A chock-full weekend of sport may have taken attention away from the multitude of transfers swirling around the Premier League, but the English top-flight’s elite look to have been extremely busy nonetheless.
Leaving aside the reams of copy written about which player Manchester United might sign next, there seems plenty for the other 19 Premier League outfits to get excited about.
With increased TV money making the heads of chairmen up and down the country spin as they contemplate the next colossal bid, even famously frugal Everton are getting in on the act, although that’s hardly surprising given their new biggest shareholder, billionaire Farhad Moshiri.
The Toffees are said to be leading the race to sign £40m-rated Senegalese centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly, who signed for Napoli from Metz for just over an eighth of that amount barely two years ago.
Arsenal and Chelsea are also rumoured to be in for Koulibaly, whose 6ft5in frame may have been on show for his native France in the Euro 2016 final, had he not spurned Les Bleus gaffer Didier Deschamps’ advances before declaring for his parents’ homeland last autumn.
The Sunday Mirror say Chelsea are worried the Toffees’ interest in the 25-year-old will push his price up, although that ship appears to have already left the port.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman’s old club Southampton also feature in the weekend whispers, with new chief Claude Puel set to add Bayern Munich’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to the St Mary’s roster, according to numerous sources including Sky Sports.
Hojbjerg, a 20-year-old with 15 Denmark caps already, has spent much of the past two seasons on loan at Bundesliga sides Augsburg and Schalke, having failed to break into Bayern’s XI during Pep Guardiola’s three-year spell at the Allianz Arena.
Southampton are reportedly ready to test how much new Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti rates the midfielder with a bid of around £12m, having splashed out £10m for winger Nathan Redmond from Norwich at the end of last month.