Transfer Updates As Arsenal Is Set To Sign Leicester star James Maddison. Aston Villa preparing £30m bid for Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey
Dean Smith is keen to add to his attacking options this summer, with the club-record signing of former Norwich talisman Emi Buendia already confirmed.
It remains unclear whether Smith is trying to build on his side’s decent 11th-place Premier League finish last season, or whether he’s preparing for life with Jack Grealish who is understood to be a £100m target for champions Manchester City.
Either way, talented youngster Bailey has been pinpointed as a summer target, with the Daily Mail reporting Villa are readying a bid of between £25m and £30m.
West Ham target Ross Barkley as alternative to Jesse Lingard
West Ham manager David Moyes is interested in reuniting with Ross Barkley, should the club be unable to secure a return to the London Stadium for Jesse Lingard.
The 27-year-old spent last season on loan at Aston Villa and was impressive for large parts of his stay in the Midlands, but off-field activities meant the club decided against signing Barkley on a permanent basis.
Now back at Stamford Bridge, Barkley is one of a number of players who have been told they can move on, owing to the incredible strength in depth in Thomas Tuchel’s squad.
Arsenal exploring ambitious offer for Leicester star James Maddison
Arsenal are prepared to include a player in part-exchange as they explore the possibility of signing Leicester attacking midfielder James Maddison.
The Gunners have already captured Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga ahead of the new season, as well as Portuguese full-back Nuno Tavares, and are also close to landing England international Ben White from Brighton in a £50m deal.
But midfield in particular has been a key area identified by the Arsenal hierarchy in the major recruitment drive and 90min disclosed that in June that in addition to a centre-back, full-back and goalkeeper, the club is targeting two new midfielders, which is now Sambi Lokonga and one other.
Maddison has long been on the list of options and the Daily Mail writes that Arsenal are now stepping up that interest by exploring ways to get a potential deal done.
It is said that £50m would not be enough to tempt Leicester to sell Maddison, leading the Gunners to consider offering a player to sweeten the deal. Winger Reiss Nelson or midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles are those they would be willing to let go in the hope of tempting Leicester.
Maddison has a long-term contract with the Foxes until 2024 that he signed less than a year ago and is reported to have been the subject of a rejected £70m offer from an un-named Premier League club last summer. But it is said that Arsenal believe Leicester will negotiate.
Arsenal line up £30m bid for Aaron Ramsdale
Arsenal are lining up a huge £30m bid for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale having already seen two offers knocked back by the Championship club.
The 23-year-old rejoined the Blades in the summer of 2020 in an £18.5m move from Bournemouth, and he ended the campaign as their Player and Young Player of the Season, despite conceding 63 goals on their way to a disappointing relegation.
It was Ramsdale’s second successive relegation from the top flight, but that hasn’t stopped other Premier League outfits from circling. According to talkSPORT, Arsenal have already had two bids rejected for the shot-stopper, and are preparing a new £30m offer to secure his services.
The Gunners are keen to strengthen in the goalkeeping department, with Bernd Leno currently their only senior shot-stopper.
Runar Alex Runarsson and Arthur Okonkwo both play backup to the German, but Runarsson suffered a disastrous Carabao Cup debut in December 2020, and Okonkwo has endured his only struggles throughout pre-season.
Manuel Locatelli’s agent confirms Arsenal have made bid
Arsenal have ramped up their pursuit of Manuel Locatelli with the Gunners tabling a £34m bid for the Sassuolo midfielder.
The Italy international was one of the stars of his country’s triumphant Euro 2020 campaign, notching two goals against Switzerland in Roberto Mancini’s side’s second outing as Gli Azzurri secured top spot in Group A before going on to win their second European title.
Speculation had already started to circulate regarding Locatelli’s future prior to this summer’s European Championship, and his stellar showing at the tournament has only served to enhance such rumour.