Can you feel that, folks?
That's the transfer market heating up. With plenty of big names appearing ready to switch sides and a few surprises sure to follow as the season draws closer, there is buzz galore surrounding Premier League teams and players.
This week, a few major names are in the news, and we've got them covered here. Let's break down the latest batch of gossip.
It may seem out of character, but Arsenal have reportedly bid on Liverpool's Luis Suarez.
Liverpool have turned down a £30m bid from Arsenal for striker Luis Suarez.
Suarez has been at the centre of transfer speculation since saying in May that it would be a "good moment for a change", and admitted it would be "difficult to say no" to Real Madrid.
The Spanish side had been expected to lead the pursuit of the 26-year-old Uruguayan.
Liverpool refused to comment on reports of Arsenal's move and have previously insisted Suarez is not for sale.
A Suarez transfer would not only be a record deal for the Gunners, it would also signal a serious shift in transfer policies.
Oh, and it's really unlikely to happen. As McNulty noted in his piece, Suarez's main reason for publicly saying that he wanted a change was the English press. Besides, Liverpool are unlikely to sell him domestically when teams like Real Madrid remain interested.
And this may only be a negotiating tactic with the Gunners, in an attempt to remind Real Madrid and Gonzalo Higuain that Arsenal has other targets in mind. Perhaps the move was made to show Los Blancos they don't hold all the leverage in the Higuain talks.
Suarez's signature for Arsenal is highly unlikely. Still, this looks like a development to monitor in the coming weeks.
Anything Arsenal can do, Real Madrid can do better.
If you subscribe to the theory that Arsenal's bid on Suarez was a subtle reminder to Real Madrid that the Gunners aren't tied down to Higuain and won't dramatically overpay to sign him, then perhaps you'll read this latest bit of gossip as Los Blancos responded by reminding the Gunners they may simply keep the Argentine striker.
Nothing like a good ol' fashioned leverage battle, folks.
From Shaun Custis of The Sun:
Gonzalo Higuain's future is still undecided, according to Real Madrid sources.
Arsenal are trying to seal a £23million deal for the Argentine striker. And his father Jorge last week indicated talks with the Gunners were at an advanced stage.
However, Real continue to stress they are not pushing Higuain—who has three years left on his contract—out of the door and that new boss Carlo Ancelotti might want to keep him.
Despite Arsenal's reported bid for Suarez and Real Madrid's supposed contentions that it could keep Higuain, expect the striker to sign with Arsenal in the next few weeks.
Suarez to Arsenal will never happen, while Higuain is surely over his timeshare with Karim Benzema and will covet the regular first-team football he'll get at the Emirates. This will happen sometime in the next few weeks.
UPDATE: Monday, July 8, at 11:25 a.m. by Timothy Rapp
Actually, Tottenham's David Villa move is dead, as Atletico Madrid will be signing the player. From Barcelona's website:
FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of David Villa.
The deal is set to bring Barça a maximum of 5.1 million Euros, with 2.1 due this season, 2 more if Villa stays at Atletico next year and another million should he be at the Madrid club the season after. Barça also reserve the right to 50% of any sell on fee in the future.
---End of update---
Tottenham have already added midfielder Paulinho to the ranks this summer. Now, it looks as though they are close to bringing aboard Barcelona's David Villa.
Gareth Bale returns to Tottenham for pre-season training today (Monday)—and David Villa could follow as early as this week.
The Barcelona striker has reached an agreement in principle with Spurs and it is now down to the two clubs to agree a fee. Tottenham’s offer to Barca, however, has not yet met the £8.6million asking price that the Spanish champions are demanding.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy believes he can drive the price down as Barca want to get Villa off the wage bill now that he has been deemed surplus to requirements. Barca do not want to find themselves committed to paying Villa’s wages next season, around £110,000-a-week, when he would simply allowed to leave on a free when his contract expires next May.
Villa still has a scoring touch for sure, but Tottenham's major need is at center forward, and Spurs already have a similar player to Villa on the roster in Clint Dempsey. He may be a big name, but some Tottenham supporters may question how needed a player like Villa really is at White Hart Lane.
Regardless, it appears he's on the way, and this should become official in the next week or so.
It appears as though Bayern Munich's raid of Borussia Dortmund's top talent will continue, as star striker Robert Lewandowski will join the Bavarians after the 2013-14 season.
And that bit of news will surely leave both Manchester United and Chelsea feeling quite disappointed.
Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that long-standing Manchester United target Robert Lewandowski will join Bayern Munich next year.
Earlier this summer the Polish striker expressed his wish to join Bayern this transfer window, though Dortmund were adamant he would not leave before the start of the season, especially not to their Bundesliga rivals.
