Taylor's Transfers: Arsenal winger move, Chelsea exit not dependant on Man Utd Antony deal

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Ryan Taylor transfer news

Ryan Taylor brings you the latest from the transfer market with Taylor’s Tuesday Transfers (Image: GETTY)

Hello everyone! Unfortunately, this week’s column will be the final instalment of this summer’s Taylor’s Tuesday Transfers as I am away on annual leave from this weekend. It’s been a long transfer window, full of excitement, dips and draining sagas but I hope you have enjoyed my work – as I have always put everything into researching and sourcing stories for you all. Thankfully, there is still lots to discuss ahead of a frantic sprint to the finish line…

Arsenal will push to conclude winger signing

Arsenal will push to conclude the signing of a new forward before the September 1 deadline with Pedro Neto now their priority target, as revealed by David Ornstein of The Athletic.

Speaking after the 3-0 win at Bournemouth, Mikel Arteta made it clear that the Gunners will be working around the clock to try and improve their table-topping squad, stating: “We will try until the end, the transfer window is tricky at the moment, we would like to do something else, but let’s see what we can do.”

Formal discussions have taken place with Jorge Mendes over a deal for Neto but following the sale of Morgan Gibbs-White to Nottingham Forest, Wolves do not feel inclined to sell.

However, an offer in the region of £50million could swing the balance should Arsenal be willing to bid that high – a proposition that currently seems unlikely.

In the meantime, Arsenal remain optimistic of striking an agreement with Nice over the loan departure of Nicolas Pepe following discussions with the Ligue 1 club.

Arsenal are hopeful that Les Aiglons would be prepared to cover a significant percentage of Pepe’s wages in order to free up some additional finances.

Neto fits the criteria Arsenal are looking for like a glove, stylistically. He is relatively young (22), Premier League-proven, tactically flexible and can play on either flank – as seen in Wolves’ 1-0 defeat to Tottenham on Saturday in north London.

Express Sport understands Neto is not the only target under consideration though with Villarreal’s Yeremy Pino also of interest – among others. The identities of these players are not known as Arsenal continue to operate beneath the radar. For now, the Portugal international remains the priority.

Arsenal Pedro Neto

Arsenal are targeting Pedro Neto from Wolves as they look to land a winger (Image: GETTY)

Ziyech eyed for Ajax return

Hakim Ziyech’s return to Ajax is not entirely dependant on Manchester United signing Antony, Express Sport has been told.

Although the Moroccan, who helped Ajax reach the Champions League semi-finals under Erik ten Hag in 2018/19, has been identified as the Brazilian’s replacement – the Dutch giants are still interested in bringing him onboard from Chelsea following his miserable move to Stamford Bridge in 2020.

Ziyech, who has already held meetings with Ajax chief Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to discuss a move, spent four years in Amsterdam before heading to the Premier League but now he is eager to explore a new challenge to pursue regular playing time.

The 29-year-old came off the bench in Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat to Leeds on Sunday and is currently out of favour under Thomas Tuchel.

Ajax are set to hold discussions with the player over a potential return to Holland before deciding whether to launch a formal bid.

Chelsea are willing to entertain a sale after holding talks with AC Milan earlier in the transfer window before the move broke down.

Ziyech is understood to be keen on heading back to the Johan Cruyff Arena and his brother has also dropped a clue that a deal could be on the cards after posting an old image of the player in an Ajax shirt on his Instagram story.

Should United manage to close a deal for Antony, there will be no doubt that Ajax will firm up their interest in a reunion with Ziyech as he is their priority attacking target.

Vanaken pushes for West Ham move

Club Brugge midfielder Hans Vanaken is publicly pushing for a move to West Ham after the Belgian club attempted to block his dream transfer.

The 29-year-old played the full 90 minutes as his side beat K.V. Kortrijk 2-1 in the Belgian Pro League on Sunday and Club Brugge fans made it clear they do not want to see their captain depart after displaying a banner that read: “Stay Hans, don’t go!”

