Facundo Torres, with clubs from Europe and elsewhere tracking his progress. The Uruguay international has been the subject of interest since January when a bid from an unnamed Russian club was turned down. Two clubs have since made approaches for the 24-year-old, but they are yet to develop into formal offers. Torres — who has scored 26 goals in 81 MLS appearances — is under contract until 2026, with Orlando holding a two-year option to extend. Adam Leventhal

Croatia’s Marco Pasalic was an unused sub at Euro 2024, but the right-winger’s performances for HNK Rijeka have led to interest from other teams. The 24-year-old scored nine goals and provided five assists in 41 appearances last season, including in Europa Conference League qualifiers. Real Sociedad are monitoring his situation, while Rijeka rejected a £4million ($5m) bid from an unnamed Qatari club. Adam Leventhal

Chris Willock — brother of Newcastle’s Joe — is in talks with QPR over a new contract. The 26-year-old winger’s deal expired on June 30 but positive talks over an extended stay at Loftus Road — where he’s made 76 appearances and scored 10 goals since 2020 — are ongoing. Re-signing is his preferred option. Adam Leventhal

Mohamed Amoura, Union Saint-Gilloise’s 24-year-old Algerian forward, is close to agreeing a move to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, managed by former Southampton head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl. Amoura won the Belgian Cup with USG last year and scored 18 goals from 23 starts in the Jupiler Pro League. An agreement is expected to be reached this week for a fee of around €20million. Sebastian Stafford-Bloor


Forest want more than £40million for Hudson-Odoi (Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)


What has happened this week?

So far it has been a summer of squad trimming and that theme could continue with Albert Lokonga potentially on his way out.


The midfielder spent last season on loan at Luton Town and Sevilla have a firm interest in signing the midfielder. As with any first-team departures, Arsenal are keen to recoup fees rather than straight loans.


Arriving at the club is 18-year-old Danish goalkeeper Lucas Nygaard who joins from FC Nordsjaelland. He will join the club’s academy.


There could be further change in the goalkeeping department. Last week third-choice goalkeeper Karl Hein signed an extension, and the identity of this season’s number two is one to watch.


There has been little movement on Aaron Ramsdale’s future but if he is to leave then one man who features high on the contingent plan is Espanyol’s Joan Garcia.


The Spaniard is reported to have a €25million release clause and is a likely target should Arsenal need to recruit competition for David Raya.


Why do they want Joan Garcia?

David Raya’s loan from Brentford is expected to be converted into a permanent transfer this month, but this is a case of Arsenal planning for his deputy.


He became the No 1 under Mikel Arteta early in the season — with Ramsdale having to accept a role as deputy.


The England international is not content to be a No 2 though and if a suitable club arrives with a fee that gets close to recouping the £24million spent in 2021 then an exit is likely.


Garcia is a slightly younger option at 23, and is back-up to Fernando Pacheco at Espanyol.


The Espanyol academy product kept eight clean sheets in 14 appearances in all competitions last season and is set to represent Spain in the Olympics this month.


He broke into the first team the year prior and helped them win promotion to La Liga, while his ability on the ball makes him a suitable profile for Arsenal.


What positions/players are they looking at?

Having spent heavily the last three seasons Arsenal are in a strong position across all departments but they are looking to add the finishing touches to the squad.


With Benjamin Sesko out of reach for the time being, it is not likely to be a summer of big-ticket items like last year. But a wide player to add competition and a midfielder to complement Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard could be possible.


Arteta did not settle on a midfield three last season as the left-eight position was shared around several players. Kai Havertz started there but later moved into centre-forward, which saw Rice push forward and Jorginho slot into the base of midfield.


Which players could be leaving?

Lokonga is just one of several fringe players who are expected to depart. Arsenal have yet to build a reputation as good sellers with little money recouped in recent years.



Lokonga spent last season on loan with Luton (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Folarin Balogun’s £25million move to Monaco was a healthy profit on an academy talent and that could be the theme of the summer with Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe all struggling for game time and approaching their peak years.


They would each represent full profit on the financial accounts but Arsenal still need to satisfy the homegrown quota so it is unlikely that all depart in the same window. It will be judged on a case-by-case basis. A lack of minutes could affect their value though, and that is the case with Ramsdale and left-back Kieran Tierney, who suffered another serious injury at Euro 2024.


Jordan Campbell



What has happened this week?

There were more ins and outs at Chelsea, but the pursuit of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has taken many by surprise.


A fee of £30million has been agreed with Leicester City and the switch should be completed sooner rather than later. New head coach Enzo Maresca worked with the midfielder at Leicester last season. The 25-year-old was put on the wishlist soon after Maresca got the job in early June, although it took them until the end of the month to make their move because they were working on other deals. Talented academy prospect Michael Golding is going in the opposite direction in a standalone deal.


Chelsea also acted quickly to secure the €6m acquisition of Barcelona striker Marc Guiu and finally announced the £19m purchase of Aston Villa’s Omari Kellyman.


Negotiations have continued with Boca Juniors for Aaron Anselmino, while USA international and Atlanta left-back Caleb Wiley is a target — with sister club Strasbourg in mind.


It was a case of one Omari in and one out as Omari Hutchinson was sold to Ipswich Town, where he impressed on loan last season, for up to £22.5m.


More money was raised with Ian Maatsen completing a £37.5m switch to Aston Villa, while Lewis Hall’s departure to Newcastle has been made permanent for £28m following a season-long loan. Hakim Ziyech has left for Galatasaray.


