The summer transfer window for the Premier League officially opens on June 14, and clubs have almost three months to reshape their squads before it closes at 23.00 BST on Sept. 1.
Some deals have already been finalised, with Liverpool signing Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister for an initial fee of £35 million (potentially rising to £55m), while Brighton have landed Watford winger Joao Pedro for a club-record fee of around £30m and Crystal Palace have confirmed an agreement is in place to sign Jefferson Lerma when his Bournemouth contract expires on June 30.
The biggest deals are yet to be done, though, with Tottenham’s Harry Kane, West Ham’s Declan Rice and Chelsea’s Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku (yes, he’s still a Chelsea player) facing uncertain futures.
There are also question marks over Manchester United’s Harry Maguire, David de Gea and even Marcus Rashford, while Mohamed Salah’s decision to go public over his frustration at not qualifying for next season’s Champions League has raised the prospect of the Liverpool forward being targeted by a rival club.
So who are the players at the centre of speculation in the Premier League this summer? Will they stay, go, negotiate a new contract or opt to leave as a free agent in 2024?
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Not for the first time — and maybe not the last — Kane will be at the centre of the biggest “stay or go” saga of the summer. Two years after failing to force a move from Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester City in search of silverware, the England captain is now in a much stronger position to dictate the outcome due to his contract having 12 months left to run.
Kane, whose transfer could still cost upwards of £100m, is attracting attention from Manchester United and Real Madrid, while Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain also have a long-standing interest. And while Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is regarded as one of football’s toughest negotiators, he knows keeping the 29-year-old to his contract is a risk given he can leave for nothing next summer. This is a much tougher scenario to contend with than two years ago.
Ultimately, if Kane wants to leave, he has to force the issue and make it clear to Levy that he won’t sign new terms. Or he could sign a new contract and commit the rest of his career to the club. One thing is for certain: once England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia are out of the way next week, it will be decision time.
Rice discusses future after Europa Conference League win
Declan Rice discusses his future at West Ham after they lifted their first major trophy in 43 years in the Europa Conference League.
The West Ham captain was diplomatically noncommittal when asked about his future after helping the team win their first major trophy since 1980 in last week’s Europa Conference League final. But chairman David Sullivan has since said that the midfielder will leave after rejecting a new £200,000-a-week contract.
Rice’s contract also expires in 2024, albeit with the option of an extra 12 months, but Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are all interested in signing the 24-year-old. Arsenal are in pole position, with manager Mikel Arteta identifying the England midfielder as his prime target this summer.
Hammers boss David Moyes said in February that it would take a British-record transfer fee — more than the £106.8m it cost Chelsea to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica — to prise Rice from the London Stadium. But expect him to leave this summer.
Manchester United activated a 12-month extension in Rashford’s contract last December, keeping the forward at the club until June 2024. But negotiations over a new long-term deal have yet to result in an agreement, so this summer has become a pivotal point in his United career.
If new terms can’t be agreed, the 25-year-old would be free to speak to overseas teams in January and United risk their star player leaving for nothing six months later. Manager Erik ten Hag wants Rashford to stay, and the club are confident a deal will be agreed. But with uncertainty over United’s ongoing takeover, persuading the player to commit won’t be easy, and they might have to offload him to obtain the maximum transfer fee.
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Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Manchester City’s treble-winning midfielder, and Silva has been linked with a move away from the Etihad for the past two summers.
The Portugal international signed a six-year extension to his contract in 2019 so has two years remaining on his existing deal. But with the former AS Monaco player previously expressing an interest to play in LaLiga, a good offer this summer could prompt City to agree to let him go.
City are making renewed efforts to keep their treble-winning captain at the Etihad but, with his contract due to expire on June 30, Gundogan is also weighing up offers from Barcelona, Arsenal and clubs in Saudi Arabia.
The 32-year-old Germany international has been at City for seven years, and the club had expected him to leave at the end of the season. But his impact over the closing weeks of the campaign, including two goals in the FA Cup final win against Manchester United, have prompted manager Pep Guardiola to ask him to stay for another year. City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, has held talks with Gundogan about a new contract, but the player is taking his time to decide on his next move.
