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15 July 2023

Transfer latest: Liverpool midfielder's £40m shock transfer done deal drawing near

15 July 2023

Fabinho's reported £40m transfer from Liverpool to Al-Ittihad is a completed deal, as per Saudi media. The surprising move comes as part of a series of changes within Liverpool's midfield ahead of the 2023-24 Premier League season. Players like Alexis MacAllister and Dominik Szoboszlai have joined the club while James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin, and Naby Keita have left following their contracts' end. An unexpected exit on Fabinho's part, who signed a long-term deal last year, could instigate further market activity, particularly as Liverpool are also linked with Roméo Lavia and Khéphren Thuram. Fabinho's departure follows significant Al-Ittihad signings, including Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante.

Bristol City are ramping up preparations for the new season under Nigel Pearson, having already signed Jason Knight. The Robins have rejected two offers for their star player, Alex Scott, valuing him at £25million. Meanwhile, Leeds United appear to be offloading another player, with Rasmus Kristensen heading to AS Roma for a medical. Huddersfield Town manager, Neil Warnock, is seeking new striker acquisitions to boost the squad.

Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali has returned to Newcastle United, following his £52million move from AC Milan. Tonali visited the new Benton training centre and St James' Park, meeting stand-in captain Kieran Trippier and head coach Eddie Howe. The majority of the squad, barring internationals, began pre-season on July 9 and will play their first friendly at Gateshead. Howe's side travel to Rangers next week before taking part in Premier League Summer Series in the USA against Aston Villa, Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion. They then compete in the Sela Cup at St James' Park, facing Fiorentina and Villarreal.

Former Chelsea forward Willian has undergone a medical at Nottingham Forest after rejecting a one-year extension from Fulham, reports the Evening Standard. Despite a delightful season with Fulham, Willian turned down their initial offer and is still contemplating an improved proposal. However, discussions with Nottingham Forest's manager, Steve Cooper, have progressed rapidly. The 34-year-old is likely to finalise a deal that may see him retire at Olympiacos, a club linked with Nottingham Forest. Amidst this, Chelsea have declined the opportunity to re-sign Willian, instead focusing on a new direction under manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Newcastle United may face disappointment in their pursuit of Kieran Tierney, whose reduced role at Arsenal has led him to seek a new club. Newcastle's interest may be thwarted as the left-back reportedly plans to return to Celtic and reunite with former boss Brendan Rodgers, even considering a wage cut. This news follows Kenny Miller's comments that Tierney is too good to remain on Arsenal's bench, suggesting other clubs are also likely to chase him, with Newcastle named among them.

Birmingham City and West Brom are bracing themselves for a challenging Championship season. Birmingham aim to improve on their lacklustre finish last season, while West Brom hope to break into the top six after narrowly missing out on the playoffs. West Brom's boss, Carlos Corberan, has pledged his commitment to the club despite financial constraints. Meanwhile, Birmingham are reportedly on the verge of signing Bournemouth winger Siriki Dembele, in a bid to bolster their squad for the forthcoming season.

Serbian international and Lazio midfielder, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, has completed his £34m move to Al Hilal, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. Having scored 57 goals in 267 games, Milinkovic-Savic was one of Serie A's top players. His transfer further strengthens the team after the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, also Newcastle United owners, secured a majority stake in Al Hilal. Other notable signings include Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante at Al Nassr, and Ruben Neves and Kalidou Koulibaly at Al Hilal. The trend of players moving from Europe's top leagues to Saudi Arabia is expected to continue.

Aston Villa are reportedly pursuing AC Milan's Charles De Ketelaere, despite his underwhelming performance in Italy. The Premier League club have already had a £21.4 million offer rejected, just shy of Milan's desired £24 million fee. Unai Emery is keen to reignite the forward's potential as part of his search for a versatile attacker. Everton and Crystal Palace are also thought to be interested in the Belgian youngster, who managed 14 goals and seven assists in the 2021/22 season. De Ketelaere's ability to play multiple attacking roles could prove a significant asset for Villa.

Manu Kone remains calm about his future despite links with Liverpool. The Reds, having spent £95 million on Alexis MacAllister and Dominik Szboszlai, might not pursue Kone. The 22-year-old midfielder, who played 31 times for Borussia Monchengladbach last season, is currently sidelined with a knee injury. He states a club must 'seduce him' with a project to convince him to move. Liverpool may still sign another midfielder if one of their current players leaves, with interest shown in Southampton's Romeo Lavia.

Birmingham City winger Tahith Chong has reportedly completed his medical as he prepares to transfer to Premier League team Luton Town. The £5 million deal, potentially rising to £10 million after add-ons, follows the departure of Jobe Bellingham to Sunderland. These exits have raised concerns about squad depth. However, manager John Eustace remains positive, saying the sales allow the club to bring in new players and help them grow.

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