Top transfer priority for every 'Big Six' club including Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal

Leicester and West Ham's improvement this season allied to the struggles of Arsenal and Spurs suggests the gap is closing on the Premier...

Leicester and West Ham's improvement this season allied to the struggles of Arsenal and Spurs suggests the gap is closing on the Premier League's 'Big Six' - Mirror Sport looks at how all six clubs will look to bolster their squads this summer to stay ahead.

No squad can stay perfect forever, as Liverpool learned the hard way this season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were worthy champions in the 2019/20 campaign after collecting 99 points on their way to a first league title in 30 years.

But while the Reds did little to refresh their roster, aside from allowing Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana to leave and bringing in Thiago Alcanatara and Diogo Jota, their rivals improved significantly.

Chelsea splashed out £220 million on stars such as Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, Manchester City snapped up two defenders for £100m and Arsenal signed one of Atletico Madrid’s most consistent performers in Thomas Partey.

Every club is always striving to find the edge that will propel them to success and while Leicester City and West Ham have proved to be exceptions in the current campaign, the top six are usually fighting amongst themselves for domestic silverware.

The only question that remains is where do they need to strengthen to gain the upper hand for 2021/22?

Man Utd: Centre-back

Since 2016, Manchester United have spent £150m on centre-backs Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. And yet, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not appear totally satisfied with the options at his disposal.

Solskjaer has made no secret of his desire to find a consistent partner for club captain Maguire at the heart of his defence, as he plans to launch a title offensive next season.

Lille centre-back Sven Botman is reportedly one of his top targets after the Dutchman caught the eye in his debut campaign in France, with the Ligue 1 outfit in pole position to clinch the domestic title.

Reports in Italy have suggested there is interest in Juventus ’ highly-rated defender Cristian Romero, who has excelled on loan at Atalanta this season. The 23-year-old could be available for as little as £16m, which may suit United if they are to dedicate a large chunk of their transfer budget to bidding for Tottenham ’s Harry Kane.

Liverpool: Centre-back

While both Liverpool and Manchester United will be prioritising signing a centre-back this summer, the Reds have already identified their first summer signing.

Klopp will be aware of the fact his side suffered an injury crisis in defence never seen before, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all ruled out at one point.

Youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have performed well considering the circumstances, but the pair are not realistic options to regularly partner Van Dijk.

That would mean Liverpool may been forced to dip into the transfer market come July 1, and it seems Ibrahima Konate, who is contracted to RB Leipzig, is heading to Anfield in a £35m deal.

Should that move fail to materialise, Klopp does have the option to sign Schalke defender Ozan Kabak on a permanent deal worth £18m after he joined on loan in January.

Chelsea: Striker

The most striking aspect of Chelsea’s quite incredible season is that their top league goalscorer is not Timo Werner, Kai Havertz or Hakim Ziyech… but their holding midfielder Jorginho.

The Italy international has scored seven times this season, all from the penalty spot, with three other players — Werner, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham — stuck on six goals apiece.

If that doesn’t show Thomas Tuchel he desperately needs to bring in a striker, what will?

Much has been made about their interest in luring Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland to the Premier League. The Blues certainly possess the funds to sanction a deal for the Norwegian sensation, who would cost in excess of £100m.

If Harry Kane does get his wish and is allowed to leave Tottenham, it seems likely Chelsea will be one of the clubs interested. But Spurs chief Daniel Levy’s refusal to discuss terms with them before suggests Kane may be out of their reach, with Haaland the likely number one target.

Man City: Striker

The newly-crowned champions could find themselves locking horns with Chelsea as both clubs look set to add a striker to their ranks.

Manchester City have already announced Sergio Aguero will leave the club on a free transfer this summer after a decade of service and Pep Guardiola will be keen to replace the Argentine as soon as possible.

Man City have been listed as favourites in the race to sign Kane and Haaland, although doubts remain over whether the club would be willing to meet the £100m+ asking price for either striker.

For all of their wealth, City’s record purchase stands at £61m when they signed Ruben Dias in October, while Riyad Mahrez and Rodri cost a similar amount in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Having experienced success with Robert Lewandowski while he was at Bayern Munich, Guardiola may be tempted to reunite with the 32-year-old if the Pole is keen on a new challenge.

Tottenham: Striker

After Harry Kane dropped a bombshell telling Tottenham he wants to leave in search for trophies elsewhere, the club could be forgiven for focusing their efforts on keeping hold of their talisman.

Losing Kane would be a disaster. The 27-year-old has scored 21 league goals and created 13 for his team-mates, meaning he has had a direct role in 54 per cent of their goals this season.

The bad news is that aside from PSG, the teams who can afford him are their Premier League rivals.

It is understood both Manchester clubs and Chelsea harbour an interest in signing the England captain, with Spurs ready to demand £150m for their prized asset.

If Kane does eventually leave north London, their next manager will be armed with a significant war chest to find a replacement. Tammy Abraham, Danny Ings, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Paulo Dybala are all understood to be potential targets, but it very much hinges on Kane’s future.

Arsenal: Attacking midfielder

Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard are set to head back to Real Madrid at the end of their respective loan spells, which means Mikel Arteta must fill the void left by the pair.

The Spaniard will no doubt be looking for another creative midfielder to sign this summer, even considering the rise of playmaker Emile Smith Rowe.

The 20-year-old has been a shining light in an otherwise glum season for the Gunners. But the fact he has only found the net once underlines their need for an elite pass-master who can consistently unlock defences with goals and assists — like Mesut Ozil did once upon a time.

It is claimed Germany international Julian Brandt, 25, could be the man to replace Odegaard after finding his first-team opportunities limited at Borussia Dortmund.

According to Sport1, Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno told Brandt to join him in north London and with the Bundesliga outfit set to demand a £25m fee, he would represent an affordable option for Arteta.



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GistLobby⚽: Top transfer priority for every 'Big Six' club including Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal
Top transfer priority for every 'Big Six' club including Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal
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