Ryan Baldi looks at six players from the Euros that have been linked with a summer move.
Euro 2020 has brought a welcome distraction from the yearly transfer merry-go-round that usually dominates the sports pages at this time of year.
But the European Championship will be acting a as a shop window for many of its best players, with big-money deals awaiting several star names at the tournament’s conclusion.
Here are six players keeping the transfer rumour mill churning this summer.
Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might have featured only sparingly for England so far at the European Championship but Gareth Southgate’s apparent lack of faith in the 21-year-old hasn’t discouraged Manchester United’s interest.
In one of the longest-running transfer sagas in recent memory, United reportedly made Sancho their primary target ahead of the last summer transfer window, only for Dortmund to stand firm in their $180m valuation of the Englishman, a fee the Red Devils refused to meet.
This summer, though, despite another productive season which saw him score 16 goals and register 20 assists in 38 all-competitions games, BVB are believed to have lowered their asking price for the England international. It is widely expected that Sancho will be confirmed as a United player soon after the Three Lions’ Euro campaign ends.
Few Arsenal fans would be too sorry to see the back of Granit Xhaka should the 28-year-old end his five-year stay at the Emirates this summer. His performances for Switzerland at Euro 2020, however, might mean he has no shortage of offers for a new destination.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach man was outstanding as the Swiss upset favourites France in the last 16. He was combative in the middle of the park and drove his side forward as they earned a thrilling 3-3 draw before booking progress to the quarter-finals after a penalty shootout.
Arsenal are believed to be asking for around $30m for Xhaka. Reports in Italy have claimed he has already agreed personal terms with Roma, but Juventus are said to have been so impressed with his star turn at the European Championship that they are also now considering a move.
Brighton defender Ben White is yet to feature at the Euros, but that hasn’t prevented the 23-year-old from making headlines as the subject of what will likely be one of the biggest transfers of the summer.
The former Leeds United loanee impressed under Graham Potter at the Amex Stadium last season and is now set to become one of the most expensive English players of all time, with a reported $85m move to Arsenal awaiting completion.
White was instrumental to Leeds’ promotion from the Championship during his temporary stay at Elland Road in 2019-20. And despite having just one season of top-flight football under his belt, Arsenal and Mikel Arteta appear to have been so convinced by his displays last term that they are willing to break the bank.
Phil Foden & Bukayo Saka both say reported Arsenal target Ben White has impressed them the most in the England camp. [ITV] #afc pic.twitter.com/P3N7ND2OCj
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) June 27, 2021
Another Englishman at the heart of rumours about a mega-money transfer is Jack Grealish.
Unlike his international colleagues Sancho and White, the Aston Villa star has enjoyed a more impactful Euro 2020 so far. Although he has started only once, despite the clamour from supporters for him to be selected, Grealish has dazzled in his cameo appearances, providing assists in wins over Croatia and Germany.
Villa are determined to keep hold of Grealish and tie him to a new long-term contract, but Premier League champions Manchester City are said to be readying a bid of up to $175m for the attacker. A resolution will have to wait until after the tournament, at which point the player’s desire will determine the outcome – if Grealish wants to stay, Villa will repel all offers; if he wants a new challenge, Pep Guardiola is waiting with open arms.
Italy have arguably been the most impressive team through the group stage and first knockout round of Euro 2020, and no player better exemplified the commitment, stamina and flair of Roberto Mancini’s men than Leonardo Spinazzola, who has caught the eye of Chelsea.
The flying wing-back spent the best part of a decade at Juventus, but he was never truly appreciated in Turin, loaned out on seven separate occasions and afforded just 12 total first-team games.
Since a 2019 move to Roma, though, the 28-year-old has proven his worth. Now, according to reports in Italy, Thomas Tuchel is interested in Spinazzola as competition for Ben Chilwell in the left-wing-back spot at Stamford Bridge.
The shock of the Euros so far has undoubtedly been the last-16 elimination of reigning world champions and pre-tournament favourites France. Les Bleus exited at the hands of Switzerland and have done so, in what has become their typical fashion, amid a cloud of bitter infighting.
France’s acrimonious exit will at least allow star centre-back Raphael Varane the opportunity to resolve his club future sooner, though.
The 28-year-old Real Madrid man is said to be considering following Sergio Ramos out the Bernabeu’s exit door. It remains to be seen whether the Frenchman is ultimately angling for a new contract with the 13-time European champions or whether he is serious about moving on. If it’s the latter, Manchester United are reportedly prepared to act on their long-standing interest.
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