Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Premier League Free Agents: Where the bookies think they’ll end up this summer

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While the 2019/2020 campaign might have finally entered a well-deserved summer break, the action behind the scenes will be well underway as teams from across the Premier League draw up their transfer wishlist.

However, with the current economic conditions playing a vital role in each team’s activity this summer, managers from up and down the country could be casting their eye at those free agents still waiting by their phones.

So, with a number of the Premier League’s top stars still available on a free transfer this summer, where do the bookmakers think they’ll be ending up over the coming months?

Jan Vertonghen

Only playing a bit part role in Jose Mourinho’s plans since football marked its return from the enforced break last month, it was no surprise to many around North London that Jan Vertonghen would be seeking a new challenge this summer.

Enjoying an eight-year stay with Tottenham and cementing his spot as a fan favourite, the 33-year-old made 315 appearances for Spurs and helped the Lilywhites reach finals in the Champions League and League Cup.

Stating earlier in the week that an announcement regarding his future will be made “sooner rather than later“, Tottenham’s 2018 Player of the Year will not be short of options from across the continent.

Speaking with talkSport and refusing to rule out extending his stay in the Premier League, it is being heavily rumored that Manchester United have made their intentions clear to the Belgium international.

Along with reports in Italy suggesting Wolves have chucked their name in the hat, it is also believed that a host of Italian sides have reached out to the defender’s representatives.

However, although a host of Premier League sides might snap up the chance to secure his signature, the bookmakers believe that Vertonghen could be heading back to where it all began.

Starting his career with a six-year spell at Dutch giants Ajax and helping them lift back-to-back Eredivisie titles, the versatile defender made over 150 appearances for the Amsterdam outfit.

Vertonghen is currently priced at 7/5 with 888sport to make what would be a much-welcomed return to the Johan Cruyff Arena this summer.

Willian

While Willian’s current deal at Stamford Bridge has been extended to the end of August, it is no secret that the Brazilian international and his team are in talks with clubs across the globe.

Since making the move to Chelsea back in 2013, Willian has won two Premier League titles and an FA Cup during his tenure in the capital and it is believed that he has five offers on the table.

With Sky Sports reporting that Barcelona are willing to match his demands and remaining a long-term admirer of the winger, David Beckham’s Inter Miami have also offered a lucrative three and a half year deal.

Although many felt that he would have his chances cut short due to Frank Lampard’s arrival last summer, the 31-year-old has remained a constant performer for Chelsea this season.

With only Tammy Abraham bagging more than his 11 strikes this year, the Blues are also desperate for Willian to sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

While they might not be willing to match his demands for a three-year extension, it was reported earlier in the week that Lampard’s side have reopened discussions in an attempt to find a solution.

Making it no secret over the past months that his top priority is to extend his stay in the Premier League, it appears that one of Chelsea’s London rivals are in pole position to secure his signature this summer.

Before the two sides face off in Saturday’s FA Cup Final at Wembley, Arsenal have remained heavily linked with a move for the veteran winger.

In fact, a landslide pick with the bookmakers to make the move to North London before the 2020/2021 campaign quickly gets underway, Willian is already priced as low as 1/3 with Unibet to be wearing red come the end of the summer.

Ryan Fraser

Since announcing in the middle of June that he had rejected a short-term contract extension with Bournemouth following the Premier League’s return to action, Ryan Fraser is a name reportedly attracting a string of interest.

Heavily criticised by many on the South Coast after refusing to help out in the Cherries’ failed attempt to avoid the drop this summer, Fraser’s contract at the Vitality expired on June 30th and he will be looking to sort out his immediate future over the coming weeks.

Although the Scotland international might have failed to find his best form in what was a stop-start campaign, his remarkable run of form during the 2018/2019 season proved that he can be a real asset to any side.

Recording seven goals and supplying 14 assists, both Newcastle and Crystal Palace are the latest sides who have shown a real interest in securing his signature this summer.

While West Ham are another name that has been floated as a possible destination for the former Aberdeen starlet, the bookmakers believe that Fraser will be heading to another club in the capital.

With Football Insider claiming earlier in the month that he has already agreed on terms with Spurs, the 26-year-old is currently priced at 6/4 with 888sport to link up with Jose Mourinho’s side this summer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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