Cristiano Ronaldo remains the subject of frenzied speculation as the summer transfer window enters its final day.
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has played down suggestions that the 37-year-old Portugal skipper could leave the club for a second time having been linked with Napoli and former side Sporting Lisbon this summer.
The impending arrival of Ajax frontman Antony in a deal costing £80.6million with a further £4.2million in add-ons has sparked suggestions Ronaldo, who has started only one game so far this season, may be allowed to go.
However, asked about his future, Ten Hag said: “We need numbers there, we need not just quantity, but quality.”
United’s moves for Antony and Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, whose place as number one at St James’ Park has been taken by summer signing Nick Pope, were ongoing as the transfer window headed towards its final 24 hours, although the club, who have also been linked with old boy Memphis Depay, are hopeful of getting both deals across the line.
If there is work still to be done at Old Trafford, Chelsea too seem to be in no mood to put the chequebook away after finally getting their hands on £70million Leicester defender Wesley Fofana on Wednesday after a lengthy pursuit.
The Blues have been credited with interests in Barcelona’s former Arsenal frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and intriguingly Paris St Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar, as well as Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha, although Everton’s Anthony Gordon appears to remain tantalisingly out of their grasp.
Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, who spent last season on loan at Palace, has made four Premier League appearances for his parent club already this season and he has had suitors monitoring his situation in recent weeks should he become available once again.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s admission that he might have miscalculated when he decided he did not need to add to his midfield resources has since seen Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz touted as a possible target with injuries having bitten hard into his squad.
One midfielder who could be up for grabs during the final hours of the window is Youri Tielemans with reports suggesting Leicester are open to offers of £25million for a player who is now in the final year of his existing deal.
Arsenal are one of a series of clubs who have been credited with an interest in the Belgian, and the Gunners have also been linked with Wolves duo Pedro Neto and Ruben Neves.
Champions Manchester City have invested heavily in Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips and Sergio Gomez, but may not be done yet with Borussia Dortmund’s Switzerland international defender Manuel Akanji in their sights.
Promoted Nottingham Forest’s frenzied recruitment drive could yet see Wolves defender Willy Boly arrive at the City Ground, while both Everton and Leeds are in the market for frontmen.
Big-spending Newcastle, who broke their transfer record with a £58million swoop for Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak, have spent much of the summer chasing attacking midfielders with little success, and head coach Eddie Howe has admitted any last-gasp business is likely to be on a loan basis.
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