This fluff came down in the last shower
Hard facts are not a currency in which the Rumour Mill usually deals but let’s start with one right here: this has been an underwhelming transfer window so far. Lots of clubs have done little or not exciting business.
But, as the Mill is contractually obliged to say, that could all change soon because there’s a stampede of Premier League clubs heading to Barcelona to woo Ivan Rakitic.
When we say stampede, we mean at least one. Everton, are said to be slightly interested. Manchester United might have a nibble, too. Everton’s main focus at the moment, though, is the Mainz midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin. So, in truth, there’s not exactly a clamour for the services of Rakitic.
Even more surprisingly, no one has submitted an offer for Philippe Coutinho despite Barcelona making it clear he is available. Spurs are ready to pounce if they need to replace Christian Eriksen but he, too, seems stranded at the moment. There’s no chain reaction in the transfer market, just deadlock. Malcom’s imminent move to Zenit Saint Petersburg isn’t going to launch any merry-go-rounds.
Except at Aston Villa, of course. Dean Smith’s side are set to make their 177th signing of the summer by raiding Brentford for striker Neal Maupay.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are continuing to pipe sweet songs across Europe in the hope of attracting bids of Shkodran Mustafi. Roma have pricked up their ears but not stumped up any cash. Laurent Koscielny remains at loggerheads with the club over a potential move to Bordeaux. That may change if Arsenal persuade Juve to give them Daniel Lugani on loan.
Romelu Lukaku is another marooned player, as his planned transfer to Juventus cannot go through until United know whether Paulo Dybala is going to head to Old Trafford.
If Antonio Conte throws a big enough strop, Inter may yet step in to land Lukaku instead. But the most interesting deal in Italy may well come from Napoli, who are said to be preparing a £56m offer for Wilfried Zaha, for whom bids from Everton and Arsenal have already been rejected this summer.
Speaking of Everton, they are hoping to persuade Frank Lampard that Fikayo Tomori needs another loan spell away from Chelsea, ideally at Goodison Park. But no one has tried to convince Lampard that Danny Drinkwater belongs anywhere other than at Stamford Bridge.