It is often amazing how when one player moves there is suddenly a flurry of activity as a direct result. The domino effect.
There are plenty of teams in the Premier League, and scattered across Europe, that will play key roles in setting the dominos to fall, few as important as Romelu Lukaku returning to Inter Milan.
That loan is going to trigger a heap of movements from Manchester City and Leeds while Barcelona’s summer business is hinging on the completion of Manchester United securing a deal for Frenkie de Jong.
The next 48 hours could prove crucial as heading into the start of July there is the prospect of £390million being spent in a whole host of deals to really ignite this summer transfer window.
Sportsmail looks at the deals that could change the transfer landscape this summer.
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is itching to bolster his side ahead of the new campaign
Feyenoord to Manchester United – £13m
Manchester United fans have had to be patient in seeing the first bit of business done by new boss Erik ten Hag – but that now appears to be closer than ever.
Sportsmail reported on Tuesday night that Manchester United have agreed a £12.9m deal for Feyenoord left back Tyrell Malacia.
The 22-year-old had widely been expected to head for France, specifically Lyon.
But given he holds the same agent as United’s primary target, midfielder Frenkie de Jong, United have now swooped in for a late bid to gazump Lyon.
United have an agreement in place with Feyenoord for £12.9m plus a further £1.7m in add ons – blowing out Lyon’s offer of £12.9m all in.
Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia (right) must decide as to whether or not he is heading to England
Ten Hag, who took his first training sessions with United this week, is keen to recruit players that fit his philosophy and Malacia is a young player that the Dutch coach has marvelled at for some time.
Feyenoord director Frank Arnesen told 1908.nl: ‘The agreement with Man United is there. We are now waiting for Tyrell. If Malacia says yes, then a transfer to Manchester United is imminent.’
The key for any deal now comes down to the player and whether, in a World Cup year and competition fierce, he decides to head for Old Trafford.
Malacia has five caps for Holland and is a high energy modern full-back.
Should he make the move he would compete with Luke Shaw to be Ten Hag’s first-choice left back.
The result of any move for Malacia would mean that United are likely to offload then-third-choice Alex Telles amid building interest from elsewhere.
The Dutchman has seen a £13m bid from Manchester United accepted by Feyenoord this week
FRENKIE DE JONG
Barcelona to Manchester United – £70m
Manchester United’s whole summer transfer operation has appeared to centre around a deal for Frenkie de Jong.
It has proven a fraught process with long, drawn-out negotiations with neither side willing to cave.
Barcelona know that De Jong is Ten Hag’s top target, while United know that Barcelona need to sell to raise funds for the rest of their summer business.
But as Sportsmail detailed on Tuesday, a deal is ’90 per cent’ done and the young Dutchman is expected to be the marquee arrival in a summer of change at Old Trafford.
It is understood United will pay around an initial £55m to the Spanish club for De Jong. That fee could rise close to £70m.
Manchester United’s entire transfer operation looks to have focused on Frenkie de Jong
New United boss Erik ten Hag worked with midfielder De Jong at Ajax (both pictured in 2019)
WHY SOME CLUBS ARE DESPERATE TO SELL BEFORE JULY 1
Crucially, June 30 represents the end of the financial year and teams across the continent are itching to seal some big-money departures to help balance the books before then.
Taking Barcelona as an example, they are desperate to have completed the £70m sale of Frenkie de Jong by then as the end of the financial year will determine the salary cap LaLiga bestow upon them.
A huge injection of capital – which is close to £55m up front – would help their cause immensely.
Similarly for Atletico Madrid, their CEO Miguel Angel Gil said recently that unless they can raise around £34m by June 30, they will also register a loss over the financial year.
Everton, in England, are another that would benefit immensely should Richarlison’s departure be sorted before teams head into July.
De Jong was, admittedly, reluctant initially to make the move to Manchester United, keen to stay with Barcelona and consolidate his role at the Nou Camp.
But Barcelona have plans of their own this summer and with financial woes still stalking them, big-name players such as De Jong need to be moved to grease the wheels.
De Jong and Ten Hag are understood to have a close relationship from their time working together at the Amsterdam Arena.
Indeed, the lure of a reunion with Ten Hag is described as a major factor in De Jong’s willingness to become a United player this summer.
By finally getting this one over the line, Barcelona will be free to kickstart the business they are itching to sign off. Namely a certain Robert Lewandowski…
Bayern Munich to Barcelona – £35m
Lewandowski has not been shy in detailing, on more than one occasion, that he does not want to play for Bayern Munich anymore.
‘My era at Bayern is over. I don’t see any possibility to continue playing for this club,’ he said earlier this month.
‘Bayern’s a serious club and I believe they won’t keep me – I don’t want to play there any more.’
But with 12 months remaining on his deal at the Allianz Arena, and Bayern having no great appetite to sell their star player, the onus is on Barcelona to front up the cash.
