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Summer transfers: 10 major moves to watch

1. Alvaro Morata

  • Current club: Real Madrid 
  • Could join: Manchester United

Morata wanted this move done before his wedding almost two weeks ago, and didn't get his wish. So he cut short his honeymoon early this week in a bid to push through the deal. You can hardly blame him (unless you’re his poor new wife) – with Zlatan Ibrahimovic gone, Morata can become the focal point of Jose Mourinho’s team next season, getting the first-team football he was never guaranteed at Real Madrid.

2. Alexandre Lacazette

  • Current club: Lyon
  • Could join: Arsenal

A double-whammy for Gunners this week, whose fans have seen Ivan Gazidis & Co. scurry into action with bids for two of Ligue 1’s most fearsome assets. First up, they’re confident of signing striker Lacazette despite seeing an initial bid turned down – the 26-year-old has told Lyon he wants to leave, after countless windows of speculation linking him away. Now it’s a mere matter of lodging an offer closer to the £50m that suits Les Gones… and particularly, prickly club president Jean-Michel Aulas.

3. Thomas Lemar

  • Current club: Monaco
  • Could join: Arsenal

Arsenal also lodged a £31 million bid for Monaco wideman Lemar this week, which was quickly rebuffed by the Monagesque side who, according to reports, saw the offer as somewhat derisory. They won’t let their 21-year-old France international go easily: the Ligue 1 champions have already lost Bernardo Silva, while central midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko will join Chelsea imminently.

Interest in Fabinho (from Manchester United), Djibril Sidibe (various) and Kylian Mbappe (basically everyone) remains rife.

4. Olivier Giroud

  • Current club: Arsenal
  • Could join: West Ham

Someone’s got to lose out in this game, and it’s quite likely to be Arsenal’s mirror-friendly French battering ram. Arsene Wenger has never quite found a way to satisfy Giroud with the first-team football he craves – last season the striker started only 11 Premier League games but was a brilliant weapon off the bench, scoring 12 goals.

But he doesn’t want that kind of life for much longer, and West Ham – whose struggles to find a competent striker over the last decade have bordered on farcical – are offering a loving home, pay rise and the chance to stay in London. It could be tempting for him.  

5. Dani Alves

  • Current club: N/a (released by Juventus)
  • Could join: Manchester City

Juventus announced on Thursday that Alves will be leaving Turin this summer “by mutual consent”. The Italian giants seem content to search for a player with more longevity, which will certainly be Pep Guardiola’s gain – it seems only a matter of time before Manchester City wrap up a deal to bring the 34-year-old to the Etihad Stadium this summer.

Kieran Trippier signed a new five-year contract with Tottenham on the same day, meanwhile, helping the north Londoners deal with what is surely an inevitable sale of Kyle Walker to City.

6. Naby Keita

  • Current club: RB Leipzig
  • Could join: Liverpool

If RB Leipzig got a euro for every time they declared that Keita isn’t for sale this summer… well, they could buy a lot of Red Bull. But assuming they don’t want wings, or a giant sugar rush, they’ll be trying their hardest to fulfil that desire. German newspaper Bild say they’ve reportedly slapped a €80m price tag on the Guinean’s head in a bid to warn off potential suitors – particularly Liverpool, who seem desperate to land the 22-year-old. Will Jurgen Klopp take the hint and give up the game?

7. Michael Keane

  • Current club: Burnley
  • Could join: Everton

The Toffees have flown out of the traps this transfer window, signing Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Ajax schemer Davy Klaassen. A deal to bring highly rated Nigerian Henry Onyekuru to Goodison Park is all but done too, but arguably even more exciting is the £25m pursuit of Burnley centre-back Michael Keane – also edging its way to completion, say reports. The former Manchester United stopper enjoyed a fine 2016/17, and Sean Dyche will be loathe to lose him.   

8. Robin van Persie

  • Current club: Fenerbahce
  • Could join: Crystal Palace

One out of leftfield on Thursday: new Eagles boss Frank de Boer is reportedly keen to bring his compatriot to Selhurst Park this summer. Van Persie in turn – now 33 and at Fenerbahce – is thought to be interested by a Premier League return. The silver-haired Dutchman netted nine goals in 24 Turkish Super Lig games last term, but wages could be a sizeable stumbling block. Just you try getting him to budge from his cushy £250,000-per-week wages. 

9. Alex Sandro

  • Current club: Juventus
  • Could join: Chelsea

How do you make a title-winning side even better? Juventus could lose both full-backs that helped them win Serie A and reach the Champions League final within a week; Alves is going, and it seems so too is Brazilian left-full-back Alex Sandro – for a cool £60m. Sorry, Marcos Alonso, but things are about to get much more competitive in west London. 

10. Tiemoue Bakayoko

  • Current club: Monaco
  • Could join: Chelsea

Meanwhile, Monaco’s 22-year-old central midfielder Bakayoko – a replacement for the Manchester United-bound Nemanja Matic – is nearing his own Stamford Bridge arrival, having reportedly completed a medical with the club this week. You can expect an announcement very soon on this one – just in time for the launch of Chelsea’s new kit on Saturday, as it happens. Imagine the coincidence.

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