It’s finally here: Deadline Day. The final, frantic, 24 hours in the transfer window.
Premier League clubs are desperately trying to bolster their squads before the window slams shut at 11pm local time (8am Friday AEST).
WHAT TIME IS THE DEADLINE?
The English transfer window – both for Premier League teams and lower divisions – ends at 11pm BST (8am Friday AEST). It is the same in Spain, while Scotland’s window closes one hour later at 9am AEST.
The first window to shut is Germany, which closes at 2am AEST. Italy’s shuts at 4am AEST, and France’s closes at 9am AEST.
However, deals can be concluded after the deadline – up to two hours after the Premier League deadline, so long as both clubs have submitted a ‘deal sheet’ to authorities in the final two hours of the window. They are then granted extra time to finalise contract details.
Clubs can also sign free agents – players without a club – after the deadline shuts.
WHAT TO WATCH
We are anticipating a raft of deals being completed on Deadline Day, likely far more than last year’s measly 14 transfers!
Liverpool is hunting a midfielder, as is Arsenal. Chelsea is hoping to do some big deals, Leicester need to replace Wesley Fofana, while Manchester United is finished in the market. Here’s all the latest.
LIVERPOOL SET TO SWOOP ON JUVENTUS MIDFIELDER
Liverpool is desperately seeking a midfielder to resolve their injury crisis (something which only got worse when Jordan Henderson was injured today) – and may have found one in Italy.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein and James Pearce report a season-long loan for Brazil international Arthur Melo from Juventus is on the cards.
The 26-year-old is said to be travelling to Liverpool for a medical.
Arthur moved from Barcelona to Juventus in 2020 and has 22 international appearances.
Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz is also on the Reds’ list. But Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, and Arsenal are all interested in a deal for the midfielder, who came off the bench to score in Villa’s 2-1 defeat at Arsenal.
Out of contract after this season, his coach Steven Gerrard left plenty of doubt over whether Luiz would remain at the club, saying: “I’m not in control of that. There are more than two people in control of that but I’m certainly not one of them.
“That will be Douglas, that will be his agent’s decision as to what happens around that. I’d like to keep him because he’s a fantastic player. I’ve made that abundantly clear.
“We are not in a position where we need to lose our top players, but at the same time, Douglas has got a year to go, and it is one of those really touchy situations where the club have to do what is best for the club and not necessarily what’s best for me.”
But The Athletic’s Gregg Evans claims Aston Villa will not be transferring Luiz. The Daily Express reported Jurgen Klopp was considering a £20m bid.
Liverpool also reportedly made a late bid to sign RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer, but it was “impossible”, wrote Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg. He becomes a free agent next season and the Reds will likely go in again.
“From time to time, I would be ready to risk a bit more (on transfers) but I don’t decide that and that’s fine,” Liverpool boss Klopp said. “We try everything until the deadline.”
Luiz’s future will likely go down to the wire.
RONALDO STUCK AS UTD COMPLETE THEIR BUSINESS
Cristiano Ronaldo appears to be staying at Manchester United, despite pushing to depart the Old Trafford club for months in the search for Champions League football.
But there was simply not much interest in the 37-year-old Portuguese striker, who has fallen down the pecking order at United and started just once in the league so far – their 4-0 humiliation by Brentford.
United has reached a deal for Brazilian winger Antony from Ajax (reportedly an initial £80.6 million plus £4.2m in add-ons), but the 22-year-old has not yet completed his medical.
Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is also set to be announced on Deadline Day, having reportedly passed a medical at Manchester United.
Besides those two expected signings, coach Erik ten Hag made it clear they have finished their transfer dealings, saying: “For this window, it will be the end. You always have to be alert at a top club. But we will go from September to minimum January with this squad.”
“We are happy with him, he’s happy to be here and we want to make the season a success together,” the manager said of Ronaldo. “From the start we said we planned with him … We are all on one page.”
The club had been interested in buying Barcelona’s fullback Sergino Dest – and selling right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka – but Ten Hag declared that move was off. Dest now appears set to join AC Milan.
CHELSEA SET TO CONTINUE SPENDING SPREE
Having announced the arrival of 31-year-old centre-back Wesley Fofana from Leicester on a deal around £70m, Chelsea’s transfer business is not yet concluded – not by a long shot.
The club has spent around £268m so far this window, but is now closing in on a deal to sign former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, despite the player suffering a broken jaw in a violent home invasion in Spain on the weekend.
“On Sunday night some violent cowards broke into our home and threatened my family and my children, just to steal some stuff,” Aubameyang tweeted.
“They injured my jaw but I will recover in no time, and thank God no one else was physically harmed,” the 33-year-old added.
Chelsea is reportedly set to send Marcos Alonso to Barcelona now they have Fofana on their books, with the Premier League giants set to throw in up to £20m to seal the deal.
The club has also reportedly made a £43m bid for Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez, but the Dutch club has already sold five key players this window and will be hoping to keep the Mexico international.
Chelsea is also reportedly open to offloading Billy Gilmour to Brighton.