Transfer latest: Kane, Caicedo, Lavia, Mbappe, Neymar, Maguire, Paqueta and more

This article was updated on August 11.

The 2023-24 Premier League season begins this evening with the futures of star players such as Harry Kane and Moises Caicedo dominating the agenda, while in France PSG will open their campaign on Saturday with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in limbo, too.

It is a similar story across other teams and leagues with brinksmanship — and tensions — mounting as the competitive action begins and the summer transfer window heads into its concluding few weeks.

You can follow all the developments live here in our transfer blog.

In this article we wanted to bring you a quick catch up on the state of play in some of the newest or most discussed deals this summer.

So, with the caveat that deals could progress or regress at any moment, here are our writers on the latest we know about Kane, Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, Mbappe, Neymar, Lucas Paqueta and West Ham’s sudden late engagement with the transfer market.

Harry Kane has agreed to join Bayern Munich – how did that happen? 

After The Athletic reported on Thursday that Tottenham had accepted a proposal worth more than €100million (£86.4m, $110m) from Bayern, there began a vacuum of information for 12-15 hours, which will have felt like 12 to 15 years for Spurs supporters.

If a fee had been agreed after weeks of negotiations, why wasn’t Kane already on the plane to Munich? Had he decided against the move? Was the timing, right on the eve of the campaign and Kane’s self-imposed deadline, just too tight? Had he enjoyed pre-season under Ange Postecoglou amid another new Spurs dawn that he was willing to stay?

Kane is enjoying the approach of Postecoglou (Getty Images)

Well no. Late on Friday night came the news Spurs fans have hoped would never come. Their record goalscorer, leader, talisman, hero, had decided now was the time to depart: he had agreed to join Bayern on a proposed four-year contract and was now just waiting for a green light from Tottenham Hotspur to travel for a medical and seal the deal.

For Tottenham, the timing is atrocious just a couple of days before the start of the season and with only three weeks remaining in the window.

Yes they have Richarlison, Brazil’s No.9, lying in wait, but that is asking a lot of a player who has never scored more than 13 league goals in a season. Not to mention how fans will now react to Daniel Levy selling a true Spurs legend.

The saga seems to be coming to an end, but for Spurs the fallout is just beginning.

Tim Spiers

Chelsea have spent most of the summer trying to sign Moises Caicedo. So where have Liverpool come from?

The end of what has become a very drawn out saga appears to drawing near.

Chelsea had four bids rejected for Caicedo over the course of the summer — the last was worth £80million ($101.4m) — and had long been considered the front-runners to sign the Ecuador international. Brighton have maintained throughout that they value the 21-year-old at £100million

But the saga took a twist on Thursday when it emerged that Liverpool had entered negotiations with Brighton.

It had previously been thought unlikely that Liverpool’s budget would stretch to the fee being demanded by Brighton but Fenway Sports Group, the club’s owners, take the view that they are happy to meet what they consider to be a fair valuation of the player.

And, in the small hours of Friday morning, it emerged that the Anfield club had reached an agreement with Brighton to sign Caicedo for a British record £110m ($140m). Chelsea’s bid for the 21-year-old was up to £100m.

Personal terms are yet to be agreed between Caicedo and Liverpool, but are expected to be a formality, with a medical planned for Friday.

And now Chelsea have bid for Romeo Lavia, so do they want to sign him as well?

Forgive the terrible pun, but Chelsea’s pursuit of Lavia is not something that has come out of the blue.

As The Athletic reported last September, Chelsea had a proposal worth £50million for the midfielder rejected by Southampton on transfer deadline day. Their interest has never gone away.

One of the main reasons for this is the presence of influential director of recruitment Joe Shields at Stamford Bridge. He is a big admirer of Lavia. Shields has a very good relationship with Lavia having worked with him in his previous roles at Manchester City and Southampton. He left his role as head of recruitment at Southampton after just three months to accept a new post at Chelsea, which officially began in January.

Lavia has trailed Caicedo in the pecking order as far as who Chelsea want to sign in midfield, which partly explains why it has taken so long to lodge another offer, worth £48million including add-ons, on Thursday.

Liverpool now appearing to have won the race for Caicedo means Chelsea (who are also in the process of acquiring Tyler Adams) have a decision to make over whether to make an improved bid for Lavia

Simon Johnson

Why haven’t Liverpool signed Lavia yet?

The short answer is that they have been unwilling to meet Southampton’s valuation of around £50million.

Liverpool believe that figure is over-priced for the Belgian teenager who has made only 36 senior appearances in his career and – as stated above in their pursuit of Moises Caicedo – the club’s hierarchy place their emphasis on paying what they believe to be a fair price.

Over the past three weeks Liverpool have submitted three separate bids, the most recent potentially rising to £46million with performance-related add-ons, but each has been swiftly rejected.

Liverpool have bid for Lavia and sounded out Brighton for Caicedo as they seek to replace Henderson and Fabinho, who both left for Saudi Arabia

Frustration had been growing among the fanbase as it’s nearly a month since it became clear that midfield duo Jordan Henderson and Fabinho would be moving to Saudi Arabia. Before Thursday night, Liverpool didn’t have a specialist holding midfielder available for Sunday’s Premier League opener at Stamford Bridge.

