Crisis, What Crisis? Premier League Giants Splash The Cash as They Seek Glory And European Trophies
© AP Photo / Shaun BotterillChelsea's Marcos Alonso celebrates after scoring the winner in Premier League match against Manchester City in May 2021.
© AP Photo / Shaun Botterill
Chelsea are close to agreeing to buy Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku from Internazionale for a club record £97.5 million. It is one of many big money transfers as Premier League clubs show they have weathered the storm of the pandemic without a problem.
Manchester City broke the Premier League transfer record last week with the £100 million signing of Jack Grealish but they could break it again in order to sign England striker Harry Kane.
Kane, 28, has been valued at £120 million by his club, Tottenham, and City’s eagerness to buy him shows the Abu Dhabi-owned club are not resting on their laurels after winning the Premier League title by 12 points.
City manager Pep Guardiola was distraught that having reached their first Champions’ League final they submitted tamely to Chelsea in May.
With Sergio Aguero having departed to Barcelona after scoring his 184th and last Premier League goal - a record - City are in need of a striker and Kane would offer a very different option to the speedy but slight figures of Gabriel Jesus, Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling.
England midfielder Grealish, 25, was signed from Aston Villa to provide the creativity and assists for City’s front men and on Tuesday, 10 August, centre back John Stones signed a new five-year contract and said: “I love being part of this squad.”
City will be the hot favourites to win the title, especially if they sign Kane.
But Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool could push them a lot closer than last year.
Chelsea had the edge on City in the Champions’ League final and Lukaku’s goals is just what they need to pose a strong Premier League title challenge.
United finished second last season and only lost six games.
Manager Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer has reinforced his squad with two quality players - Raphael Varane from Real Madrid and Jaden Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
United have agreed a £41 million deal for Varane, 28, who is undergoing a medical.
The French international will form a formidable central defensive pairing with England’s Harry Maguire, giving United the solidity they have not had since Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic left in 2014.
Sancho, 21, cost £73 million but his performances in the Bundesliga suggest United have a player who would team up with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba to create a world-class midfield.
On United's website Sancho said: "The chance to join Manchester United is a dream come true and I just cannot wait to perform in the Premier League. This is a young and exciting squad and I know, together, we can develop into something special to bring the success that the fans deserve."
Liverpool, who won the Premier League title in 2020, have been strangely quiet in the transfer market but they are probably not finished yet.
Jurgen Klopp signed defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig for £36 million in May but is thought to be looking for more midfield and attack options.
So who will go down?
Promoted clubs Brentford and Watford will probably both struggle and expect Brighton and Burnley to join them in the bottom half.
Wolves have lost their enigmatic manager Nuno Espirito Santo to Tottenham and could be in for a relegation fight.
Southampton could also be in the bottom six.
They had a disastrous run of results at the end of last season and have lost their prolific striker Danny Ings to Aston Villa.
On Tuesday, they signed forward Adam Armstrong from Blackburn for £15 million.
Armstrong, 24, scored 28 goals in the second tier of English football last season and said: "I thought it was perfect as my next step. I wanted to get back to the Premier League from what I've done for Blackburn, so I'm over the moon."