With the transfer window due to close in two weeks, the pressure is mounting on Premier League clubs to get their business done in time, and not everyone is enjoying the process.
Tetchy Conte sours mood
Despite spending £130 million on Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko since masterminding Chelsea’s title triumph, Conte remains miffed Manchester United chief Jose Mourinho won the race for Romelu Lukaku, while Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro also eluded him. Those miscues, combined with the departures of Nemanja Matic, John Terry and Nathan Ake, have left Chelsea short of quality understudies.
Pochettino eyes fresh faces
A quick glance at the scoreline from Tottenham’s 2-0 victory at Newcastle last Sunday suggested all is well with Mauricio Pochettino’s side. But the costly redevelopment of White Hart Lane has forced Tottenham to be cautious with their spending. Tottenham start their temporary stay at Wembley with a visit from Chelsea, who beat them there in last season’s FA Cup semi-finals.
Coutinho vexes Liverpool
Liverpool have found an already demanding start to the season marred by a tug-of-war with Barcelona over Coutinho. Ignoring Coutinho’s transfer request, Liverpool’s American owners have dug their heels in, insisting the Brazil forward isn’t for sale at any price. With Coutinho sidelined by a back injury, Liverpool have had a glimpse of life without their prize asset and the early returns have been mixed.
Everton go for broke
Fortified by the British record £75 million fee received from United for Lukaku, Everton manager Ronald Koeman has embarked on the kind of spending spree never before seen at Goodison Park. Some cynics have noted Koeman’s signings, also including Wayne Rooney and Davey Klaassen, lack the one thing they really need after Lukaku’s exit — a top-class striker in his prime.
Mourinho bides his time
When Mourinho laid out his plans for a twin assault on the Premier League and Champions League, he handed United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward a list of four positions he believed must be strengthened. Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic have arrived for a combined cost of £140 million, but Mourinho’s wish for a penetrating winger may have to wait until January. Encouraged Mourinho takes his team to Swansea on Saturday.