It seems like France is the axis whereby all the big transfers will happen this summer, and there’s been even more news coming out of the Parisian office of L’Equipe, as the French newspaper reckons that Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud could be heading back to his homeland, with Lyon and Marseille both interested. Giroud turned 30 last year, and he’s been unable to shake the now-familiar accusation that he’s just not up to it as a striker who can deliver a Premier League for the Gunners.
Monaco raid still ongoing
Arsenal are looking to reshape their attacking power and have reportedly had a £31 million offer for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar turned down, with the French outfit clinging onto yet another star young Frenchman for dear life. You wonder if Monaco will have anyone left at the conclusion of this summer after other big European sides look to plunder their star men. Kylian Mbappe is still in the south of France – and has playfully left a message for his would-be suitors by changing his Twitter background to ‘priceless’…queue Arsenal chiming in with a player-exchange deal. He’s still only 18, and he will probably be best served staying put for a year or two.
One signing that is looking close to completion is Arsenal’s pursuit of Alexandre Lacazette. Lyon rebuffed an offer of around £40 million earlier in the summer, but Wenger has returned with an offer of £50 million which is thought to be satisfactory to the French club. Wenger has a bad habit of doing his business late in the summer, and he’ll hope to have this one over the line so Lacazette can gel with the side during pre-season training.
Dani Ceballos, the new ‘steal’
Over in Spain, Real Betis playmaker, Dani Ceballos, is being courted by both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Not a bad position to be in for one of the stars of the recent U-21 European Championship. He’s put the footballing world on notice, and both sides are prepared to meet the £13 million release clause to secure his signature. Betis have remained coy – but at this price coupled with his performances in the tournament, it makes this transfer seem like a no brainer – especially when looking at the eye-watering prices mentioned when discussing Monaco’s youngsters.
United value Ander Herrera at £60 million
Ander Herrera has had a topsy-turvy time at Manchester United – tales of bogus lawyers and imposters made his path to Old Trafford messy, and any potential exit will be similarly difficult as he’s now finally proved his value in Jose Mourinho’s side, winning club Player of the Year. Barcelona see him as the man to replace the ageing Andres Iniesta and have apparently been told that an offer of £60 million might tempt them to sell. The Old Trafford club has offered Herrera a bumper new deal of £180,000 per week as they hope to fend off interest from the Catalan giants – which might be the real story here. What would transfer season be without some star players working their clubs into earning a fatter contract?