Too often, transfer deadline day is one of the most anti-climatic fixtures on the Premier League’s calendar.
There’s plenty of smoke about the cash being splashed as the clock ticks ominously towards the cut-off point for bringing in fresh faces. But those tales of frantic faxes and breakneck helicopter rides are largely mere bluster.
The January 2011 deadline day – when Liverpool sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea and splashed out £35million on Andy Carroll – springs to mind as one of those rare examples of genuine drama.
For the most part, the end of either the summer or January windows are largely confined to the Premier League’s lesser lights hoovering up players on loan or for modest fees.
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But perhaps that won’t be the pattern today. For once, the big boys have not quite got all their business done and dusted by the deadline.
Other than Manchester United – whose start to the season suggests they are hardly in need of reinforcements – all of the Premier League’s heavyweights could be doing some significant business today.
Arsenal’s self harm seems to be a continuing with a bizarre last-minute fire sale, where there appears to be little chance of using any of the money recouped on replacements.
Kieran Gibbs has already joined West Brom, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain merely has to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on a £40million move to Liverpool.
Could Alexis Sanchez depart the Emirates too? If Manchester City go high enough, surely the Gunners will be tempted, considering the Chilean only has a year remaining on his contract and has been in a sulk for months over the club’s deterioration.
If Sanchez leaves too (and there is no suitable replacement signed in time) then it only deepens Arsenal’s malaise and prompts a whole heap of fresh questions about Arsene Wenger.
But City are not focusing on Sanchez alone. Pep Guardiola continues to pursue ex-Man United centre-half Jonny Evans and it looks likely that a deal will be done with West Brom.
As for Chelsea, Antonio Conte has revived his interest in Swansea’s Fernando Llorente, as a back-up to Alvaro Morata. The big elephant in the room at Stamford Bridge is what happens to Diego Costa, if he is still a Chelsea player.
There’s plenty more intrigue:
Will Liverpool’s hard-line stance soften on Barcelona’s big target Philippe Coutinho?
Could Liverpool be finally successful in a summer-long pursuit of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk?
Are Spurs in a position to make a dramatic late move and strengthen their title hopes?
There’s plenty of intrigue swirling around this summer’s deadline day and it promises to have major repercussions over what occurs until the next window opens in four months.