What’s the latest on the futures of Jadon Sancho, Neymar and Philippe Coutinho? What transfer plans do the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City have when the transfer window re-opens? Sky Sports News reporters Kaveh Solhekol and Dharmesh Sheth have all the latest…
On Tuesday evening, Kaveh and Dharmesh were primed to answer the best of the transfer-related questions submitted on Twitter in a special Transfer Talk Q&A.
Sancho’s future, Arsenal’s transfer budget, the race to sign Coutinho and Manchester United’s potential targets were just a few of a number of topics you wanted answers on.
In case you missed it, here’s the full Q&A as it happened, starting with a question on Jose Mourinho and Tottenham…
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Is Jose happy with his squad?
The first question is from @Marc48604007…
“Is Jose Mourinho genuinely happy with his current Tottenham squad? If not, where do you think he needs to strengthen?”
KAVEH SAYS: “There’s no chance that Jose Mourinho is happy with his Tottenham squad. Spurs were all over the place before the season stopped. They lost four and drew two of their last six games. They had no strikers. They were knocked out of the FA Cup by Norwich at home. They were knocked out of the Champions League without laying a glove on RB Leipzig.
“When Mourinho got the Spurs job, he said he was happy with his squad. He didn’t mean it. He was just saying the right thing. There are problems all over the Spurs squad and it’s going to take more than just one window to fix them. And somehow he has to convince Daniel Levy to spend big again.
“Spurs need a new back-up goalkeeper to put pressure on Hugo Lloris. They need a new right-back to replace Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters – Serge Aurier is good going forward. They need a centre-back to replace Jan Vertonghen, who is out of contract, and a new left-back to replace Danny Rose.
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“Then we get to midfield. Tanguy Ndombele cost £63m but he’s had injury problems and hasn’t adapted to English football. Spurs need another central midfielder. Giovani Lo Celso has been the big plus this season.
“It’s up front though where Spurs desperately need to strengthen. Injuries to Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son showed just how much of a mistake it was not to sign a striker in January.
“So, overall you are looking at Spurs needing to sign six players to refresh their squad. On top of that, they need to hold on to Kane. He made it clear this week that although he loves Spurs, he won’t stick around if the club are not moving in the right direction. To do that they need to spend – when the window opens.”
How much will Arsenal have to spend in the next transfer window?
The next question comes from @JonLFeldman…
“How much money will be given to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta this summer?”
DHARMESH SAYS: “Good question. Arsenal’s budget is very uncertain right now – as are the budgets of every club. Arsenal were very limited with how much they could outlay in January given the amount they spent under Unai Emery last summer.
“They committed over £150m in transfer fees – while cleverly sticking to a £45m budget. Arsenal were able to spread payments for the likes of Nicolas Pepe over the duration of his long-term contract. It should also be remembered Saint Etienne defender William Saliba is due to arrive in the summer – exactly when will be decided by FIFA and what rules they lay down with contracts as well as the re-opening of the transfer window.
“Arsenal’s budget will no doubt be hugely impacted by what European competition they are in next season. Three consecutive years in the Europa League has reduced the amount they can spend. A fourth season would damage that further.
“On a more general point, all clubs’ budgets are likely to be affected once football resumes. Football is not immune to what’s happening in the world right now. So many major income streams have simply disappeared during the pandemic.”
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What next for Coutinho?
Up next, a question from @Samiboy73…
“Which Premier League club should go for Philippe Coutinho?”
KAVEH SAYS: “Philippe Coutinho’s agent has a big job on his hands. Barcelona want to sell him this summer. He is on loan at Bayern Munich but they are unlikely to make the move permanent. Barcelona want more than £100m for a player who will be 28 in the summer. That means there will be little resale value for any interested clubs.
“Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian has good contacts at Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs. A move to those clubs is possible, but Barcelona would have to drop their asking price dramatically or it would have to be a loan with an option to buy deal.
“Interested clubs know that Barcelona want to sell him this summer. They know that it was a big mistake for Barcelona to spend £142m on him. I can’t see how this is going to end well for Barcelona.”
- Coutinho: Back to the Premier League via Bayern Munich and Barcelona?
Who will Man Utd target this summer?
The next question comes from @Ahmadbalali…
“Who will be Manchester United’s targets for this summer window, can they get both Jadon Sancho and either Harry Kane or Timo Werner? Would they buy a midfielder too?”
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Hit play on the video below to hear Dharmesh’s answer…
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Where do Man City need to strengthen?
@Jake_Daniells is up next…
“Where do you think Pep Guardiola needs to strengthen this summer?”
DHARMESH SAYS: “This is building up to be one of the biggest and most important transfer windows for Manchester City since Pep Guardiola took charge back in 2016.
