Man Utd and Liverpool won’t break their club-record transfers this summer, but Arsenal are among six Premier League teams ready to spend like never before.


Declan Rice to Arsenal
With Edu Gaspar trying to pay through Klarna and David Sullivan instead insisting on a lump sum up front, it initially felt as though Arsenal and West Ham might be sat a little too far apart at the negotiating table to actually hear the other’s point of view.





When Manchester City stepped in it initially felt terminal to any hopes of a London stock exchange, but any prospect of a bidding war was rendered retrospectively moot by an uncharacteristically slick Arsenal operation.

The Gunners will nevertheless be paying a record fee, with all three of their formal offers lodged for Rice this summer exceeding the £72m spent on Nicolas Pepe in the summer of 2019. Arsenal might reasonably expect him to fare slightly better.



Nathan Collins to Brentford
“I’m just looking forward to playing football again because I love so much playing football, whenever I can, so that’s the only aim for me, I just want to get out there and play as much as I can,” said Nathan Collins in June, perhaps not envisaging Brentford heeding his call.

After moving from Stoke to Burnley for £12m in 2021, the centre-half fell on his feet upon Premier League relegation a year later by joining Wolves for £20m.

After a difficult season at Molineux, featuring a red card for planting studs into Jack Grealish’s thigh before being dropped for Craig Dawson, history has repeated itself with Ireland’s most expensive footballer falling upwards again from a lower mid-table bench to a side with European aspirations.

As a general rule, if Brentford reckon they’ve found value for £23m but the 2023 iteration of Wolves are simultaneously happy to sell, the smart money is on the former getting the better end of a deal.


Mohammed Kudus to Brighton
While Brighton are entirely used to occupying the same transfer circles as the established elite when it comes to identifying a South American wunderkind or European prodigy, the Seagulls are using their rising stock to compete for gems already unearthed.

Mohammed Kudus has long been on the radar of the usual chasing pack, with three accomplished years at Ajax marking him out as a talent to watch. It seemed as though the 22-year-old’s two World Cup goals would precipitate a preordained breakthrough transfer but the winter showcase counted against a player whose end of the season was interrupted by injury.

Kudus nevertheless remains a target for any team worth its salt and the lure of the Brighton bandwagon will inevitably appeal, particularly as Alexis Mac Allister has vacated his seat. It would require the Seagulls to break a transfer record set this summer by Joao Pedro but Europa League qualification has opened new doors.



Nathan Tella to Burnley
Vincent Kompany has been busy plotting his first crack at Premier League management, with Burnley having a club-record bid for loanee Ian Maatsen rejected by Chelsea.

While the Blues are holding out for more, the Clarets are at least close to the Dutchman’s valuation. The same cannot be said of Jack Clarke, for whom Burnley have had three offers turned down by Sunderland.

How strange that the Black Cats don’t want to sell an excellent 22-year-old winger with three years left on his contract for £9m, having committed £10m to sign him from Spurs a year ago.

Maatsen, Clarke and Nathan Tella, who Burnley want for keeps after a 19-goal promotion season on loan from Southampton, are all theoretically available for fees in the same ballpark. It would be wonderful if their role of record signing was shared by three players, with Chris Wood and Ben Gibson, who both cost £15m, given even more competition.

Lewis Travis to Luton
Chief executive Gary Sweet has already explained that Luton will have a “restricted” budget with which to build their first Premier League squad, having invested much of their promotion windfall into infrastructure, their new stadium and long-term planning.

Chiedozie Ogbene has arrived in a move which sums up a sensible, incorruptible approach from the Hatters, while Mads Andersen has joined from Barnsley in what has been reported as a club-record move.

Carlton Morris was the previous holder of that title at just over £1m, meaning the record could fall many more times over as Luton prepare for a 10-month uphill run.

Tahith Chong, Japhet Tanganga, Ben Pearson and others have been linked, while Marvelous Nakamba can expect to have his loan made permanent in perhaps the most intriguing summer transfer window of any Premier League club ever.

Most signings Luton make for a fee could expect to break a record Lars Elstrup held for three decades. A new goalkeeper is in their sights, while interest in Blackburn captain and midfielder Lewis Travis sums up their ethos of scouring below the top-flight line for value.


Sandro Tonali to Newcastle
There have been wildly conflicting claims over the budget Newcastle are arming themselves with this summer, as they embark upon a first Champions League campaign in two decades.

Almost £250m has already been sunk into the club in transfer fees since the protracted Saudi takeover and Eddie Howe is in no mood to rest on a single laurel.

After ingeniously deploying the Nicolo Barella smokescreen, Newcastle used the ensuing frenzied distraction to hone in on their apparent primary summer target, glancing across Milan to lock eyes with Sandro Tonali instead.

The deal is in place and terms have been agreed with the 23-year-old, who will be handed the biggest wage in the Newcastle squad. But as ever there is relative uncertainty over a definitive fee, with club-adjacent journalists suggesting Tonali will cost £52m and outlets in Italy suggesting an €80m package is more accurate. If someone could let Alexander Isak know either way that would be great.

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