Finances have proven a real thorn in Barcelona’s side since the Covid pandemic hit in 2020 and so bad were the accounts that it meant it was not possible for them to keep hold of club legend Lionel Messi.
The sale of Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United, in a deal that could rise to £70m will help here, though, in getting Lewandowski to his dream landing spot.
Robert Lewandowski has no desire to stay at Bayern but Barcelona need to sell to clear wages
Barcelona will reportedly make a final offer of €40million (£34.5m) this week, with the striker told to be ‘patient’ on getting his Nou Camp move.
Sport detail that Barcelona will commit to £34.5m plus add-ons.
It is said they are not willing to go above that price point given Lewandowski is in the final 12 months of his Bayern contract and is aged 33.
Sport’s report continued to say that Barcelona president Joan Laporta has not lost hope in sealing a deal and made a call to Lewandowski and his agent, Pini Zahavi, last week, calling for patience.
In that call it is reported that Lewandowski was told he remains their top target and delays are down to the club’s perilous financial situation, which requires player sales to allow room on the salary cap to register new players.
Bayern’s completed £35m deal for Sadio Mane has, theoretically, given them an attacker that, while not quite in the mould of Lewandowski, could light up the Bundesliga with goals.
The key for Barcelona is shifting De Jong – and others – and making a splash in the market for Lewandowski, ideally before Bayern return for pre-season training on July 12.
Leeds United to Manchester City – £45m
While panic has set in for some across the way at Manchester United, City have quietly gone about their business, with their next move close to completion.
They acted swiftly to steal a march on rivals and secure a deal for in-demand striker Erling Haaland, and now a new midfielder is on the horizon.
Sportsmail revealed that City are closing on a £45m deal for Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips.
Terms are expected to be finalised next week with City paying £42m plus a further £3m in add-ons for the 26-year old who is currently away on holiday.
The England international recently changed agents which helped to accelerate negotiations between the two sides.
A £45m fee has been agreed between Manchester City and Leeds United for Kalvin Phillips
Fernandinho dons the red and black of Athletico Paranaense for the second time in his career
Phillips is a player admired by City boss Pep Guardiola and is viewed as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
Fernandinho, 37, has proven a brilliant piece of business for City and served them well over the years, going on to become their captain.
But a reduced role on the pitch saw him elect to return to his first club Athletico Paranaense in Brazil 17 years after he left.
With Leeds expecting north of £100m alone from the sales of Phillips and Raphinha, boss Jesse Marsch will be faced with a warchest to rebuild last season’s Premier League strugglers – but he isn’t expected to be rash with it.
PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo and Adama Traore of Wolves are on their list of targets, as is Bruges striker Charles de Keletaer. March also wants to add an experienced goalkeeper, with Ben Foster among the names in contention for that spot.
Manchester City to Arsenal – £45m
One in and at least one out at Man City this week, that is where all the signs are pointing.
The domino effect of signing Erling Haaland is that Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus appears to have been deemed surplus to requirements, paving the way for a switch to Arsenal.
Big name departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – to Barcelona in January – and Alexandre Lacazette – a free transfer back to Lyon this summer – has left a gaping hole in Arsenal’s attack.
Jesus underwent his medical with Arsenal on Tuesday ahead of agreeing his £45m move.
Arsenal are in need of a goalscorer and are close to sealing a £45m move for Gabriel Jesus
The move would see him reunite with former Man City assistant manager Mikel Arteta
The 25-year-old successfully completed that medical and an official statement from Arsenal is pending.
Arsenal have already signed Brazilian teenager Marquinhos, Portuguese midfielder Fabio Vieira and goalkeeper Matt Turner, but Jesus would represent their most significant piece of business this summer to date.
Jesus will compete for a starting role with academy striker Eddie Nketiah.
A key part of this move appears to be that the Brazilian previously worked with Arteta when the Spaniard was assistant to Guardiola at the reigning Premier League champions and knows he can develop under his management.
Haaland’s move set this one in motion but City’s restructuring in attack doesn’t seem to be ending here.
Chelsea to Inter Milan – £6.9m season-long loan
Potentially one of the most important dominos to fall – and he’s not even going for good!
So much of the window appears to have hinged on whether Lukaku was able to find his way out of Chelsea to return to Inter Milan.
He smiled when touching down in Milan on Tuesday, not something he did too often last season at Chelsea, and a £6.9m loan fee is allowing him to escape his Blues nightmare.
The 29-year-old is undergoing his medical on Wednesday ahead of sealing a one-year loan deal.
Romelu Lukaku (pictured with Inter owner Steven Zhang back in 2019) is heading back on loan
The Belgian left the San Siro for Stamford Bridge with huge expectations on his shoulders after signing for £98m last summer, and while he made a good start to life back in west London, he soon struggled for form and found himself down the pecking order under.
