Chelsea continue to dominate the Premier League transfer news, landing their latest target, Kai Havertz, in a £75.8m move the bring the striker to London from Bayer Leverkusen.
Havertz is the Blues’ seventh signing of the summer transfer window, and head coach Frank Lampard definitely means business as Chelsea are emerging as genuine title contenders. The early Premier League 2020 betting odds rate them as third favourites to win the 2021 league behind Manchester City and Liverpool, and the signing of Havertz on a five-year deal will cement that position.
The striker scored 36 goals and made 25 assists in his 118 Bundesliga appearances, some tally for a player who only reached his 21st birthday in June, and he follows Germany team-mate Timo Werner from the Bundesliga to Premier League, as well as Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Xavier Mbuyamba and Maland Sarr.
Havertz is delighted to be at the Bridge, saying: “For me it is a dream to play in a big club like Chelsea and I can’t wait to meet all the players and the trainers. Yeah, I am very happy to be here!” At 6ft 2in the former Bayer skipper is a strong runner with quick feet and a cool head and alongside Werner and last summer’s marquee signing Christian Pulisic he is sure to make the Premier League 2020 news in the opening weeks of the season.
Up the road in North London, Arsenal have re-signed Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on another one year loan after the creative midfielder put in some fine performances in the second half of the season. He made a slow start at the Emirates but responded well to the coaching of Mikel Arteta as the Gunners picked up the FA Cup and have followed that up with a Community Shield triumph.
Ceballos had been linked with a return to Spain with Real Betis, but Arteta has persuaded him to stay, while the boss also has his eye on another La Liga star in the shape of Atletico Madrid ace Thomas Partey. Los Rojiblancos are likely the demand a £45m fee for the Ghana midfielder, and that could prove to be a sticking point.
The Gunners open their campaign with an away game against new boys Fulham and are at odds of 1.56, here at SBOTOP, to start with a win. Ceballos is already settled in north London and is likely to start at Craven Cottage.
Another top-four hopeful, Manchester United, will need to strengthen if they are to keep in touch with Liverpool, Manchester City and now Chelsea, and they have landed their first big summer target with the signing of Ajax ace Donny van de Beek. The 23-year-old scored 28 goals in 118 games for the Dutch giants and he will hope to repay his £40m fee with a fast start to his Old Trafford career. The Red Devils are still hoping to land their number one target Jadon Sancho but may well need to look elsewhere, and they have been keeping tabs of Bournemouth’s young Welsh winger David Brooks.
Having suffered relegation the Cherries’ best players are being picked off and Newcastle United are making moves in the market, having secured the services of striker Callum Wilson in a £20m deal to bring him the length of the country from Bournemouth, on the south coast, up to the northeast corner of England.
He’s signed a four-year deal and is available to make his debut for the Magpies against West Ham this weekend. Head coach Steve Bruce is also keen to bring Wilson’s team-mate Ryan Fraser to Newcastle, while Cherries’ striker Josh King is also on Manchester United’s radar.
Meanwhile, West Ham have made a move for Burnley’s England centre back James Tarkowski but they will have to do better than their initial bid of £27m to land the defender. The Burnley Clarets would not entertain selling their star for less than £50m after he had another impressive season at Turf Moor, in partnership with Ben Mee. Sean Dyche’s team had the second-highest number of clean sheets in the division and finished comfortably in the tenth position, while the Hammers fought a relegation battle to the end of the season.
If the right offer comes along for Tarkowski then player and club may well part company, but the centre back has his sights set on Euro 2021 and would entertain a move to a top-six club.
I’ll be surprised if the Hammers can tempt him.
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