Clubs across Europe are busy finalising their squads ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Romelu Lukaku’s move from Everton to Manchester United for around £75million remains the most expensive British deal of the summer so far but there could be more big-money switches during the next few days.
Here, we look at six Premier League players who may be on the move before the window slams shut.
Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Striker Costa has spent most of the summer in exile after reportedly receiving a text message from Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to inform him he is no longer required at Stamford Bridge. The situation needs resolving soon, with a move to the Spain international’s former club, Atletico Madrid, the most likely outcome. It is not straightforward, though, as a transfer ban imposed by FIFA prevents the LaLiga side registering any new players until January. A four-month loan spell elsewhere, prior to returning to the Spanish capital, could be the solution.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Brazilian forward Neymar’s extraordinary world-record move from Barcelona to Paris St Germain left the Spanish club with around £200million burning a hole in their pockets. Coutinho was quickly identified as a replacement for his compatriot at the Nou Camp but the Anfield hierarchy have so far stubbornly resisted a series of bids. The saga has undoubtedly turned Coutinho’s head and Barca remain interested, despite having recently splashed around half of their windfall on France international Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund. PSG are also rumoured to be keen on the 25-year-old but, given their outlay on Neymar and sustained pursuit of Monaco teenager Kylian Mbappe, that seems less likely.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Like Coutinho, Sanchez is another South American player who is seemingly unhappy and wants a transfer. Arsenal’s failure to secure Champions League football for this season, coupled with a poor start to the campaign, has done little to convince the Chile international that his future lies at the Emirates Stadium. He is out of contract next summer, although Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has already stated he would rather lose the 28-year-old for nothing in a year than sell now. Linking up with his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola at Manchester City appears to be the most feasible scenario, if Sanchez is able to force a transfer, while PSG is a possible alternative.
Ross Barkley (Everton)
Earlier in the summer it seemed certain Barkley would be leaving his boyhood club, with Tottenham and Chelsea rumoured destinations. Groin surgery, a large transfer fee and big wage demands appeared to cool initial interest in the 23-year-old but a deal could now be resurrected. With the player in the final 12 months of his Goodison Park contract, the Toffees are keen to cash in and have already prepared for life without him by bringing in attacking midfielders Davy Klaassen and Gylfi Sigurdsson. An imminent transfer looks to be in everyone’s best interests but it is far from guaranteed.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
The new Premier League season is only three games in but Arsenal fans would be forgiven for already feeling pessimistic. On top of the uncertainty surrounding Sanchez, England midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain is another important player edging towards the door and a potential switch to a divisional rival. Like his Chilean team-mate, Oxlade-Chamberlain is in the final year of his existing Gunners deal. The former Southampton man has refused an extension and a move across London to Chelsea, for around £40million, appears to be a very realistic prospect during the next few days.
Virgil van Dijk (Southampton)
Saints have been adamant they will keep their want-away Holland defender but his departure seems almost inevitable. The unsettled 26-year-old has been training away from the first team as well as being unavailable for selection for the club’s first four matches of the season. Liverpool, who earlier in the summer apologised for “any misunderstanding” amid reports Southampton were set to report them for an illegal approach for the player, remain interested while Chelsea and Arsenal have also been linked. Van Dijk will definitely not come cheap, however, as he has five years remaining on his St Mary’s contract.