?With the transfer window now officially wide open and the season all but over, rumours are beginning to swirl with a little more weight behind them.
Mid-season speculation and the ifs and buts of permutations involved with silverware, Champions League qualification, relegation and so on are all now in the rear-view mirror and a summer of transfer drama is moving full steam ahead.
With that said, as the rumour mill gets set to kick into overdrive, here is the latest roundup of stories you might have missed and could be worth keeping an eye on in the coming months.
One in, One Out at Everton Amid Offer for Winger & Full Back Exit
With former ?Huddersfield boss David Wagner now firmly installed in the hot seat at Bundesliga outfit Schalke, it is unsurprising that the German is casting his eye back over the Premier League for potential signings in his first transfer window with the Gelsenkirchen side.
Defence is clearly a priority area to strengthen for Wagner, and that search has reportedly led him to Merseyside. According to ?Sky Sports, Schalke are leading Premier League sides ?Burnley and ?Crystal Palace in the race to sign ?Everton full back Jonjoe Kenny on loan.
The 22-year-old has struggled in the Toffees’ defensive pecking order behind Seamus Coleman, and it is suggested that Kenny could move out on loan to gain more first team experience.
Kenny’s exit could be followed by an arrival at Goodison Park, with Everton also having made an offer for Porto winger Yacine Brahimi, who is set to become a free agent. According to O Jogo, via ?Sport Witness, Everton’s offer remains on the table, but the 29-year-old is set to delay a decision over his next move until after the Africa Cup of Nations, in the hope of securing better offers from bigger clubs.
Newcastle Forward’s Future Remains Unclear Amid Spanish Interest
Much of ?Newcastle’s summer is set to be dominated by huge uncertainty at multiple levels of the club. With talks rumbling on over a potential takeover of the club, Rafa Benitez’s future as manager also remains far from clear and is undoubtedly the big talking point on Tyneside.
However, that uncertainty is set to spread from the top down to the playing ranks at St James’ Park, with striker Joselu among those facing questions over their futures with the Magpies.
The Spaniard told ?Radio Marca: “I have one year left at Newcastle, I have possibilities to move but it will depend on the new board that will come to the club. The market in the Premier League ends on 8 August, so I am attentive to the movements that may occur with me.”
Watford Defender Set for Return to Spain After Unimpressive Spell
Another Spanish star facing an uncertain future in the Premier League is Marc Navarro, who endured an unproductive season at Watford after arriving at Vicarage Road from Espanyol for £1.8m last summer.
The 23-year-old initially appeared to be an ideal fit for Javi Gracia’s set-up, but the reality of his role has been a bit part act as back-up to Kiko Femenia and Daryl Janmaat at right back.
?Marca reports that Leganes are prepared to make a fresh move to sign Navarro, having previously made an unsuccessful attempt to bring the Spaniard back to La Liga in January. The player has four years remaining on his ?Watford contract, but the only issue in the deal was said to be Leganes’ ability to clear the way for his arrival, though that has now been taken care of.
Man City Eyeing Move for Young Benfica Star (Not Joao Felix)
As sure as ?Manchester City will have vast sums of money at their disposal once more this summer, Benfica have once again produced another crop of young stars on a conveyor belt which has provided some of Europe’s finest talents in recent times.
Joao Felix is the current star stealing all the headlines and captivating much of the transfer ?speculation of late, with City among those linked with a move for the exciting forward. However, according to Correio da Manha, via ?Sport Witness, Felix is not the only Benfica star on Pep Guardiola’s radar.
The report suggests the Premier League champions also hold an interest in 19-year-old midfielder Florentino. City are known to be in the market for a defensive midfielder, and the Citizens have apparently held conversations already over a potential move for the teenager. However, a
La Liga Giants Target Bargain Move for West Ham Striker
?West Ham’s summer overhaul is already well underway, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side having already facilitated the departures of fringe players Andy Carroll, Adrian and Samir Nasri, whilst Lucas Perez is also poised to complete a move away.
In a squad overhaul that looks likely to continue throughout the summer, Javier Hernandez could be another first team star allowed to depart the London Stadium in the coming months. According to ?The Sun, La Liga side Valencia are targeting an £8m move for the Mexican – whose orange hair is only likely to increase Els Taronges’ interest.
The 30-year-old enjoyed relative success in the Spanish top flight during a loan spell with ?Real Madrid five years ago, and the report suggests Marcelino’s side could look to add the striker to their attacking ranks which already boast the likes of Rodrigo and Kevin Gameiro.
Stoke Demand £30m for Crystal Palace & Bournemouth Target
Reliable, Premier League-proven goalkeepers are not easy come by these days, and usually cost a fair amount to buy in the current climate.
?Crystal Palace and ?Bournemouth are both facing predicaments with their current goalkeeping options, and are set to do battle over the signing of England international Jack Butland. The ?Stoke goalkeeper continues to feature in Gareth Southgate’s set-up, despite the Potters’ Championship status.
However, if Palace and Bournemouth were hoping to take advantage of Stoke’s struggles with a cut-price move, those ideas have been dashed by the goalkeeper’s price tag. According to the ?Daily Star, the Potters have set their asking price at £30m for Butland. Though the 26-year-old could be keen to return to the top flight, the valuation may prove to be a stumbling block.
Aston Villa Eyeing John Terry Reunion With Former Teammate on Free Transfer
Having sealed promotion back to the Premier League via a play off final win over ?Derby, ?Aston Villa have already started to think big in terms of transfer targets to reinforce their squad ahead of a highly anticipated return to the top flight.?
However, big names do not always command big fees. According to ?The Sun, Dean Smith’s side are looking to re-sign former Villa star Gary Cahill, who will depart ?Chelsea as a free agent this summer.
The defender enjoyed a trophy-laden eight-year spell at Stamford Bridge after joining from Bolton in 2012. Cahill is now free to choose his next destination, and Villa are apparently hoping to bring the 33-year-old back to the club where he came through the youth academy – reuniting him with former Chelsea teammate John Terry, who is now the Villains’ assistant head coach.