Man Utd and Liverpool battle for £25m midfield star as Aston Villa eye shock Spurs raid

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The latest Premier League transfer rumours featuring updates from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Spurs and Aston Villa.

Welcome to the weekend – and welcome, as always, to our daily dose of the latest Premier League transfer rumours. We’ve spotted a few juicy reports floating around the media in the last day or so and we’ll kick things off by sharing some bad news for Arsenal fans.

According to Caught Offside, the Gunners are looking likely to miss out on transfer target Joshua Zirkzee, the Bologna forward whose goals and creativity were key to Champions League qualification. Apparently AC Milan have decided to pay his €40m (£34m) release clause, and it looks like the Dutchman is on his way to the Rossoneri.

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It doesn’t help Arsenal’s case that he apparently wants to stay in Serie A, but apparently there’s still at least some time for Mikel Arteta to get involved – Zirkzee and Milan are still haggling over contract details and no transfer deal has yet been agreed. It sounds as though it’s getting close, however.

The 3AM Verdict: Zirkzee is a hugely talented player but more of a provider than a goalscorer, albeit a very good one, so it may be that Arsenal prefer to focus on signing an out-and-out number nine rather than another high-quality supporting player. But Zirkzee’s form was superb last season and at £34m he would be extremely reasonably priced.

Man Utd and Liverpool set for scrap over French midfielder

On to bad news for Liverpool fans now – although if you want a positive spin, it could also be good news for Manchester United fans, which will warm all of our hearts of course. According to TeamTalk (via L’Equipe), the Red Devils are getting involved in the “battle” for OGC Nice midfielder and Liverpool transfer target Khéphren Thuram, the son of Lilian and brother of Marcus.

A dynamic holding midfielder who is valued by his club at €20-30m (£17-25m), the advantage Manchester United have is that Nice are owned by Ineos, who now control transfer affairs at Old Trafford – in other words, the club only need to negotiate with themselves, which is traditionally relatively straightforward. Apparently, AC Milan and Juventus are also interested.

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The 3AM Verdict: A quality all-round midfielder with excellent ball-carrying skills and a great engine, Thuram could be described as a luxury version of Scott McTominay – which should suit the way Erik ten Hag has his team playing, if they end up letting the Dutchman stay. Any price under £25m also sounds like a huge bargain, and it seems as though Liverpool should probably give up on this one given who they’re trying to buy from.

Villa make surprising Spurs approach

Finally, a word for Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur fans courtesy of Sport Witness, who have picked up on reports from Spain which suggest that Villa are considering a surprise bid for Giovani Lo Celso, the wantaway Spurs playmaker who had seemed more likely to return to Real Betis this summer.

Apparently Unai Emery is “a big admirer” of the Argentine and could encourage his club to make a bid as they look to strengthen their midfield ahead of their first Champions League campaign since the 1980s. No fee is mentioned, but given that he has only one year left on his deal and Spurs are practically desperate to get rid of him, one would imagine it wouldn’t be too steep.

The 3AM Verdict: Lo Celso clearly didn’t impress Ange Postecoglou much but in the brief time he spent on the pitch last season he looked in pretty good nick – he just couldn’t win many minutes with James Maddison in the squad. Lo Celso would presumably be a rotational player at Villa, but they definitely need extra depth – if the fee is low, this could be a sneakily smart signing.

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