Yet speaking after the game, Vanaken confirmed his desire to pursue a new challenge with West Ham, telling Eleven Sports: “This may be my last chance and I want to take it.

“There will be new talks next week.” West Ham are now expected to up their bid after an opening offer worth £8.4m was rejected by Club Brugge.

The Hammers are now under pressure to bundle some signings over the line after losing their third successive Premier League match against Brighton on Sunday. The 2-0 defeat leaves them bottom of the table.

Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri is set to complete his move to the London Stadium in the coming days in a deal worth up to £15m.

West Ham will pay around £13m plus £2m in add-ons for the Italy international full-back, who is now set to undergo a medical.

The deal had initially looked dead in the water after collapsing last week but West Ham have since revived negotiations with Chelsea before reaching an agreement a matter of days ago.

David Moyes was keen to find some cover for Aaron Cresswell to ease the burden on the former Tranmere and Ipswich man.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Filip Kostic, who has now joined Juventus and Leicester’s Luke Thomas were also the subjects of interest but Emerson is now expected to seal his move across London imminently.

Hans Vanaken West Ham

Club Brugge captain Hans Vanaken wants to join West Ham (Image: GETTY)

Josh Bowler could seal Premier League move

Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Bournemouth are all in the race to sign Blackpool winger Josh Bowler.

The 23-year-old, who was signed by Everton from QPR in 2017 but failed to make a first-team appearance in four years, has been lighting up the Championship with the Tangerines.

Bowler caught the eye once again on Saturday as Michael Appleton’s side drew 3-3 in a fiercely-contested Lancashire derby at Turf Moor.

Forest had previously shown interest in Bowler in January but now they are considering a fresh approach for the tricky dribbler.

Fulham and Bournemouth are also in contention for his signature with Blackpool now braced for offers before the September 1 deadline.

Promotion-chasing Watford could also potentially throw their hats into the ring after generating £45m from the sales of Emmanuel Dennis and Joao Pedro, who is set to join Newcastle for £25m.

Ismaila Sarr could yet depart Vicarage Road but his £25m move to Aston Villa has collapsed. Crystal Palace remain interested in the Senegal international.

Josh Bowler

Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Fulham are all looking at Josh Bowler (Image: GETTY)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles attracting interest

Arsenal expect to offload Ainsley Maitland-Niles before the transfer deadline with West Ham, Bournemouth, Fulham and two Europe clubs among those to show interest in the versatile England international.

The 24-year-old, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Roma, was the subject of an enquiry from Nottingham Forest earlier in the window.

Mikel Arteta has made it clear to the player that he is not part of his plans for the 2022/23 campaign but the Gunners are yet to receive any offers for Maitland-Niles.

The former West Brom loanee is now in the final year of his contract and would therefore be available at a cut-price. A loan move plus one-year contract extension is also another possibility.

Movement is expected in the next nine days as Arsenal look to move the defender on to complete their long list of summer departures.

Arsenal Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Arsenal expect to offload Ainsley Maitland-Niles before the transfer deadline (Image: GETTY)

Leicester try to shift Soumare

Leicester are hopeful of offloading Boubakary Soumare before the transfer window closes with Crystal Palace the latest club to express interest in the Frenchman.

Soumare’s stock was sky-high after he helped Lille win the Ligue 1 title in 2020/21 but his £17m move to the King Power Stadium has failed to live up to expectations.

Monaco were close to striking a £15m deal with the Foxes before negotiations collapsed – denying Soumare the chance to seal an immediate return to French football.

However, Palace are now circling and Leicester are actively ready to sanction his departure in an attempt to free up some late funds.

Stade Rennes have also looked at signing Soumare, who was previously linked with Manchester United and Chelsea but the player is not convinced by a move to Roazhon Park.

Jannik Vestergaard has also received the green light to depart Leicester but the Dane intends to stay at the club and fight for his place following a drastic fall from grace.



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