Cristiano Ronaldo tops transfer bill while Dan James and Jules Kounde may move

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning return to Manchester United looks like being the headline deal of this summer’s Premier League transfer window but there could be plenty more still to come.

Several clubs are going into the final hours still with business to do – desperate to strengthen key departments, eager to move big-earners off the wage bill, or in some cases both.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at the key talking points before Tuesday night’s deadline.

United to move players on?

Queens Park Rangers v Manchester United – Pre Season Friendly – Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium
Jesse Lingard could be on his way out of Old Trafford following Cristiano Ronaldo’s return (Steven Paston/PA)

Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford has delighted fans and left manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer purring over his attacking options, but the Norwegian will know that realistically he now has more players than he can keep happy. The deal surely increases the chances of Jesse Lingard leaving with West Ham linked with a permanent deal for a player who did so much to aid their qualification for the Europa League last season, while Leeds lead the race for 23-year-old Wales winger Daniel James. Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek may also be wondering where their next start will come given the competition for places, though neither has been strongly linked with a move away.

Bernardo to stay or go?

When Bernardo Silva made way for Raheem Sterling in the second half of Manchester City’s 5-0 win over Arsenal at the weekend, the Portuguese appeared to wipe away a tear. Bernardo has been seeking a way out of the Etihad this summer, eager to move closer to his family in Portugal after 18 months when the pandemic has left him feeling cut off in Manchester. Pep Guardiola, who already has Jack Grealish as a ready-made replacement, remains a fan of the midfielder but does not want to keep him against his will. “All I want is his happiness,” he said after Saturday’s win. But whether a suitable deal materialises in the final hours of the window remains to be seen.

Chelsea to complete a second major deal?

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sevilla – UEFA Europa League – Quarter Final – Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena
Sevilla’s Jules Kounde is said to be a target for Chelsea (PA)

Chelsea have already strengthened their title credentials with the £97million signing of Romelu Lukaku, but could complete another big-money deal on the final day of the window. Having long been linked with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, the Blues appeared to make space on Saturday evening as Kurt Zouma was allowed to join West Ham. Some reports had suggested a deal for Kounde was already agreed, but Sevilla appear to be playing hardball over a fee for the France defender – asking that his £68.5million release clause be met by the Londoners.

Everton with work still to do

Huddersfield Town v Everton – Carabao Cup – Second Round – John Smiths’ Stadium
Everton manager Rafael Benitez is still seeking reinforcements (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Everton have already strengthened their attacking options with Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray – signed for a combined £1.7million – wasting no time in opening their accounts at Goodison Park. But Rafael Benitez still has grander designs when it comes to reshaping the squad he inherited from Carlo Ancelotti, with several deals still possible. A loan deal for Arsenal’s versatile Ainsley Maitland-Niles could answer the need for a right-back, while Everton are among the clubs to have been linked with James if United farm out the Welshman. With Moise Kean apparently set to return to Juventus, Benitez will need cover for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and is reportedly keen on Salomon Rondon, who was with the Spaniard at Newcastle and Dalian Pro in China. Everton must also find a taker for James Rodriguez – with one possibility said to be a deal for Porto’s winger Luis Diaz in which Rodriguez would go the other way on loan.

Arsenal clear-out?

Premier League Package 2021 – 2022
Mikel Arteta is expected to sanction several departures if suitable offers come in (Richard Heathcote/PA)

It has been a dismal start to the season for Arsenal, bottom of the table after losing their opening three games of a campaign for the first time since 1954-55. The club have backed manager Mikel Arteta in the transfer market this summer with significant deals for Ben White, Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale but the task now is to slim down a bloated squad. Willian, Hector Bellerin, Eddie Nketiah, Sead Kolasinac, Reiss Nelson and Maitland-Niles could all be on their way, though no doubt some of the fans who travelled to Saturday’s 5-0 rout at Manchester City could suggest a longer list of candidates for the chop.

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