The Premier League Is All Business - Which Could Make Deadline Day Dull

A lot of transfer business seems to be getting done unusually early this summer
15:23, 30 Jun 2023

Good news for football managers means bad news for Sky Sports News.

Have you too noticed that a hell of a lot of transfer business seems to be getting done unusually early this summer?

Declan Rice, Mason Mount, James Maddison, Kai Havertz to name just the big household names who are on the move before July.


Then there’s the will-he-won’t-he saga of Harry Kane and Bayern Munich.

The managers concerned will be breathing huge sighs of relief that maybe just for once they will be able to sit back and relax on September 1 as the infamous digital clock on SSN ticks down to the closing of this summer transfer window. 

Viewing figures could plummet on what is one of the biggest viewing days of the football calendar. Fans unable to avoid being hauled towards their TV screens like sardines in a trawler net.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has splurged £170m in a week. Even if there is still some haggling to be done over the method of payment to West Ham for their captain Declan Rice, the deal is effectively done while memories of Glastonbury are still fresh in the mind.

The same goes for Havertz’s transfer from Chelsea. A £65m sale swiftly agreed.

Mount has been in the departure lounge at Chelsea since flying off to the World Cup with England last November.  

Contract talks with chairman Todd Boehly had stalled and never fully got going again. To the extent that Stamford Bridge’s poster boy is now leaving on sour terms when he should have been shaping up to be Chelsea’s next captain.


Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has moved far quicker than any of his players could last season to pounce on Maddison in what could prove one of the best deals of the lot.

Taking full advantage of Leicester City’s relegation, Spurs have for once shaken off their nasty habit of playing hardball to get in quick and get one of the best attacking midfielders in England into their squad. 

For Levy it is a smart move, unusually. Until July 1, Tottenham remains a Champions League club in the eyes of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play police. 

Never mind that they went out in March in the last 16, their budget reflects their status in Europe accordingly.  

Next season they are not in Europe at all which means FFP squeezes their spending power just when they need to splash out and rebuild.

Many Premier League squads are reporting back for training at the start of next week. Chelsea will look a vastly different place to just a few weeks ago without Mount, Havertz, Mateo Kovacic, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly and N’Golo Kante gone. It is likely a few more will follow them out of the door too. 

Incoming boss Mauricio Pochettino will see two new faces when he starts work this Monday with deals for Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson in the bag. 

Everyone is getting their housekeeping done with the sun still high in the summer skies, whether that be ins or outs.

Clearly Arteta wants time to settle his new signings in. It’s a trend the Spaniard has been trying to set gradually during his three and a half years as head coach. 

During his first full summer in charge he brought in winger Willian on a free transfer deep into August. It was similar with Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale and skipper Martin Odegaard in 2021.

Olekzandr Zinchenko was the latest summer arrival last year on July 22. Arteta has been getting the message across that he wants his new men early.

Arsenal have been pursuing Rice for months so the only bartering to be done was with West Ham who virtually opened the door for their impressive midfielder to leave the moment they won the Europa Conference League on June 7.

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel is desperate for Kane. Having failed to sign him for Chelsea two summers ago he is having another go.

The England captain simply refused to leave Tottenham for their fierce rivals when Tuchel was in charge, the German believes now he has moved back home there is a chance of swinging a deal.

This one could be more tricky. With just a year to go on his £200,000 a week contract, Kane is ripe to be snapped up.  

Mount was in the same position with only 12 months remaining and the pressure is very much on the selling club to cash in or lose their player on a Bosman free transfer in 12 months’ time.

But Kane is Tottenham’s talisman. They already have a new keeper in Guglielmo Vicario and a coup with Maddison. But if Kane is allowed to leave before the onset of Autumn it could undo all the early good work. 

This one could go to the wire and make transfer deadline day worth watching - just.

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