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08 September 2023

Chelsea legend seals huge Saudi deal PLUS more trending football news

08 September 2023

John Terry, former Chelsea and England captain, is on the brink of becoming the new manager for Saudi club Al-Shabab FC. Terry, currently serving at the Chelsea academy, has a decorated history as a player and coach. His move to Al-Shabab FC is seen as a significant boost to the club's profile, following the Saudi Pro League's ambitions to establish itself as a global football power. This move will add to the league's high-profile figures like N'Golo Kanté and Edouard Mendy.

The 2023/24 EFL Championship season is in progress, with Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion having varied starts. Preston North End and Ipswich Town are topping the charts, while Leeds United and Middlesbrough are underperforming. Sheffield Wednesday have only secured one point from a possible 15, indicating a poor adjustment to the English second tier under Xisco Muñoz. Despite being newcomers, Plymouth Argyle have won two of their first five matches. Hull City are also having an impressive season. Bookies' forecasts for the season have been flipped due to these unexpected outcomes.

Manchester United's goalkeeper, Mary Earps, could be leaving the club, with considerable interest from Arsenal. Earps has not renewed her contract, which ends next year, sparking concerns that the club could lose her without a transfer fee like Alessia Russo. Despite a substantial offer for the goalkeeper earlier this month, United rejected it. Arsenal aren't the only club interested in Earps, with European clubs potentially joining the bidding. The club is grappling with what steps to take amidst the possibility of losing another big name without securing a transfer fee.

There is continued talk around Scottish football clubs during the international break, with Rangers' Borna Barisic attracting attention from his home country. Dinamo Zagreb are reportedly keen on signing the Croatian international, who is in his final contract year at Ibrox. Meanwhile, Celtic have allegedly agreed on a new deal with young defender Mitchel Frame, extending his contract until the summer of 2026, fending off interest from several English clubs.

Newcastle United's owners, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), are reportedly in talks with Chelsea regarding a potential sponsorship deal with Riyadh Air, a company owned by PIF. Chelsea are currently without a shirt sponsor and are purportedly close to securing a deal with Infinite Athlete for the current season. However, a long-term multi-year sponsorship deal with Riyadh Air could start next season. The Stamford Bridge club's owners are said to be demanding £60million annually for the deal. As PIF also own Newcastle United, this could see indirect funding of Chelsea from the controversial Saudi Arabian ownership.

Manchester United have claimed six points from their opening four Premier League matches, winning at home but losing away. Meanwhile, Manchester City have started strongly, amassing maximum points under Pep Guardiola. In terms of transfers, both clubs have been prominent spenders. United's new signings include Mason Mount and Andre Onana, while City have added Josko Gvardiol and Mateo Kovacic to their roster. The CIES Football Observatory has compiled data comparing these clubs' net spending over the past decade.

Wolverhampton Wanderers faced a challenging transfer window, with Financial Fair Play restrictions and key departures, including club legend Rúben Neves. This resulted in manager Julen Lopetegui's exit and the sale of Matheus Nunes to Manchester City. Despite these constraints, Wolves were able to bring in new players Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, Santiago Bueno and Enso González for £32 million. However, with £21 million remaining unspent and the squad perhaps weaker, they are still open to the possibility of signing free agents, with speculation around a Chelsea legend and two previous Manchester United stars.

Eleven Newcastle United players are approaching the end of their contracts, forcing head coach Eddie Howe to make some critical decisions. Recently, Kieran Trippier, Miguel Almiron, and Dan Burn have signed new deals. Newcastle are expected to conduct further contract discussions in the coming months, particularly with key players nearing their contract expiry. The club is also monitoring contracts of players on loan. Fans can follow all developments from St James’ Park via the club's free football newsletter.

The summer transfer window was bustling for Celtic and Rangers, significantly outspending other Scottish Premiership clubs in player acquisitions and sales over five years. When compared to the 20 English Premier League clubs, however, their financial dealings fall into perspective. The net spend for both Celtic and Rangers, i.e., the cost of players purchased minus transfer fees received, was analysed to understand this comparison further.

Al-Ettifaq have completed an £8m deal for Everton winger, Demarai Gray. The announcement video, styled as an old arcade game, features Premier League players and surprisingly includes Mohamed Salah. This sparked speculation about Al-Ettifaq's interest in Salah, especially following Al Ittihad's rejected £150m bid last week. Although not previously considered a potential suitor, Al-Ettifaq joining the Saudi Pro League has stirred rumours of a last-minute bid for Salah, possibly closer to £200m. As the transfer window closes, Liverpool supporters await further developments.

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