“Priority number one looks like it will be in the central defensive area. Yes, Aymeric Laporte is back to fitness. But who’s his ideal partner? City didn’t go into the market when captain Vincent Kompany left last summer. And this season, Guardiola has used central midfielder Fernandinho in his back four. There are question marks over the futures of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones. They’ve not started together in the Premier League since the 3-2 defeat at Norwich City in September. Both can still command substantial transfer fees as they have contracts that run until 2022. It will be interesting to see if City offload to fund incomings.
“City are almost certainly going to need to bring in a winger too. Leroy Sane’s contract is up in the summer of 2021 and he hasn’t signed City’s offer of a new one. Bayern Munich remain very interested in signing him. Sane’s market value could be in the region of £90m. City will not want to risk losing him for nothing.
“Longer term, City will be looking at strikers. Sergio Aguero will be 32 in June and his contract is up next summer. Left-back is a position City will have half an eye on too. Benjamin Mendy has had huge injury problems. Reports David Alaba could be part of the deal that takes Sane to Bayern Munich have been rubbished by the German champions.
“One issue to take into account is potential signings won’t be arriving at a City we are used to. As it stands, there will be no European football for the next two seasons. This could impact the calibre of player Pep can attract to the club.”
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Will Grealish move on?
A question from @apertado…
“Do you think Jack Grealish has now blown his chance of a big transfer this year?”
KAVEH SAYS: “Jack Grealish. Where do you start? It feels like he’s become public enemy number one after his latest antics. Do I think he’s blown his chances of a move though? I’m not so sure. All clubs now do extensive checks on the personality and behaviour of players before they sign them.
“He’s one of Manchester United’s top targets this year. As long as this is the final time he steps out of line, I can’t see United suddenly losing interest in him. They will be thinking that he’s only 24. If he ever becomes a United player, I’m sure they will feel they can control him and bring out the best in him.
“Let’s not forget though that he is an Aston Villa player and the club captain. He has three years left on his contract. Villa are owned by two very rich men and it’s likely they’ll try and hold on to him by offering him a new deal – especially if they are still in the Premier League next season.”
What next for Sancho?
The next questions come from @Superkova and @CFCLakshman…
@Superkova: “Is it true that Jadon Sancho has asked for £400,000-a-week?”
@CFCLakshman: “Do you guys have any latest reports on Jadon Sancho to Chelsea?”
Let’s hear from Dharmesh…
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Where does David Moyes need to strengthen at West Ham?
The next question comes from @Kieronog…
“Where does David Moyes need to strengthen if West Ham stay up?”
KAVEH SAYS: “It’s easy to forget that David Moyes had a very good January transfer window. He got the three players he wanted – Darren Randolph, Tomas Soucek and Jarrod Bowen.
“The plan was for Moyes to be given about £40m to spend in the summer but that was before the season stopped. He wants to sign a striker to support Sebastian Haller and strengthen in the full-back positions. He wants to make sure he brings the right characters to the club. Players who can adapt to English football quickly.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him buy players from the Championship. He’s also very relaxed about Declan Rice’s future. He’s under no pressure to sell Rice and there’s been no real interest registered. I’m not sure he was totally convinced by Issa Diop to begin with and there are a few clubs who would be interested in taking him, but Diop’s form has improved and it would take big money for West Ham to sell.
“Overall, Moyes has been doing a lot of work behind-the-scenes to make West Ham run the way he wants it to run. The owners have been impressed with the job he’s doing. As long as they avoid relegation, he’ll be given more money to spend – especially if this season is completed.”
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Neymar or Martinez in, Griezmann out at Barca?
The final question of this Transfer Talk Q&A comes from @99Jamarcus…
“Will Barcelona prioritise Neymar or Martinez this summer? Also could Griezmann already be on the way out?”
KAVEH SAYS: “I think Barcelona have more important things to worry about than whether to sign Neymar or Martinez this summer.
“We don’t know if we’re even going to have a proper transfer window this summer, but if we do everyone is expecting it to be relatively quiet and flat. Some clubs are struggling to survive, I don’t think the money or appetite is there for the kind of blockbuster deals we have seen in past windows. A lot of people will think that’s a good thing. Maybe, football needs to get back in touch with reality.
“As far as Lautaro Martinez is concerned, lots of clubs would be interested in signing him if Inter wanted to sell but his agent says that there’s been no real offers.
“Barcelona need a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez and Martinez is an option, but Inter don’t need to sell because he has three years left on his contract. And there is no way that Antonio Conte would let his club sell his best players.
“When it comes to Antoine Griezmann, it’s fair to say he hasn’t made the impact he would have liked since his controversial move from Atletico Madrid last summer. Having said that, I don’t see him leaving this summer.
“Very few clubs could afford him and I don’t think we are going to see too many superstars switch clubs this year. He’s 29, on big money and still wants to prove himself at Barcelona.”
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If you want to hear more from the Kaveh and Dharmesh, listen to a special episode of the Transfer Talk podcast here.
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