WE MAY be coming to the end of the season but that means the transfer window gates have been flung open once again – and Premier League clubs are guaranteed to splash the cash.
Managers, chief executives, chairmen and owners have until 5pm on Thursday, August 8 to get the paperwork for any new players signed, sealed and delivered.
Tottenham will be looking to make their first signing for 18 months, the promoted sides will want to add Premier League experience with canny business and could we see the Paul Pogba’s British record smashed?
SunSport looks at the biggest deals done by Prem clubs and who could come in to smash the records.
Record holder: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, January 2018, £60m
The quickest Arsenal player to hit 25 goals for the club and won the Golden Boot in his first full season in the Premier League – it’s safe to say Aubemeyang was one final present from Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal are unlikely to break their record this summer – largely down to the fact that they are pretty skint, especially if they do not get into the Champions League.
But expect the Gunners to buy a new centre-back – Sameul Umtiti, Kostas Manolas and William Saliba have been linked – while a creative attacker could also move to the Emirates.
Wilfried Zaha and Ryan Fraser would be proven Premier League options while Arsenal could cause a shock and break their record by paying the £69m Lille want for Nicolas Pepe.
Record holder: Darren Bent, January 2011, £18m
Aston Villa broke the bank to bring in Sunderland striker Bent in 2011 but after 25 goals across four seasons, he was shipped out on loan to Fulham, Brighton and Derby before making the switch to Pride Park permanent in 2015.
But with money guaranteed through the TV rights, Charlton midfielder Joe Aribo – a Manchester City and Arsenal target – has been linked.
Smith will be keen to make the loans of Tyrone Mings and Tammy Abraham permanent, especially after Chelsea tied Olivier Giroud down to another year. Abraham would surely become the club’s record signing if he made the switch.
*Subject to play-off final result vs Derby on Monday
Record holder: Jefferson Lerma, August 2018, £25m
Lerma arrived from Levante last summer and missed just eight Prem games, two of which were through suspension. He has been the energetic, complete midfielder Bournemouth needed and could go on to bigger and better clubs in the future.
Eddie Howe has already dipped into the transfer market, securing the £13m signing of Bristol City’s highly-rated left-back Lloyd Kelly.
But if Callum Wilson and/or Ryan Fraser leave the Vitality this summer, Howe will need to reinvest those funds to try and replace their goals and assists. Together, they managed 21 goals and 23 assists in the league this season.
This name will be heard a lot, especially if Derby do not go up, but Harry Wilson is a target for Bournemouth. And with 18 goals and six assists this season, it is not hard to see why.
Record holders: Chris Wood, August 2017, £15m and Ben Gibson, August 2018, £15m
Very much a case of one hit, one miss from Burnley’s joint-record transfers. Wood has scored ten goals in both of the last two seasons. But Ben Gibson managed just one appearance this term – although he did score in the 5-1 defeat at home to Everton.
Sean Dyche may well have spent a joint-record fee once again to sign long-term target and West Brom defender Craig Dawson.
Everton full-back Jonjoe Kenny and Birmingham striker Che Adams are also likely to push the transfer record close.
Meanwhile, free agent Gary Cahill and Bolton youngster Luca Connell are also being linked with a switch to Turf Moor at opposing ends of their careers.
Record holder: Alireza Jahanbakhsh, July 2018, £17m
Hmm… It is flops like Jahanbakhsh that led to Brighton’s flirtation with relegation this season. The Iranian came with a good reputation after the World Cup but zero goals and zero assists from 19 appearances is simply unacceptable.
Graham Potter agreed a four-year deal at the Amex this week and will only have done so with the guarantee that he will be able to bring in new signings. Defensively, Brighton were not too bad last season but it was going forward that they struggled.
The new boss may have played down suggestions of big moves but Chelsea’s Reece James and Liverpool’s Harry Wilson – both of whom excelled on loan in the Championship – have been linked.
But a more likely deal could be done to reunite Potter with Swansea striker Oli McBurnie, 22, who netted 24 goals this term.
