The Premier League transfer window closes at 5 p.m. BST (12 p.m. ET) on Aug. 8, but the rest of Europe remains open until the end of the month, so English clubs will not be able to replace any players they sell after the deadline until January.
Here are some of the main talking points ahead of Thursday’s deadline.
Will Man United sign Eriksen and then sell Pogba?
It’s been the saga of the summer, alongside Neymar‘s desire to quit PSG (which will keep going until the end of the month), but Paul Pogba looks set to stay at Manchester United. UNLESS, United sign a replacement in the hours before the window closes.
In mid-June, Pogba told reporters that he wanted a “new challenge” and speculation has linked him with a move to Real Madrid or Juventus. However, a month later, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his position clear: United could offer the Frenchman that new challenge.
Real would certainly love to land the 26-year-old but have been unable to shift Gareth Bale or James Rodriguez to make room. Without adding players to the deal, which United have rejected, they do not have the £150m asking price but, if United are able to sign Christian Eriksen from Tottenham, then Real have until Sept. 2 to figure out a deal and sell some of their deadwood to raise funds.
Juventus are probably out of the running as they have not got the kind of money United want for Pogba and have already signed two midfielders (for free) in Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot anyway. There was a suggestion that striker Paulo Dybala could be added to any deal, but that broke down with Juve seemingly more keen on Romelu Lukaku. And time is running out.
Will Tottenham sign more players?
How no clubs have moved seriously for Toby Alderweireld or Eriksen up until now in this transfer window is a mystery. Alderweireld was available for just £25m due to a clause in his contract that expired last week, while Eriksen’s lack of progress over a new contract should have seen interested clubs testing Spurs’ resolve to keep the midfielder.
Alderweireld looks like he’s staying put, but Eriksen has attracted late interest from Man United. Tottenham don’t want to miss out on a transfer fee for the Denmark international so could sell him to United, but only if they sign a replacement.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino’s angry comments about not being in charge of transfers might have something to do with it, but after spending €60m on Tanguy Ndombele, Spurs could be busy up until the deadline as talks over Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes, and a full-back — possibly Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon or Napoli’s Elseid Hysaj — continue.
Also keep an eye on interest over Dybala and a possible loan bid for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho. Neither are a like-for-like Eriksen replacements, but they are class acts and the rumours are hard to ignore.
Will Arsenal sign a defender?
Laurent Koscielny threw a spanner in the Arsenal transfer plans this summer by refusing to go on the club’s summer tour, stating his desire to leave and eventually joining Bordeaux for €5m. The Gunners were counting on their captain — one of the team’s few top-class defenders — and focused attention on bringing in attacking players.
While Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney would be a bargain at £25m, and a move that would allow Nacho Monreal to play as a centre-back more regularly, Arsenal needed to add a defender even before Koscielny’s ill-timed exit; the €30m spent on St Etienne’s William Saliba is no good this season because he has been loaned back to France for a year.
Juventus’ Daniele Rugani has reportedly been the subject of a two-year loan bid, while RB Leipzig pair Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate have been on the radar for some time but would be expensive. Arsenal are nearing the limit of their budget, so perhaps a move for someone £10m-rated Pape Abou Cisse of Olympiakos would work.
Will Zaha stay at Crystal Palace?
Arsenal’s move for Nicholas Pepe has seemingly put paid to Zaha’s dream of joining his boyhood club, but that does not mean that he will not move. Everton showed interest and had a bid of £54m rejected, while Napoli are also keen after they missed out on Pepe.
Man United will get a cut of any transfer fee for Zaha, having added a clause in his contract when they sold him to Palace in 2015, so the London club want to get as much money as possible. They have only brought in Jordan Ayew and Gary Cahill so far and selling Zaha on Deadline Day would give them virtually no time to find a replacement.
Having sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka to United for £50m earlier in the window, Palace have lots of cash but unless they make some late moves they will be a shadow of their former selves this season.
Will Liverpool or Man City make any moves?
Liverpool have appeared content with their Champions League-winning squad, only adding youngsters Harvey Elliott and Sepp Van Den Berg, while Jurgen Klopp told ESPN that the club are not interested in bringing Philippe Coutinho back from Barcelona.
The Reds could do with some depth, though, particularly more creativity in midfield, but Nabil Fekir has moved to Real Betis and only a handful of names have been linked, including Leipzig striker Timo Werner and Coutinho. It seems unlikely Klopp will move for anyone new, but he will not be afraid to spend in January if needed.
City, meanwhile, did the majority of their business early. A defensive midfielder to share the burden with the ageing Fernandinho was the main target and €70m landed them Rodri from Atletico Madrid. A left-back to provide cover for Benjamin Mendy also arrived with the familiar face of Angelino returning from a loan at PSV.
A like-for-like swap for Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo could happen, with Danilo and €30m going the other way, but big-money links with Jadon Sancho, Joao Felix and Harry Maguire all came to nothing. Indeed, City’s depth is so impressive that they might not even need to sign a replacement should they let Leroy Sane join Bayern for around €80m.
If the top two Premier League clubs are this confident, it’s a worrying sign for the rest of the league.