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Transfers

One winner and one loser as West Ham finalise Harold Moukoudi deal

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West Ham United are closing in on the signing of Le Havre defender Harold Moukoudi as they look to bolster their defence with the powerful French youth international.

Sky Sports report that a £10.7 million deal for the 20-year-old is close and he is expected to join the Hammers before the transfer window slams shut ahead of the Premier League season kicking off.

His arrival will have a big impact on some people at the club, but who is set to benefit and who is set to lose out?

Winner: Manuel Pellegrini

The new West Ham manager has certainly got his way in the transfer market this summer with David Gold and David Sullivan having spent big to ensure that the coach is happy and can build the squad he needs for success.

In Moukoudi, the signing also represents a very clear change of plans from the new boss, who is keen to bring in younger players to develop, as opposed to the older and proven players who joined last summer.

Loser: Declan Rice

After making a first team breakthrough under Slaven Bilic and David Moyes last season, Declan Rice may be reluctant to welcome into the squad another young player who plays in central defence and may well be competing with him for a spot in the side. The fact that the club are even looking may be a concern for him.

“It’s a new manager coming in and I think everyone has got a fresh start under him. I can’t wait to show him what I’m about and what I can do. I played 32 or 33 times last year and I want to carry on this year. I want to keep playing games and keep improving and learning.”

Rice knows that the pressure is on.

It could allow Rice to move forward into a holding midfielder role that he is more used to from his time in the youth team, though losing a spot that he made his own in 2017/18 is a threat and there are plenty of new arrivals in midfield too.

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Celtic

Who is Daniel Arzani, Celtic’s imminent loan signing?

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Photo: Getty Images.

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Celtic are close to sealing a loan signing from Manchester City in the form of 19-year-old Daniel Arzani, though the Australian is yet to officially sign for the Premier League club from Melbourne City.

Sky Sports say that a deal could be tied up imminently as Rodgers admitted the news after opening their Scottish Premier League campaign with a 3-1 win over Livingston.

“He is, I believe, finalising his deal with Manchester City and in talks with ourselves to come in, as a possibility. He is another exciting young talent and we will see if we can get that organised in the next few days. It is not going to be (before) midweek. He has just flown in, he hasn’t trained. He has obviously been at the World Cup so he will need to be in for a couple of weeks before he gets up to speed.”

Brendan Rodgers revealed that a deal is close.

Where does he play?

Arzani can play on either flank, though he does tend to prefer the left side. His versatility will be crucial for Rodgers and Celtic and provide an exciting new option within the squad.

 

What’s his style of play?

An exciting, traditional winger, Arzani loves to bomb forward down the flank with pace and flare. At times, he can drift inside and look to threaten, but on the whole he looks to create opportunities from out wide.

What experience does he have?

Not a lot, but despite having only played 24 games at first team level, Arzani can boast five international caps for Australia including three at the World Cup as he was used as a substitute in all three of his nation’s matches. With two goals for his club and one for his country, alongside three assists at club level, he is not prolific but does present a threat.

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Bournemouth

Three reasons why Tottenham’s potential Lewis Cook signing is summer’s best deal

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Photo: Getty Images.

Tottenham have barely been active in the transfer market this season but that could all be about to change with rumours floating of a £30 million bid for Bournemouth‘s Lewis Cook.

The Express say that Mauricio Pochettino‘s club have made the offer for the England international and are waiting to hear a response from the south coast as to whether a deal can be done with less than a week until the deadline comes and brings a close to the transfer window.

The 21-year-old notched up 29 Premier League games for the Cherries last season as he established himself as a regular in Eddie Howe’s side, showing just why Tottenham may have made a move.

“If clubs were in for Lewis Cook now, you would be looking at £20m or £30m. The manager did really well to sign him from Leeds at the right time for the right price. He took a step back with us for a season, improved his game and now he’s coming on leaps and bounds. He’s doing brilliantly with England and did really well for us last season. Credit to Lewis. He was excellent when he was out of the team. He worked really hard and even on days off, he came in. At the weekends, when he wasn’t involved, you would see him training and I think he realised what he needed to do. He got his head down and appreciated what the manager said. He is reaping the rewards for it now.”

Bournemouth team-mate and captain Simon Francis gave his view on his future.

Here’s why he could be a superb signing for Tottenham…

He’s perfect for Tottenham’s transfer policy

Young. English. With room to improve. Already established in the top flight. Lewis Cook is the perfect Tottenham signing and fits the mould to a tee.

Cook also happens to share an agent with full-back Kieran Trippier, which may help to ease negotiations between Daniel Levy and the player over a contract should the two clubs come to an agreement.

He’s an all-round midfielder

Usually more defensive than offensive, Cook is a true midfield general who looks to put his stamp on games and dominate the flow of fixtures that he’s involved in. Should Mousa Dembele depart, that would be a much welcome addition.

Whilst options like Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier may already have the holding role covered, Cook offers a more rounded option which can help to lead the team in a transition from defence to attack.

He’s homegrown

Tottenham’s current squad are one homegrown player short of the eight that Premier League squad registration requirements demand, meaning that they would be forced to only register 24 players, rather than 25.

With Cook potentially signing, he could rapidly fill that slot and become Tottenham’s eighth and 25th player to complete the squad with the kind of quality that Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping for.

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