Lukaku also conducted a controversial interview with Italian media admitting he was unhappy with his role under the German coach – teasing a return to Italy – which saw him dropped from the Chelsea squad.
That interview looked to be the beginning of the end and with an announcement due shortly confirming his switch to Inter, multiple wheels can now get in motion which should shake up the rest of the Premier League.
Manchester City to Chelsea – £55m
As mentioned above, it just hasn’t worked for Lukaku or for Chelsea since he returned to London.
With that being said, him returning to Inter means Thomas Tuchel has the chance under new ownership to overhaul an attack that needs a number of additions to realistically take a title fight to Man City and Liverpool.
As a result, why not go to one of them, specifically City, to weaken them and bolster your own side?
Sportsmail detailed this week how Chelsea formally approached City to finalise the marquee signing of Raheem Sterling.
It is understood that new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly made contact with the Premier League champions on Monday with a view to wrapping up a deal over the coming week.
A £55m move for Raheem Sterling is a target for Chelsea as they look to reshape their attack
Sterling has already held positive conversations with Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel
Sterling has already held positive discussions with Blues boss Thomas Tuchel over how he would be utilised at Stamford Bridge, with that conversation solidifying the 27-year-old’s desire to leave the Etihad Stadium.
It is believed that Sterling’s wish to end a stellar seven-year stay at City was discussed with club executives at the beginning of the month. City have afforded the forward time to assess his options, with a likely exit handled amicably.
Sterling would be Boehly’s first major splash since taking over the Blues from Roman Abramovich and would immediately give Tuchel a Premier League proven starter on the left side of his attack.
Departures of Jesus and Sterling would open spots up for City to make another attacking addition, or, alternatively, turn to some of their younger players to step up, much like academy star Phil Foden has done in recent seasons.
Leeds United to Chelsea – £60m
But Chelsea aren’t ready to stop with Sterling, oh no.
Chelsea are planning to team Leeds United’s Raphinha with Raheem Sterling in a new-look strikeforce.
It was revealed on Tuesday that ambitious Chelsea gatecrashed Arsenal’s bid to sign Raphinha from Leeds with a stunning £60m offer.
Talks are advancing after Leeds accepted a bid of £55m plus add-ons with former Chelsea midfielder Deco, Raphinha’s agent, at the heart of negotiations.
On a frantic day, Arsenal held talks with Leeds after their initial offer of £30m plus add-ons was rejected last week and put forward a new proposal but they did not come close to Chelsea’s offer and the Brazilian winger is now poised to move to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea look to have gazumped Arsenal with a £60m offer to Leeds for star winger Raphinha
Barcelona had appeared primed for Raphinha as Xavi plots an attacking overhaul.
But delays in alleviating salaries from their wage bill – plus the inability to so far seal the Lewandowski deal – has kept the door open for suitors in the Premier League to steal a march.
Much of these big moves for Chelsea have hinged on finding an agreement to get Lukaku out and back to Inter.
That has now been sorted and the result means Tuchel has the freedom to reshape his team.
Incomings usually mean outgoings too and should both Raphinha and Sterling walk through the door, the writing looks to be on the wall for Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner.
Both of those attackers have already been offered as part of a deal for Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, with Juventus said to be uninterested in either player. That one is definitely a ‘watch this space’.
Former Chelsea midfielder Deco is Raphinha’s agent and is heavily involved in negotiations
Everton to Tottenham – £60m
The result of Chelsea pushing ahead for Raphinha means that there looks to be a clear path for Tottenham in their pursuit of Richarlison.
Sportsmail detailed how Tottenham are continuing talks over a deal for Everton’s £60m-rated forward this week in a bid to finalise a deal.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy met with good friend and Everton counterpart Bill Kenwright for dinner at Scott’s in London on Monday evening with a certain Brazilian forward top of the agenda.
Various Tottenham players have been mentioned as potential makeweights though winger Steven Bergwijn, who was considered by Everton earlier in the window, has expressed a preference to join Ajax or another Champions League side.
Tottenham are determined to bolster their ranks having returned to the Champions League, and boss Antonio Conte has picked out Richarlison.
He has already brought in Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster and is looking to add attacking depth to what was at times a stretched squad last season.
Everton are open to offers for Richarlison given they need funds to rebuild their own squad
Everton scraped survival last year and desperately need to allow Frank Lampard to rebuild with a more competitive squad to avoid a repeat disaster in 2022-23.
As a result, Everton are willing to listen to offers for the 25-year old because, despite avoiding relegation last season, their financial situation is still precarious.
Tottenham have been reliant on the outputs of Harry Kane and 2021-22 Premier League Golden Boot winner Son Heung-min and so Richarlison would represent a premium arrival for Conte to lean on both domestically and in Europe.
In total, Richarlison has made 152 appearances for Everton since joining from Watford in 2018 for £40m, scoring 53 goals.
A huge figure closer to £60m would give Lampard plenty of scope to address multiple problem areas in his team.