Maguire is four years into a six-year contract at Old Trafford, but Manchester United are prepared to offload their captain, an £80m signing from Leicester back in 2019, this summer.
He started just eight Premier League games this season and is now fourth-choice centre-back behind Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof. He has also had to watch left-back Luke Shaw start games ahead of him in central defence.
Tottenham are interested in signing the 30-year-old, with West Ham also considering a move, but United face taking a huge financial loss on the player due to the transfer fee they paid and the outstanding value of his £200,000-a-week contract.
Why Newcastle United makes sense for Christian Pulisic
James Olley suggests Newcastle United as a smart potential destination for USMNT star Christian Pulisic.
The United States international forward is one of several players made available for transfer at Chelsea due to the need to cut costs and reduce squad size after the club’s £585m spending spree over recent windows.
Serie A sides Juventus, AC Milan and Napoli are all in the running to sign the 24-year-old, who could be available for around £20m, while Manchester United and Newcastle have both been approached by the player’s camp about a possible move to keep him in the Premier League. Turkish champions Galatasaray have also shown an interest.
One thing for certain is that Pulisic will leave Stamford Bridge this summer and is likely to have plenty of options.
Lukaku could have made himself a hero at Inter Milan if he had taken his chances in the Champions League final against Manchester City, but instead he will head back to Stamford Bridge in disappointment after his loan spell.
Inter have expressed an interest in keeping the Belgium international, but the 30-year-old is one of the Premier League’s top earners with a £325,000-a-week salary after his £97.5m transfer from Inter to Chelsea in 2021.
No team outside the Premier League can afford to sign Lukaku unless Chelsea heavily subsidise a deal, while the player has little interest in returning to England. However, he might have no option and, with Chelsea needing a centre-forward, Lukaku may yet find himself back in the team under Mauricio Pochettino at the start of the season.
Salah tweeted his frustration at missing out on Champions League qualification with Liverpool last month, but what did he hope to achieve by doing so? The Egypt forward might have simply been voicing his true feelings to the widest possible audience, or it could have been a more strategic play at inviting interest from a major team looking to make an offer for him.
He signed a new three-year contract 12 months ago, but with both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain needing to replace outgoing star forwards (Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi, respectively), don’t rule out a transfer saga surrounding Salah this summer.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp won’t want to lose him, but if the numbers stack up and the 30-year-old pushes to leave, with two years left on his contract, the Anfield hierarchy will have a major dilemma.
Are Tottenham favourites to land James Maddison?
James Olley gives the latest on James Maddison’s future as the Leicester midfielder continues to be linked with Tottenham.
The Leicester midfielder is due to become a free agent at the end of next season, but relegation from the Premier League means the Foxes will offload the 26-year-old on the cheap this summer.
Manchester United, Tottenham and Newcastle are in the hunt to sign the England international, and although Liverpool were sounded out about a move, they informed Leicester they had other areas of priority.
Leicester are now on a sound financial footing after the club’s owner wrote off almost £200m of debt earlier this year, but relegation has damaged their ability to hold out for a £50m fee for Maddison and he could move for a lot less.
David de Gea
Manchester United have offered the goalkeeper a new contract on reduced terms, but Ten Hag has refused to confirm that the former Spain international will be his first choice next season. After 12 years in Manchester, de Gea would prefer a return to Spain to be closer to his family, but there are no viable options open to him in LaLiga, so signing the deal on offer is the most likely outcome.
But with his contract expiring at the end of this month, he could appeal to clubs in Saudi Arabia looking to sign high-profile free agents. A departure from Old Trafford is still a possibility.
Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal are all interested in signing the Chelsea midfielder, who is prepared to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
With one year remaining on Mount’s contract, Chelsea must either offload the 24-year-old this summer or lose him for nothing next year, and the latter is not an option due to the need to balance the books. But with Chelsea looking for a £70m fee, the England international might be forced to wait for his move.
Arsenal tried and failed to sign the Brighton midfielder for around £70m in January, and he committed to a new contract after first trying to force an exit. But the Gunners have maintained their interest and are expected to move again for the 21-year-old Ecuador international if they fail to negotiate a deal for Rice.
Having emerged as one of the Premier League’s outstanding midfielders last season, Caicedo is likely to attract wider interest if Brighton give any indication that they would let him go.