With the summer transfer window set to open in the very near future, teams will be relishing the ability to bring in new players as they look to improve on what they did last season.
In the cases of Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea, they will all want to spend heavily over the next few months as they look to either stay in the UEFA Champions League or in the case of the Gunners, break back into the top four. There’s also a Premier League title to contend for when it comes to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, while Spurs will want to back Antonio Conte and give him the tools needed to challenge alongside the rest of England’s top teams.
While each club will have their own individual targets from a plethora of teams across Europe, the situation in Spain with Barcelona can only benefit the three London clubs. According to recent reports, the Spanish giants are once again in financial trouble. After being forced to release Lionel Messi last summer in order to register new players, the same looks likely again with the club potentially having to get rid of a number of players in order to bring anyone into the club.
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Xavi and Barca have been linked with Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and are keen to keep Ousmane Dembele at the club. But in order for that to happen, current Barca players will have to depart, and Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham could each profit from the mess that is currently ongoing in Barcelona.
football.london takes a look at three players who could be on their way to London in the next few weeks.
The links between Ousmane Dembele and Chelsea are not new.
Dembele excelled under Thomas Tuchel while the pair were together in Germany, the French winger leaving Borussia Dortmund to join Barcelona. After five years in La Liga, Dembele’s contract expires at the end of the month and the two sides are no closer to agreeing an extension.
The Blues will want to be back fighting for the Premier League title as soon as possible and with the sale finally complete, Todd Boehly will be looking to make a splash in the market and waste no time in getting the team back to the top of the league. The addition of Dembele this summer would go some way to lifting the team on the pitch and making them a force to be reckoned with.
On a free transfer, Barca won’t get any money from the deal but that would allow Chelsea or Arsenal, who have been linked to the French winger in the past, to offer more in wages. The Gunners aren’t frontrunners in this chase and Chelsea are the most likely destination, but that shouldn’t stop Arsenal from at least throwing their hat into the ring.
Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie de Jong was a part of the great Ajax side that were beaten by Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2019.
A move to Barcelona seemed like a match made in heaven due to the similar playing styles between the Dutch club and Spanish club. Though the move hasn’t been an instant success, there’s still a belief inside the club that De Jong will succeed at this club – he’s too talented to fail.
However, his future at the club could be in jeopardy with Barcelona desperate for money and the 22-year-old one of the only players the club can sale who will cost a large sum of money. Currently valued at over £ 90million according to CIES, reports suggest that a deal could be struck for around £ 60million.
A player of his quality at that price would immediately alert both Chelsea and Arsenal, with De Jong speaking in the past about a possible move to the Emirates Stadium. Talking to Voetbal International back in 2019, he said: “I actually thought Arsenal was pretty beautiful in the past.
“In my mind, I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona, call it the Marc Overmars route. But yes, if you can go directly to Barcelona, then you are also right where you want to be “Faster than you ever dared to dream.”
Somewhat of a surprise to make this list, Gavi is the next midfield prodigy to come out of La Masia.
Already a first-team regular under Xavi, Gavi has shown that he is mature beyond his years and having broken into the Spanish national side at just 17. While his team-mate Pedri is the headline grabber, Gavi is just as technically skilled – he’s part of the reason the club are willing to part with De Jong.
However, there’s currently a £ 42million release clause in his contract which Barcelona are trying to take out by extending his current deal. Expiring in 2023, Barca face the prospect of losing him on the cheap this summer if a Premier League club comes calling. Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea all need a new midfielder and what better way to improve on that area of the pitch with a 17-year-old prodigy in Gavi?
At 21, Sergino Dest still has a lot of football ahead of him.
The talented American right back has been linked recently with a move to Stamford Bridge, despite the club having Reece James bombarding down the right-hand side. James’ season was blighted by injury and in his absence, the club struggled to maintain their early season form.
Though James is the starter next season, being able to have a back-up like Dest would go a long way for Tuchel’s side to be able to challenge across four competitions next season. And the same could be said for both Spurs and Arsenal. Both clubs have players who are set to start at right back but the competition behind them is far from ideal.
At the Emirates Stadium, Takehiro Tomiyasu is another player who missed large parts of the season due to injury and his deputy was not up to the standard required for a club with ambitions of challenging for the top four. Dest’s arrival in north London, for either club, gives them a player who can not only rotate when the starter needs a rest but make a valid claim for being the starter at right back.