Record holder: Kepa Arrizabalaga, August 2018, £71.6m
Chelsea love an expensive Spaniard: Fernando Torres for £50m, Alvaro Morata for £58m and then last summer Kepa Arrizabalaga for £71.6m as Thibaut Courtois’ replacement.
His season – and potentially his Chelsea career – will be remembered for the Wembley fiasco but he has proved to be a top-class goalkeeper this season.
Of course, Chelsea may well not even have the chance to break their record should their two-window transfer ban be upheld. The Blues have already paid £58m for Christian Pulisic but the likely sale of Eden Hazard should raise enough funds.
A striker must be the priority for Maurizio Sarri and, after seeing him bully the defence for two legs, Luka Jovic must be an option. He did activate a clause to sign permanently for Eintracht Frankfurt in April but that does not mean he could not be sold this summer for a hefty profit.
Record holder: Christian Benteke, August 2016, £27m
The former Aston Villa and Liverpool man has not quite hit the heights his £27m transfer fee would have demanded. He managed 17 goals in his first season at Selhurst Park but just four since, including one in the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign.
Crystal Palace’s best bit of business would be keeping Wilfried Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the club. Fail to do so, though, and they will have plenty of cash to spend – they simply have to reinvest.
Like Brighton, Crystal Palace are interested in Harry Wilson. Initial reports suggest he would be available for £25m but with enough clubs fighting for his signature, Liverpool may well be able to bump up his price tag.
Record holder: Matej Vydra, August 2016, £8m
Matej Vydra made a name for himself during his first season in English football, scoring 22 goals on loan at Watford in 2012/13. After a few failed seasons in the Premier League, though, Derby took a punt on him before he earned him a move to Burnley last summer. Two goals in 17 appearances was not the return he – nor Sean Dyche – would have hoped for.
If Frank Lampard can lead his Rams into the top flight in his first season as a manager it would be some achievement.
Keeping them in the Premier League would top that achievement by far. But to do that, he will need new signings – and will have the cash to spend.
But Lampard may try and secure his successful loan signings – Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson – on permanent deals.
*Subject to play-off final result vs Aston Villa on Monday
Record holder: Gylfi Sigurdsson, August 2017, £45m
Eyebrows were raised when Swansea demanded £45m for Sigurdsson in 2017. They were raised even more when Everton stumped up the money. But he is a classy Premier League player, arguably Everton’s most consistent and best player since his arrival.
It seems crazy to think Everton will top the £45m they spent on Sigurdsson – or the £40m for Richarlison – but signing a quality striker will not come cheap.
Reports have linked the Toffees and rivals Liverpool with Bertrand Traore, with some believing he could match Richarlison’s fee.
Another target could be midfielder Giovano Lo Celso – who is also sparking interest from Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Tottenham – but Real Betis are thought to want £50m for their 23-year-old star, who bagged 16 goals this term.
Record holder: Islam Slimani, August 2016, £30m
When Leicester won the Premier League in 2016, the club embarked on a spending spree to bolster the squad ahead of the Champions League campaign.
It’s fair to say, the recruitment failed. Slimani spent this season at Fenerbahce but managed just one league goal.
Brendan Rodgers will know a striker to supplement Jamie Vardy is key with Shinji Okazaki released and Kelechi Iheanacho and Slimani misfiring.
A centre-back could be brought in if Harry Maguire goes – the same goes for a left-back with Ben Chilwell a target for Manchester City.
Wingers Patrick Roberts, Ismaila Sarr and Arjen Robben are also reportedly on Leicester’s wish list.
But the key one Leicester fans will be desperate to get over the line is Youri Tielemans. The on-loan Monaco midfielder excelled during the second half of the season and the Foxes will be happy to pay the £40m for him – it is surely down to Tielemans and whether or not he thinks he can get a move to a bigger club.
Record holder: Virgil van Dijk, January 2018, £75m
So much so that he was named PFA Player of the Year this season – and could add a Champions League winner’s medal too.
