Premier League: 3 Things to Watch for on Transfer Deadline Day
The transfer window is set to close at 6 p.m. EST on August 31, and Premier League clubs are making their final efforts to strengthen their squads. There have been some moves today, such as Liverpool's deal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but there will likely be more on the horizon, as the final day is always hectic and transactions can happen out of the blue.
Will Riyad Mahrez Be on the Move?
Mahrez won the PFA Footballer of the Year award just two years ago. As Leicester City struggled last year, so did Mahrez. However, he has two assists and is averaging over three shots per match thus far this season. AS Roma have shown interest, but it appears that if Mahrez moves, it will be to another Premier League squad.
|Riyad Mahrez||2016-17 Total|
Mahrez made it clear that he would like to move away from the Foxes. Coral has Leicester keeping Mahrez with Arsenal following closely behind. Arsenal were crushed by Liverpool and have only signed two players this window. They could use a player who can create a goal out of nowhere and understands how to play in a structured system.
Arsenal great Emmanuel Petit thinks that The Gunners needs to worry more about possessing the ball then the problems in defense. Mahrez is the type of player who can hold onto the ball and has a knack to find the right ball to spring an attack. That is why Chelsea and Manchester United are still contenders to land the Algerian.
Potential Manchester City Swap With Arsenal
Arsenal players seem to be fed up with Alexis Sanchez, and the latest rumor is that Manchester City is targeting the Chilean striker. Arsene Wenger and his staff need to take back control of the locker room and moving Sanchez will go a long way toward providing stability.
Rumors broke yesterday that Raheem Sterling would be part of a package for City to acquire Sanchez, although ESPN FC is now reporting that the swap is unlikely. However, Wenger has been interested in Sterling since 2015 and may still be angling for the England international.
What a player. @Alexis_Sanchez pic.twitter.com/nx4gFweKKO
— Sigurd. (@afcsigurd) August 29, 2017
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola would rather offer a straight cash purchase of Sanchez from Arsenal. City's first bid of approximately $64 million was rejected. That offer is likely to rise in the hours prior to the deadline with one report stating that a $90-million bid is being readied. A deal for Sanchez looks more and more likely before the window closes even if Sterling is not involved.
What's Next for Diego Costa?
Costa is not going to play for Chelsea again and he wants to go to Atletico Madrid. However, Atletico cannot "officially" sign players until January due to a transfer ban. Ronald Koeman and Everton have said they would welcome Costa on loan until then. There are a lot of variables in play as Antonio Conte and Chelsea try to solidify the club.
Chelsea edge closer to £50m sale of Diego Costa to Atletico - even though he can't register until Jan. By @garyjacob https://t.co/ZchCpH9PoV pic.twitter.com/yaYjnVZBRH
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) August 30, 2017
One of those variables is that Spanish clubs have a few extra hours to sign a player, but since Costa needs to go on loan to play, their timeline is accelerated in terms of negotiation. Premier League clubs that are interested in taking in Costa on loan will not wait to bolster their squad. Clearly, the Costa situation is a conundrum that needs to be resolved.
Also, the price has been set for some time as Chelsea look for $64.6 million. That is a decent number for a 20-goal scorer in today's market. The fee will more than pay for Swansea striker Fernando Llorente, the likely replacement for Costa.
There will be plenty of other action tomorrow beside the three topics addressed here. Philippe Coutinho and Virgil van Dijk are among players who have sent in transfer requests and hope to finalize a deal. Coutinho is supposedly Barcelona's number one target. Liverpool attempted to swoon van Dijk before, but did it illegally, allowing teams like Chelsea to get in the race.
There is plenty of paperwork to be done to get a player officially on the books, but a deal sheet can be used in the final two hours of the window to confirm transactions. It is likely that some of these deals come down to the last minute. Regardless, teams must have paperwork completed by 8 p.m. EST tomorrow.