Manchester City have identified Kalvin Phillips as their top summer target. Arsenal have £150m to spend, £60m to raise and players to pursue.
THE ART OF THE DEAL
After their extreme weight reduction during the January transfer window, Arsenal’s summer plans were always going to be intriguing. A great market 12 months ago put them on the brink of the Champions League and Mikel Arteta will be hoping to build on that.
The Spaniard predicts even more upheaval in North London. Arsenal have £150m to spend but want to raise around £60m by selling players from the outlying squad to offset the cost.
Offloading Matteo Guendouzi and Konstantinos Mavropanos has already raised £12.5m, but The Sun says Hector Bellerin, Lucas Torreira (£12.5m), Bernd Leno (£8.5m)Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£8m) and Pablo Mari are also in the ‘Emirates Garage Sale’.
Arteta wants a 22-man squad to face the added pressure of Europa League football, with loanees William Saliba and Reiss Nelson, and academy graduates Charlie Patino, Miguel Azeez and Omari Hutchinson all earmarked for first-team opportunities at Arsenal next season.
But the target is to make ‘four top quality signings’ of two forwards, a central midfielder and a full-back. Gabriel JesusTammy Abraham, Youri Tielemans and Ruben Neves are on the shortlist.
YOU ARE SO VAIN
The Tielemans link seems solid. The Daily Telegraph’s John Percy backs up the rumour, describing the midfielder as one of the ‘key summer targets’ for Arsenal after Arteta carried out ‘a number of background checks’.
Tielemans still has a year left on his Leicester contract and would prefer to join a Champions League club but have responded positively to the idea of at least one more season of Europa League football. After being widely scouted by the Gunners, it was inferred that the Belgian ‘has the qualities and the versatility to thrive’.
There has been no formal contact between Arsenal and Leicester, who are happy with Tielemans’ “exemplary” professionalism and could hold more than £30million. Arteta hopes to convince them to come closer to £25m.
No drama as Tielemans simply overtook Leicester City
KALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS
Manchester City is shopping in a different market. They need to replace Fernandinho and instead of targeting an incredibly unconvincing makeshift right-back in his mid-30s, they will focus on the central midfield aspect of the Brazilian’s game.
Kalvin Phillips is their priority and would surely take tactical fouling seamlessly. He has “the perfect profile” to thrive under Pep Guardiola and could be used to the right of Rodri in a slightly more forward position than he tends to occupy at Leeds.
No fee is mentioned by the Daily Mail, but Leeds’ bargaining position has obviously been strengthened by survival and Phillips still has a few years left on his current contract. It looks like the 26-year-old would be happier joining Manchester City than move to Old Trafford or Villa Park.
Signing Kalvin Phillips makes a lot of sense for City, let’s see if that happens 🔵
— Your blue ⚽️ (@MCFCTone) May 23, 2022