It sounds strange but there is no obvious area where Jurgen Klopp needs to improve.
Bertrand Traore, Felipe Anderson, Leeds’ young left-back Leif Davis and most recently Ryan Fraser have all been tipped for Anfield switches this summer.
Matthijs de Ligt, though, could be a huge signing if they can pull it off.
Record holder: Riyad Mahrez, July 2018, £60m
For all their records and successes this season, possibly the only disappointment for Manchester City was Riyad Mahrez. Pep Guardiola finally got his man for £60m last summer.
A return of 12 goals and 12 assists is not bad but playing less than 40 per cent of minutes this season (1,339 out of 3,420) will not please the Algerian.
Guardiola will know, despite winning the treble last season, that this squad needs new recruits. Vincent Kompany needs his place filled so centre-backs Harry Maguire and Matthijs de Ligt are targets. Benjamin Mendy’s injury woes mean City could try and raid the King Power once again with Ben Chilwell the likely option.
At 34, Fernandinho will need replacing soon and reports say either Declan Rice or Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri could be ideal candidates. Manchester City would surely need to pay a club-record fee for any of Rodri, Rice, Chilwell, Maguire or De Ligt.
But the big, standout signing could be Joao Felix. The Benfica wonderkid’s release clause is £105m and City may be willing to pay it, especially if Leroy Sane leaves.
Record holder: Paul Pogba, August 2016, £89m
The return of Pogba to Old Trafford in 2016 for the British transfer record was supposed to be the start of the new wave of success at the club.
But Pogba’s has rarely shown his true ability in a Manchester United shirt and could be sold this summer if Real Madrid make a suitable offer.
United need to clear plenty of the deadwood out and sort themselves out. Fast. This is a big summer for Solskjaer and he cannot afford to get the recruitment wrong.
The ridiculously long list of potential targets includes Sean Longstaff, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nicolas Pepe, Daniel James, Ivan Rakitic, Jasper Cillessen, Moussa Dembele, Nathan Collins, Patrick van Aanholt and Toby Alderweireld.
But United need to make statement signings and bring in players to help them challenge for silverware once again. Defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Matthijs de Ligt would do that – with the former estimated to be worth around £90m.
But it is £105m-rated Joao Felix who would obliterate the record. The Portuguese star has impressed in his debut season in the first-team and is a target for the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus.
Record holder: Miguel Almiron, January 2019, £20.7m
Mike Ashley FINALLY broke Newcastle’s 14-year transfer record by signing Paraguayan Almiron from MLS champions Atlanta United. He may not have registered a goal or assist in his ten games before picking up a hamstring injury but his talent is clear to see.
If Ashley wants to keep Rafa Benitez in the dugout, he needs to guarantee funds for the Spaniard.
Newcastle will be desperate to repel Manchester United’s approach for Sean Longstaff and may try and make Salomon Rondon’s move permanent.
Benitez could pull off a stunning signing to lure Juan Mata to the north-east on a free while Yannick Bolasie could be brought in after Kenedy and Christian Atsu’s poor seasons on the wings.
And Spezia striker David Okereke – with ten goals and 12 assists in Serie B this season – is being watched, although none of these are likely to come near the £20m mark.
Toon fans will be desperate they don’t have to wait until 2033 for their next record signing, though.
Record holder: Steven Naismith, January 2016, £9.1m
Norwich forked out for Naismith and Timm Klose in January of 2016 in a desperate attempt to keep the club in the top flight.
But after just eight goals for the club, including one in the Prem, Naismith has spent the last two seasons on loan at Hearts.
Daniel Farke led his side brilliantly to the Championship title this season and will be relishing the chance to compete with the big boys.
Extra funds mean their transfer record is likely to be broken but reported target Zlute Waregem defender Marko Burki could be available for just £700,000.
Norwich will need Premier League experience and must surely make some canny signings to have any chance of staying up.