Lavia, who is understood to be keen on moving to Anfield, was targeted as the ideal replacement for Fabinho but Liverpool’s reluctance to meet Southampton’s demands has turned this into a saga and left the door open for rivals such as Chelsea, as well as prompting Liverpool to enter the race for Caicedo.

Now that deal seems to have been struck, it remains to be seen whether Liverpool maintain their interest in Lavia as well.

James Pearce

Why have PSG put Kylian Mbappe in the “loft” and told Neymar he is not in the club’s plans? Could anyone actually afford to buy them?

Paris Saint-Germain want to kickstart a new era that moves away from glamour signings and player power, and resembles something more like a cohesive, “normal” football club. But they have had a few teething problems.

The future of Kylian Mbappe has overshadowed everything. He decided not to extend his contract last month, which will now expire next summer. He does, though, wish to stay at PSG. The club are not happy about that as they do not want to lose him for free, and are convinced he has agreed a deal with Real Madrid for 2024.

So, seeing as Mbappe won’t renew, they have put him for sale and thrown him in the “loft” — essentially the bomb squad, a group of players that are not in the club’s plans and have been told to leave. Mbappe also missed the club’s tour of Japan and South Korea.

So far, nothing has changed. A big offer from Saudi Arabia came and went. But Mbappe does not wish to be sold, nor renew his contract. He wants to play this final season. For now, he remains in the “loft”, and is very unlikely to face Lorient this weekend.

Mbappe has been training away from the first team (Photo: TOM MASSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Neymar is not quite in the loft but he is among those the club would like to move on. He was told as much this week by the club. The club would like to move him on because he is on a huge contract that runs until 2027. With Mbappe set to see out his lucrative deal, PSG want to shift that load to help with Financial Fair Play.

While Neymar seems open to departing too, as his relationship with fans has hit rock bottom (they protested outside his house in May), letting go of that contract is not easy.

In reality, it feels like only Saudi Arabia would be capable of offering a competitive agreement for Neymar, other than speculative loan deals from the Premier League which have not yet been forthcoming.

In a way, PSG have put themselves into a golden cage with the situations of Mbappe and Neymar. Lucrative contracts are coming back to bite them, and that’s why their transfer sagas may rumble on in the weeks ahead.

Peter Rutzler

West Ham’s transfer department appears to have woken up – who’s joining and does this mean David Moyes has won control of signings?

Edson Alvarez has become West Ham United’s first major signing of the window. The 25-year-old midfielder joined from Ajax for about €40million (£35.4m; $43.9m) on a five-year deal. The Mexico international is viewed as Declan Rice’s replacement and West Ham hope to finalise more deals in the coming days.

Southampton have accepted West Ham’s £30million offer for James Ward-Prowse and the midfielder is set to complete his medical and sign on. Manager David Moyes hopes the 28-year-old will be involved in Saturday’s league opener away to Bournemouth. Flynn Downes is set to join Southampton on a season-long loan and reunite with Russell Martin, who was his manager at Swansea City.

West Ham have also reached an agreement with Manchester United over the sale of defender Harry Maguire. The England international, who fell down the pecking order under Erik ten Hag, is expected to take a pay cut to join West Ham. Moyes remains keen to bolster his midfield options, too, although a £30m offer for Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay was rejected on August 8.

New technical director Tim Steidten has recommended European players but it is Moyes’ preference to recruit British players with Premier League experience after last summer’s disappointing window. West Ham spent over £160m on eight players which yielded mixed results. Elsewhere, the long-term futures of Michail Antonio and Ben Johnson remain unclear with both players entering the final year of his deals.

Roshane Thomas

And are they going to lose Lucas Paqueta to Manchester City? What’s Pep Guardiola thinking there?

While on Manchester City’s pre-season tour, Pep Guardiola said that their remaining transfer business would depend upon whether they need “wingers or players inside”.

Most of the names linked with the Etihad recently have been drawn from the former category. Lucas Paqueta fits the latter.

City’s initial approach for the 25-year-old lodged earlier this week was rejected out of hand and deemed in no way acceptable by West Ham, who are adamant that they do not want to sell a player who only joined in a €60m deal less than a year ago and is under contract until 2027.

West Ham hope to keep Paqueta (Getty Images)

Nevertheless, they may struggle to keep hold of him as Paqueta is eager to join City. His contract includes an £85million release clause, although that can only be triggered at the start of next summer’s window.

Parqueta is not thought to be City’s only potential option in midfield and sources have indicated that the Premier League champions could look elsewhere if they deem West Ham’s demands to be unreasonable.

Talks continue, though, and one element that could smooth over negotiations is West Ham’s interest in City winger Cole Palmer, with the east London club interested in either a loan or a permanent deal.

Guardiola predictably refused to answer questions on Paqueta in his pre-match press conference before the new Premier League’ season’s curtain-raiser away to Burnley on Friday night, although admitted Palmer could be allowed to leave in search of more regular playing time.

Mark Critchley


(Top photos: Getty Images)


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