The World Cup might be one of the most entertaining in memory but it is obstructing the flow of transfers across Europe. Thankfully, the semi finals are nigh and only the Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, and Brazil remain. These four squads obviously contain some of the most talented players in the world and some will be making moves this summer. It will be interesting if any Premier League clubs manage to sign a player who will be forever branded as a "World Cup winner" in the summer.
Anyway, here is the latest news and views from what is going on in the Premier League from players who are close to signing for clubs, contract renewals, baseless rumours, and ambitious designs on commonly agreed quality.
Club that likes to sign French players nearing signing of French player from a club that likes to sign French players.
Arsenal have lost a French international right back to a Premier League rival and have creatively targeted a French international right back from a Premier League rival. This is how life works at Arsene Wenger's Arsenal but it is a good move even if Mathieu Debuchy is only a couple of years younger than Bacary Sagna. Debuchy and Yohan Cabaye are big pals so some believed that the departure of Cabaye would be soon followed by that of Debuchy and that is reportedly very close to happening.
Debuchy told a reporter after France lost to Germany in the quarter-finals of the World Cup that a deal with Arsenal is close. He's a good right back but Debuchy but a bit of a red card threat, he's enterprising going forward and robust so should serve Arsenal well.
Master tactician and studious observer of humility targets a midfielder who can seriously midfield.
Arturo Vidal is a wanted man and that's because he is excellent at his job. Frankly, Liverpool could sign him and others would just have to take a seat in midfield. Louis van Gaal's stock continues to rise even further with each World Cup game. He uses water breaks to make tactical tweaks and substitutes his goalkeeper specifically for penalty shoot outs with a cheerful willingness to share his savvy with journalists gathered to learn from a tactical master. His new club have made a decent start to the transfer window picking up certain upgrades in Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera even if they were for excessively large fees and wages. Now it is time for the real deal: Arturo Vidal.
There are reports of interest in Mats Hummels and Thomas Vermaelen so there's still a desire from Manchester United to add big names. The size and history of the club is still attractive and the money is in place to offer big wages but being in the Champions League matters.
New manager wants to keep one of best players left at the club.
Morgan Schneiderlin could probably get a move to a club in the Champions League. The midfielder has spoken about his future and revealed that new Southampton manager, Ronald Koeman, wants the player to remain at the club.
Yes, he (Koeman) called me about a week ago. But what was said will stay between us. He wants me to stay and we'll see. I don't know yet. I still have three years left on my contract at Southampton. Nothing has happened, I am going to relax and go on holiday and we will see. We have a lot of money coming into the club and now it is up to the board to spend this money. I have seen how many players left the club. It is the club's choice and I have nothing to say about their choice.
It doesn't sound overwhelmingly positive and chimes in with some of the comments Dejan Lovren made about Southampton's ambition. It seems to be that an aggressive transfer window by Southampton will please remaining stars such as Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez. They're young enough to see how things pan out for another season before moving on if they believe their ambitions are best served elsewhere.
If Lovren does leave, it is unlikely that Southampton will consider any more player sales and that could result in improved contracts for those who have stayed loyal to the club. Four crucial players leaving in a single transfer window may have brought "a lot of money" as Schneiderlin has observed but it must be reinvested for the club to continue to progress. Lovren will not go for less than £18 million so a figure of around £70 million could be available without a single penny added from the owners, which should suit them just fine. That should be enough with the new TV deal for Southampton to buy replacements, renew contracts, and generally remain competitive for next season if a wise approach is taken in scouting and targeting players.
In other news...
Tom Ince has joined Steve Bruce's Hull City and happily declared that he has "unfinished business" in the Premier League and revealed plans for a possible move abroad "further down the line" if such an opportunity is available. Ince is Hull's third signing of the summer window, following the arrivals of Robert Snodgrass and Jake Livermore.
Marco Lopes will be joining Divock Origi at Lille next season as he's agreed a season-long loan deal from English Premier League champions Manchester City. The youngster added that the prospect of Champions League football would be "very exciting" and so it should be for any young talent.
Ashley Williams has signed a new contract with Swansea City until 2018 so dreams or nightmares can finally die. He says he wants to finish his career at the club and good luck to him as long as he doesn't kick Philippe Coutinho.
Burnley are preparing for a Premier League campaign and have added the services of Marvin Sordell from Bolton Wanderers and Matthew Taylor on a free transfer after his contract expired at West Ham. The 23 year-old Sordell signed a three-year deal while the veteran Taylor agreed a two-year deal that will take him past his 34th birthday. Burnely may need to do more than that to be competitive and keeping goalscorer Danny Ings will be one of the most important moves the club can do ahead of a potentially difficult Premier League season.