Record holder: John Egan, July 2018, £4m
After coming through the ranks at Sunderland, Egan moved from Brentford to Bramhall Lane last summer. He played 37 times in the promotion-winning season and now will be relishing the chance to play in the Premier League.
Record breaker?Sheffield United back into the Premier League and now he is determined to keep them there. His squad certainly lacks top-flight experience but has plenty of talent.
England youngster Dean Henderson was a key man between the sticks this season – on loan from Manchester United – and Wilder will want to have him again next term. A £7m club-record fee could do the trick.
Oli McBurnie from Swansea could be a target while Kieran Dowell may head back on loan again for more experience.
Record holder: Guido Carrillo, January 2018, £19m
Yes, apparently so. Southampton splashed £19m on the Argentine – this was very much a Mauricio Pellegrino signing. After ten appearances and zero goals, Carillo joined Pellegrino’s Leganes on loan this season.
Part of Danny Ings’ loan deal from Liverpool this season was for Southampton to stump up £20m and get him on a permanent transfer. He managed eight goals and will be happy to stay near his family.
Elsewhere, Saints have been linked with moves for Harry Wilson, Gary Cahill, Polish goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski and striker David Okereke.
Record holder: Davinson Sanchez, August 2017, £35m
It is easy to forget that the Colombian defender is still only 22. After two seasons with Spurs, he is looking like the assured Premier League centre-back who can be a colossus for many years.
Oh, and he cost the same as Shkodran Mustafi!
Mauricio Pochettino is keen on Fulham full-back Ryan Sessgnon, who can also play on the wing. With the Cottagers relegated and just one year left on his deal, Sessegnon could go for as little as £25m – roughly the same figure Spurs may pay for Jack Grealish if Aston Villa don’t go up.
Spurs may try and sneak ahead of Leicester to sign £40m man Youri Tielemans while outlandish rumours suggest Marco Asensio could move to North London as Christian Eriksen heads the other way to Real Madrid.
Record holder: Andre Gray, August 2017, £18.5m
After starting out at Shrewsbury and spells with AFC Telford and Hinckley United, Gray made a name for himself at Brentford and then Burnley, earning a big-money move in 2017.
Not always a starter due to captain Troy Deeney, the Englishman bagged nine times this season and will be desperate for more next term.
The 23-year-old Argentina international may cost as much as £42m – but has received the seal of approval from a certain Lionel Messi, who described Pavon as “a really good player”. Can’t be bad.
Girona defender Juanpe Ramirez and Wolfsburg striker Victor Osimhen have also been linked with cut-price deals.
Record holder: Felipe Anderson, July 2018, £41m
West Ham and Manuel Pellegrini made their intentions clear last summer when they spent more than £100m on signings, £41m of which went to Lazio for Anderson.
The Brazilian managed nine goals and four assists in his debut season and he is already being linked with a move away.
Holding on to Anderson and Declan Rice will be key but the likelihood of breaking the transfer record is low.
Nathaniel Clyne and Kevin Strootman have been linked as well as Greek midfielder Kostas Fotrounis, who recorded 17 goals and 16 assists for Olympiacos this season – but none of those will be much more than £10m.
Record holder: Raul Jimenez, July 2019, £32m
Jimenez joined Wolves on loan from Benfica last summer for the club’s first season back in the Premier League.
And to say it went well would be some understatement: he hit 17 goals this season and impressed Nuno Espirito Santo so much that the club decided to smash their record to make his deal permanent in April.
With the club now preparing for the Europa League, Santo knows he needs a bigger side with plenty of quality.
And one man he could try and lure to Molineux is Marseille’s Morgan Sanson. The former Montpellier midfielder, 24, could cost a whopping £36m after signing a contract extension in December following interest from Tottenham and Arsenal.
Elsewhere, Benfica right-back assist-king Andre Almeida could also move but the Midlanders face strong competition in the races for £30m Porto frontman Moussa Marega and Reading youngster Danny Loader.
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