Transfer Updates on the Biggest Deals That Could Still Happen This Summer

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportSeptember 3, 2020

B/R Football

There is just over one month to go until transfer deadline day on October 5, and the biggest deals of the summer are still up in the air.

We have seen some big moves in the past week—Donny van de Beek to Manchester United (£35 million), Gabriel Magalhaes to Arsenal (£23 million) and Rodrigo to Leeds United (around £35 million) among them.

But they barely compare to some of the mega deals in the pipeline for the coming weeks.

Here we run through the potential transfers that could change the shape of the 2020/21 season, with Bleacher Report sources bringing us insight as to how each scenario is shaping up.


Lionel Messi to Manchester City

This would be the transfer deal of our lifetimes, and it has slowly been sinking in that Lionel Messi might actually leave Barcelona.

If that is to be the case, there really is only one man to guide him into a new beginning—Pep Guardiola. It would be a fascinating reunion, and City have been exploring various ways of funding Project Messi. 

If Messi is to sign, though, sources are suggesting that Guardiola might be asked to commit his future.

He has 10 months remaining on his contract, but it makes less sense to make a huge investment in Messi if you are then having to worry about who his boss will be in a year's time.

City's hierarchy are comfortable that relationships around the manager are strong enough that conversations over that matter can be dealt with in a straightforward manner.

Before then, though, we must wait for the outcome of Messi's father's negotiations with Barcelona over an exit strategy. 


Kai Havertz to Chelsea

A club-record £72 million transfer is set to be concluded after the international break for Kai Havertz.

Signing him was not something that seemed likely when Chelsea began to draw up their plans at the beginning of the year, but now the deal is seen as "too good not to do" given there is no competition for his signature.

Sources say this has been driven by Chelsea's hierarchy, rather than manager Frank Lampard, as his potential in terms of talent and value is significant. It is understood that owner Roman Abramovich is a big admirer of the player.

The £72 million will eventually rise—depending on appearances, trophies, etc.—but his versatility and creativity is going to bring an edge that means Chelsea expect to be competing for a top-two position next term.


Jadon Sancho to Manchester United

This one could go right to the wire, but the good news for United fans is there is still hope.

Talk around the deal has gone quiet in the media, but that is because the two clubs have agreed to go about negotiations in a more respectful manner. United felt there was too much information being leaked previously and that they were being pressured into meeting demands they were not happy with.

Sources say two of the big sticking points have been wage demands and agent fees, and those areas are currently being worked on.

Meanwhile, insiders in Germany believe the price of Havertz will be used as a guide to how much this deal should be worth.

Don't write this one off, it could still happen.


Kalidou Koulibaly to Manchester City

Luca Bruno/Associated Press

City set out in this transfer window to sign two central defenders.

One was to be an experienced, top-level star who would bring immediate improvements to the back line. The other was to be a young, homegrown talent who would get game time but was under no immediate pressure to play every week.

Their top targets for those two roles were Kalidou Koulibaly and Nathan Ake. One is through the door, while the other deal is being set in motion.

City have set aside this position as a priority, so it would not be impacted by the sudden chance to sign Messi.

One slight concern is that Chelsea still might have a go at signing him, and word from Italy is that Koulibaly is ready to move to the Premier League. However, City think they will get their man.


Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool

There is a strong feeling that this deal will come together. However, a space in the squad needs to open up, so it will not be a total shock to see Gini Wijnaldum leave in order for Thiago to arrive.

Jurgen Klopp rarely pushes his board to make signings, but in this case it is believed the manager is very keen to make his voice heard.

Sources say Klopp wants the quality and drive of Thiago to add fresh competition to his midfield. Missing out on Timo Werner was one thing. Missing out on this transfer as well might drive him to voice some concern over how he is expected to create an era of dominance without adding top-quality talent.

The asking price for Thiago is €30 million, and Bayern Munich are waiting to hear from Liverpool over whether they will meet that valuation. It is likely Wijnaldum will join Barcelona for a similar figure, so that should fund the deal.


Thomas Partey to Arsenal

Thomas Partey has always been the club's No. 1 target for this window, and now they are ramping up their efforts to get him in.

They have been struggling to reach his £44.5 million release clause, but a raft of sales soon is going to help them meet the figure.

Partey has been intensively monitored over the past two seasons by Arsenal's scouting department, and that hard work means they have detailed reports to give them confidence that this signing is not a risk at such a fee.


Dayot Upamecano to Manchester United

David Ramos/Associated Press

This is a hard deal to complete because he signed a new contract in July, and RB Leipzig are determined to hold on to him for the new season.

United's interest is real, sources confirmed, and they are exploring various possibilities to bring in a new centre-back.

The general feeling, though, is that this might be a deal that has to wait. It would not be a surprise to see United leave Upamecano in Germany for now but push for him in 2021.


N'Golo Kante to Inter Milan

Antonio Conte wants N'Golo Kante at the heart of his midfield for next season, and it's not impossible that Chelsea let him leave—at the right price.

He only played in half of Chelsea's games last season due to various injury and fitness issues, so Lampard has had plenty of chances to shape his side without the Frenchman.

There is not a desire to sell Kante, but Chelsea are open to it. They already have Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, and they have been seriously looking into options such as Declan Rice and Marcelo Brozovic.

We will have to see what kind of offer Inter are willing to put on the table.


Luis Suarez to Juventus

Juve have a longstanding interest in Luis Suarez as they first tried to sign him when he joined Liverpool in 2011.

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu did not list him among his non-transferable players, stated in light of the 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich last month, and now the player is ready to move on.

Barca are suddenly concerned about the prospect of him joining a direct UEFA Champions League rival. When Bartomeu made his list, he was not expecting a club of such calibre to come in for the 33-year-old forward.

However, if Juventus can come up with the right financial package—Suarez is looking for a salary of €10 million—he might well team up with Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala next term.