The summer transfer window is praised and criticized in equal measure, but what it does do is bring a level of excitement to the close season as clubs scrabble for signatures. Scenes of reporters standing outside club training grounds, and Harry Redknapp hanging out of car windows are what it’s all about at this time of the year, and we’re just a couple of weeks away from the last day of the window.
It’s a little different this year, as the Premier League started a week early to make way in the calendar for the Euro’s next year, but there is still plenty of business to be done as squads are assembled. Chelsea kicked off their campaign last week with a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea, with an uncharacteristically poor defensive performance. That may have heightened Jose Mourinho’s desire for a new defender, and he’s been casting envious eyes at Everton’s John Stones.
It’s attacking players on the agenda of Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City, with each linked with a number of different forward players from across Europe. Barcelona’s Pedro currently appears to be the subject of a tug-of-war between the two Manchester clubs, while Arsenal are also on the lookout for yet more attacking talent.
The Summer Transfer Scramble
One of the biggest criticism’s of the transfer window is that it creates a chain, whereby clubs won’t release players until a replacement has been secured, and that holds up subsequent deals between clubs further down the food chain. One such example is Javier Hernandez, who has been told he is surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, but is yet to move on – presumably while United search for another striker.
Another problem that those at QPR know only too well, is having a Premier League player on a Premier league contract after relegation. The club have practically put Charlie Austin up for sale, but they’ve had no takers for the man who scored 18 goals in the top flight last season, with many clubs balking at the £14 million price tag.
Big Moves and Big Rumours
It seems probable that both Austin and Hernandez will leave their respective clubs eventually, but there have already been some big money moves this summer as the new TV deal money filters into the game. Raheem Sterling made the move to Man City for £49 million, while Liverpool were big on strikers bringing in Benteke and Firminho. Manchester United brought in Depay, Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger, while Chelsea have added Falcao and Nathan.
Rumours are abound that the Manchester clubs are fighting it out for Pedro’s signature after he asked to leave Barcelona, while City are also heavily linked with Wolfsburg’s Kevin de Bruyne.
Premier League Strikers in Demand
It’s the striker situation that catches the eye from a betting perspective, with Manchester United the key players in the merry-go-round that is likely to ensue when they show their hand. At the moment Rooney and Hernandez are the only two senior strikers at the club, with youngster Wilson the only other option. Rooney may well have been ear-marked for a position as an out-and-out striker this season, but they will still need more strength in depth – particularly if/when Hernandez leaves. There has been continued speculation that Luis van Gaal will use some of the £45 million he received from PSG for Di Maria, to tempt Harry Kane away from Spurs, although the North London club have been adamant they won’t sell.
Spurs are renowned for their savvy in the transfer market, and you can be sure they’ll extract the best price possible if Kane is snatched from their clutches. It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world if Javier Hernandez went the other way as a make-weight in the deal. Spurs and West Ham have both been linked with the Mexico striker who spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, with the Hammers reported to have lodged a £12 million bid.
Skybet go +400 on ‘Chicarita’ ending up at White Hart Lane, and he may well find his way there regardless of whether United take Kane.
Charlie Austin is the other striker who is surely on the move this summer, with Newcastle the current favourites to take him to the North East, at a best price of +150 with Betfair. Magpies manager, Steve McClaren, says he still expects things to happen before the end of the window, but rumours are that Austin is not keen on going that far North, and is waiting for other clubs to come in for him.
Skybet offer a decent +600 on Austin making the short trip across London to Spurs, and if they have money burning a hole in their pocket after selling Kane to Man United, Austin could well be on their radar.
Lest we forget, he scored 18 goals in a poor, relegated QPR side last season, so they are right to ask for a substantial price. Some commentators have suggested that a striker should be priced at £1 million per Premier League goal, and if that were the case, Austin could command a fee of £18 million. As it is, with QPR desperate to sell, and the player probably equally keen to leave, they are more likely to be knocked down considerably as the deadline draws close.
the North Londoners have been linked with West Brom’s Saido Berahino – Kane’s partner at England under-21 level – but Austin and Hernandez could represent an equally competent ‘big man, little man’ partnership at White Hart Lane.
Summer Transfer Window 2015
Javier Hernandez to move to Spurs – +400 with Skybet
Charlie Austin to move to Spurs – +600 with Skybet
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