Manchester United and Chelsea were interested in taking advantage of this and luring him to the Premier League, but Klopp has he will stay this season before moving to the Allianz Arena next year.
"I think it is a known fact that Robert is going to play for Bayern after the upcoming season," he told Welt am Sonntag. "Now the only question is how to shape the time until then.
"That is our concern and it is our commitment to our fans and members to ensure that we will have a more competitive team in the upcoming season. Up to a certain point we were with Robert's desire for change and were ready to talk. But nothing happened so we had to eventually say: '[A sale] now no longer works for us."
Something about this doesn't add up. Why would Dortmund allow Lewandowski to leave on a free transfer? While the team wants to be competitive this season, why not sell him now and use the money gained to bring in another high-profile forward?
Something seems out of place here, and it wouldn't come as a shock if Lewandowski either bolts for Bayern this summer or is sold sometime in January. One way or another, however, it appears he isn't bound for the Premier League.
Another long-running transfer saga looks close to ending, as Edinson Cavani is being tipped for a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Paris St Germain sporting director Leonardo has confirmed negotiations are ongoing with Napoli regarding a deal to sign Edinson Cavani.
French champions PSG have emerged as the favourites to sign Cavani and are understood to have already made a £43million offer for the striker.
However, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has been insistent that the Uruguay international will not be leaving the Serie A club for less than the €63m (£54m) buy-out clause in his contract.
Carminati added that, "Reports have claimed that Cavani, who is under contract at Napoli until 2017, has been offered a five-year deal by PSG worth €10m (£8.6m) per season."
For PSG, money doesn't seem to be a concern, but perhaps the striking partnership of Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic—and hey, let's not forget Ezequiel Lavezzi—should be.
Will Cavani and Ibrahimovic partner well? Will each player's style complement the other, or are they too similar?
Hey, if PSG is willing to pay to find out, the least the rest of us can do is eagerly tune in and watch it all go down. Whether it works like a charm or flops like Neymar trying to earn a foul, it should be fun to watch.
With Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez both sold in the past year, Manchester City went from having four high-profile strikers to only two.
And when you have money like City has money, well, that's just not acceptable.
But fret not, City fans, for it appears your team is this close to adding Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo to the strike force.
MARCA previously revealed that the Sevilla forward had reached an agreement with the Premier League club after Manuel Pellegrini personally called the Spaniard to outline his plan for him at City. Ferrán Soriano—Manchester City Executive Director—also played his part in sealing the deal by calling José María Del Nido to officially inform him of the club's interest in the former Rayo Vallecano forward.
The Andalusian club is still waiting for an offer from City, but this does not mean there has been a change of plan. In actual fact, the club is expecting to be made an offer shortly.
This is what City is thought to have told the player. The English club wants him to remain calm and informed him that his signing will be the number-one priority next week as the club will look to tie up a deal as soon as possible. Sevilla is also well aware of City's intentions and only has to wait and see if Del Nido's transfer valuation is matched. The club president will not sell the player for less than €25 million.
That would be City's second dip into Sevilla's talent pool, as the Citizens already signed Jesus Navas earlier this summer.
Negredo may not have the name recognition of other strikers that have either switched clubs or will do so shortly this summer like Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani, but Negredo was excellent last season, scoring 25 goals in La Liga play.
He'll come cheaper than Falcao or Cavani, but may end up being just as productive.
It's official—Everton have landed Wigan's Arouna Kone on a transfer.
From the team's Twitter account:
BREAKING: Everton confirm signing of striker Arouna Kone from Wigan on three-year deal for undisclosed fee. #EFC— Official Everton (@Everton) July 8, 2013
Kone registered 13 goals and seven assists in all competitions for Wigan last season. He'll give Everton more options at the forward position and should compete for a starting gig.
Last season, Everton's top scorer in league play was midfielder Marouane Fellaini with 11 goals, the same number Kone tallied in the Premier League. He'll certainly be given every opportunity to crack the starting 11 next season.
Swansea City's busy summer looks set to take another turn on Monday, as the club is reportedly close to signing Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony.
Swansea City are expected to sign striker Wilfried Bony from Dutch top-flight side Vitesse Arnhem on Monday.
The deal could potentially cost £13m, depending on add-ons, for a player who scored 31 goals in 30 league appearances last season.
West Ham also put in an offer for the 24-year-old Ivory Coast international but Swansea look to have won the race for his signature with a higher bid.
Bony will be a nice complementing piece to Michu, who slotted home 22 league goals last season as one of the Premier League's biggest surprises.
With former Liverpool defender Jonjo Shelvey already added, among six other players, the Swans have been quite active this summer and should be a tough opponent next season.