Will he or won’t he? That is the question on the lips of every Manchester United supporter as the chase for Barcelona playmaker Frenkie de Jong threatens to descend into a full-blown, summer-long saga to rival those of Wesley Sneijder, Toni Kroos or Cesc Fabregas.
But if De Jong does arrive at Old Trafford, he is unlikely to be the only La Liga import adapting to new – and dramatically colder – surroundings in 2022/23.
Clement Lenglet – Barcelona
Let’s start with the most obvious. And the most likely.
After a phone call with Antonio Conte, France international Lenglet has been chosen – well, admittedly by default with so many other targets proving unattainable – to fill the left-sided centre-half role in Tottenham’s three-man backline. He will join initially on a season long loan deal. And Spurs are hoping to tie up the loose ends before jetting out for a pre-season tour in Asia this weekend.
And if he can rediscover the form that saw Barcelona splash out £32 million on him, a defense of Lenglet, Eric Dier and Cristian Romero could give any strike force in the Premier League a run for its money.
Memphis Depay – Barcelona
The flying Dutchman started last season as Barcelona’s most high-profile forward. He ended it behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres and a revitalized Ousmane Dembele in Xavi Hernandez’s pecking order. How quickly things change.
With Ansu Fati returning and with Raphinha potentially on his way, Depay is starting to feel like the odd one out at the Camp Nou. Sport believe that Arsenal may be willing to overlook the Dutchman’s forgettable stint at Manchester United and offer him a second stab at the Premier League.
Raul de Tomas – Espanyol
While Arsenal’s interest in Depay is very much in the rumor stage, we know for a fact that Raul de Tomas has admirers in the Gunners boardroom.
“Arsenal called for Raul de Tomas,” Espanyol director Jose Maria Duran admitted in January. “But we didn’t even want to talk. We won’t let him go now, no way. His release clause is 75m euros (£60m).”
Selling the hard-working, penalty-box poaching Spain international midway through the season – with survival far from certain – was not something Espanyol were willing to countenance. SuperDeporte, however, believe that a bid in the region of just £20 million could do the trick this time around.
And, despite landing Gabriel Jesus while tying down Eddie Nketiah, Mikel Arteta would still benefit from one more number nine.
Borja Iglesias – Real Betis
Real Betis’ most expensive acquisition since the world-record deal brought Denilson to Andalusia in 1998, Iglesias has taken his sweet time but is finally beginning to pay back his eye-watering price-tag. His 19 goals helped Manuel Pellegrini’s side secure Europa League qualification and the Copa del Rey trophy.
According to AS, long-time admirers West Ham United made an inquiry in June.
David Moyes still hasn’t managed to sign a new striker since Sebastien Haller left for Ajax in January 2021; Although, it must be said, that is not for a lack of trying.
Alex Moreno – Real Betis
El Desmarque reported last month that Fulham were closing in on the swashbuckling left-back after submitting an £8 million bid. What’s more, Moreno shares an agent with Craven Cottage talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic. Things have gone a little quiet since then with Real Betis holding out for a larger fee and, at 29, Moreno is not exactly a signing with the long-term in mind.
Fulham have shown a willingness to put their money where their mouth is this summer, however. And, with ten goals and assists to his name last season, Moreno is one of Europe’s most potent full-backs.
Jules Kounde – Sevilla
Earlier this week, Sevilla’s near-mythical sporting director Monchi confirmed that two unnamed Premier League had inquired about perhaps Europe’s most coveted young central defender. Assuming Chelsea are one of those, could Newcastle United be the other?
According to Mundo Deportivo, the nouveau-riche Tynesiders are willing to pay a club-record £60 million for Kounde. A massive fee, yes, but with added value for money. Kounde, at 23, is only going to get better in the years to come.
Arnaut Danjuma – Villarreal
The former Bournemouth winger’s agent admitted this week that a move to West Ham is ‘very unlikely’. The Londoners have failed to agree personal terms. But they are far from the only English-based side with their sights firmly fixed on a versatile, ever-improving attacker who scored 16 goals in 34 games last season, firing Villarreal to within touching distance of the Champions League final.
Danjuma would come £15 million cheaper than Newcastle’s top target, Moussa Diaby, for instance..
In other news, ‘Plenty of hype’: Merson makes claim about Liverpool and £42m rival