Football Features

Arsenal’s second summer signing close? Transfers you could see happen this week

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:46, 11 July 2021

The summer of international football is almost over and clubs are starting to return to pre-season ready for the new campaign.

That also means clubs will continue to look to the transfer market to both grow and trim their squads, trying to find the right balance for their 2021/22 goals whether that be championship glory, continental qualification or safety from relegation.

We have already seen some big deals announced this summer amid a lot of rumours that have come and gone, and some we still expect to be done. Some of those deals are far off, but others are so close to finalisation they could even be completed by the end of the week.

It’s those deals that we’re going to look at right now, profiling six transfers that are expected to be completed within the next seven days.

Olivier Giroud

Signing With: AC Milan
From: Chelsea
Fee: £1m

Olivier Giroud’s contract with Chelsea was up this summer, and many expected the Frenchman to leave on a free transfer having finished as the club’s top scorer in the Champions League en route to glory. The Frenchman then went and signed a new one-year deal, with Chelsea triggering a clause in his contract. But that doesn’t mean he’s staying at Chelsea. Clearly a fringe player at Chelsea, amassing just 1,200 minutes last season, Giroud wants regular football to keep fit and possibly has the 2022 World Cup finals in his sights, and AC Milan look set to be the ones to give it to him. According to reports, Giroud is on the verge of signing a two-year deal with the Rossoneri, with the Frenchman’s release clause standing at just £1m.

Ryan Bertrand

Signing With: Leicester City
From: Southampton
Fee: Free transfer

Leicester City look set for the future at left-back with James Justin and Luke Thomas proving themselves more than capable last season, but the former suffered an ACL injury and they may need more experienced cover for the now. That cover is Ryan Bertrand, who left Southampton this summer at the end of his contract, ending a seven-year association with the club (including his initial loan move). Bertrand turns 32 next month but is still highly-rated and was previously linked with a move to Arsenal, but Leicester appear to be his next destination. Transfer titan Fabrizio Romano is reporting a deal has been agreed between Bertrand and Leicester, with the announcement of his three-year contract to come this week.

Alphonse Areola

Signing With: West Ham United
From: Paris Saint-Germain
Fee: Loan

Alphonse Areola spent last season on loan in the Premier League with Fulham and he appears set to return to London, this time with West Ham United (again on a temporary basis). Following the imminent arrival of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Paris Saint-Germain appear to have no room for Areola, with Keylor Navas staying to battle the new signing to be first-choice goalkeeper. So it’s back to London for Areola on loan, with the Frenchman having kept nine clean sheets and made 116 saves in the Premier League last season, albeit while failing to keep Fulham up.

Felipe Anderson

Signing With: Lazio
From: West Ham United
Fee: Free

From one expected in to a pending out at West Ham as Felipe Anderson is expected to seal his return to Lazio this week. The Brazilian signed for West Ham from Lazio in 2018 and after a good first season with the Hammers he spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Porto. And instead of preparing for the new season in the British capital, Anderson is reportedly undergoing a medical at Lazio to secure his return and link up with new manager Maurizio Sarri. West Ham still actually owe Lazio money from the initial transfer but it is believed that will be cancelled out for Anderson to go the other way, with a sell-on clause included too.

Albert Sambi Lokonga

Signing With: Arsenal
From: Anderlecht
Fee: £15m

Arsenal have already announced the signing of Nuno Tavares but he won’t be the only arrival at the Emirates this summer, if reports are to be believed. The Gunners are reportedly close to signing Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht, with the 21-year-old having turned down two bids from Italian clubs to choose Arsenal. A midfielder is required for Arsenal, who appear set to lose Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka, while Lucas Torreira’s future is also uncertain.

Rui Patricio

Signing With: AS Roma
From: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Fee: £9.5m

A move that may have come as a shock, but Rui Patricio looks set to leave Wolves and link up with compatriot Jose Mourinho at AS Roma. The Portuguese goalkeeper has been Wolves’ number one (well, number 11) since 2018, keeping 30 clean sheets and making 288 saves in 112 appearances, helping his side qualify for the Europa League in his first season. However, he is reportedly set to be announced as Roma’s new goalkeeper this week, with Wolves signing Jose Sa from Olympiacos as his replacement.