Why are Chelsea keeping Guiu but sending out Anselmino?

As part of their bid to convince Guiu to leave Barcelona, Chelsea made it clear the 18-year-old is part of their plans now and not just seen as a possible candidate to make the senior squad in the future.


Guiu has already made seven appearances for Barcelona, scoring two goals. While clearly not a guaranteed starter due to the competition ahead of him, Chelsea hope the busy schedule of being involved in five competitions (including the Club World Cup) will ensure the teenager gets plenty of game time.


The initial plan for Anselmino could match that of Estevao Willian’s, in that he will stay at Boca Juniors to ensure he keeps playing just as the latter has remained at Palmeiras.


It is then expected Anselmino will join Strasbourg on loan so he can get some experience of playing in Europe.


What positions/players are they looking at?

Chelsea are in the market for at least one more attacking player. They made enquiries to Newcastle for striker Alexander Isak in the hope of being able to capitalise on their struggle to comply with PSR.


Players were offered in exchange, although reports Nicolas Jackson was one of them have been dismissed. There were also suggestions Chelsea were one of the teams keen on Leeds United starlet Archie Gray, yet that was not the case either.


Chelsea are also looking to strengthen in other positions, such as left-back.


Which players could be leaving?

The future of Carney Chukwuemeka has come under question, especially due to Dewsbury-Hall adding to the competition for the attacking midfield role.


Chelsea rate Chukwuemeka highly and believe his value has increased since joining from Aston Villa for £20million two years ago. AC Milan have expressed an interest, but Chelsea have dismissed suggestions they are prepared to consider a loan with an option to buy.


The only players available for loan at this stage are academy/under-21 players. Clubs are being told senior players will either be sold or stay.


The possibility of getting Conor Gallagher to sign a new contract has not been ruled out. Armando Broja, Romelu Lukaku, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesare Casadei, David Datro Fofana, Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah are all candidates for departure.



The idea of signing Gallagher to a new deal has not been ruled out (Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Sales may not be straightforward. Everton are one of a host of clubs interested in Broja, but any deal will be contingent on Dominic Calvert-Lewin being sold. Broja is away on holiday after playing for Albania at Euro 2024.


As reported last week, defender Alfie Gilchrist is attracting interest from several teams over a season-long loan, with Serie A side Como and Preston from the Championship among them. The 20-year-old will start pre-season under Maresca and there is an expectation it could take a few weeks before his destination is decided.


Simon Johnson



What has happened this week?

Liverpool turned down a proposal from Newcastle United to sign winger Anthony Gordon.


With Newcastle desperate to raise funds before the end of June to avoid breaking PSR, they were prepared to off-load the England international. However, Liverpool felt their valuation was excessive and refused to entertain the prospect of defender Jarell Quansah moving to St James’ Park as part of the deal.


Gordon, a boyhood Liverpool fan, is admired by senior Anfield figures, but the squad is well-stocked on the left side of attack.




Youngster Melkamu Frauendorf, who was released by Liverpool this summer, signed for second-tier German club Hannover 96.


When will Arne Slot have a chance to analyse his squad?

Youngsters who were out on loan last season and members of the under-21s squad reported back to the AXA Training Centre for the start of pre-season on Monday. The senior players will follow from Friday onwards.


However, it will be a depleted squad due to players either still involved at the Euros and Copa America or those, such as Andy Robertson and Dominik Szoboszlai, who are on holiday following the end of their international commitments.


Liverpool fly to Pittsburgh on July 23 for their pre-season tour, with Slot’s first game in charge against Real Betis three days later.


What positions/players are they looking at?

Liverpool are considering whether to strengthen at centre-back following the departure of Joel Matip as a free agent.


They retain a strong interest in Lille’s Leny Yoro but expect Real Madrid to win the race for the young French defender’s signature.





Leny Yoro, 18, the defender lots of Europe’s biggest clubs are pursuing


Slot may need to recruit a backup ‘keeper if, as expected, Adrian turns down the offer of a new one-year deal and returns to Spain to sign for boyhood club Real Betis. A defensive midfielder and another wide player have also been topics of discussion.


Which players could be leaving?

Midfielder Tyler Morton and defender Sepp van den Berg, who both impressed out on loan last season, have been attracting plenty of interest from clubs across Europe. Liverpool value each of them at around £20million, but no suitable bids have been received.


Nat Phillips, who has one year remaining on his contract, looks certain to move on. It remains to be seen if a club will test Liverpool’s resolve to keep £25m-rated goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who is desperate to become a No 1 after a long stint as Alisson’s deputy.


Luis Diaz has also been linked with a summer exit, but Liverpool haven’t had any offers for him and aren’t looking to sell the Colombian.


James Pearce



Liverpool aren’t looking to sell Diaz (Omar Vega/Getty Images)

Manchester City

What has happened this week?

Not a lot and there is a good reason for that: it could be a pretty quiet summer at City. They plan to make signings and there is money to spend, but they consider the squad to be strong and in no need of major rebuilding unless players leave. It is considered unlikely too many players will leave.


City were linked with a move for RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo, although as The Athletic reported in last week’s Transfer DealSheet, there has been interest in the Spain international but he is not considered a priority.




Interest in Bayern Munich duo Joshua Kimmich and Jamal Musiala was reported. They are both players of interest to City. Kimmich’s de

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