Yes, there are quite a few completed transfers to get through that have been completed over the past ten days. However, the Premier League champions deserve our attention. After Jamie Vardy's agent pulled off a trick that even Dynamo would have been proud of, Claudio Ranieri's side is starting to feel the dull pinch of success. While Vardy is sticking around for next season and beyond, two of his superstar teammates are not. They weren't top of the table transfer rumour fodder before their stunning contributions last season, but N'Golo Kanté and Riyad Mahrez are hotter than Pokemon Go. Well, maybe not.
A fee of £32 million has been agreed with Chelsea for the services of Kanté, enabling the French international to engage in talks with the West London side. Those talks will almost certainly conclude quickly, because we're grown ups and know he's already agreed a huge package to become the second signing in the Antonio Conte era. Goodbye, Nemanja Matić? Irrespective of whether Matić stays, what a fantastic signing this would be for Chelsea. Nampalys Mendy has some sizeable shoes to fill at Leicester City if Kanté seals a switch to Chelsea.
There's more! Yes, there's more trouble and lots of money ahead for Leicester City. Riyad Mahrez has been quite quiet this summer. There haven't been transfer rumours buzzing around the future of the Algerian international or anything unnecessarily unsavoury in the news. It's all been quiet, far too quiet. Silence no longer, people. Mahrez has rejected the offer of a new contract and is set to leave. Just. Like. That. It is better to strike after silence than to excessively flap one's lips in the summer heat.
Both players could stay with the Premier League champions, but it's all looking a bit unlikely at this stage. Both are 25 and might see these transfers as an opportunity to move to the next stage in their careers along with getting paid handsomely for doing so. Still, there's lots of time left in the transfer window. Now for those pesky completed deals in the Premier League and elsewhere...
Premier League Done Deals
Christian Benteke should really be in here, but Liverpool are having an absolute bubble asking for more than a guaranteed £27 million plus another £4.5 million in add-ons. James Tomkins, however, has joined Alan Pardew for £10 million. That's a very good deal for West Ham United, actually. Pardew has been a fan ever since working with him at the Hammers and now has his man. He'd feel a more complete and sexier Pardew with Benteke, though. Just saying.
Middlesbrough have made a few signings. Midfielder Marten de Roon (who????) has joined from Atalanta for a reported £12 million, Victor Valdes has moved to Teeside on a freebie, and former Liverpool right back Antonio Barragán has made the move from Valencia. Returning to the Premier League is no joke. Álvaro Negredo is on his way too, a transfer that would be quite a coup for Aitor Karanka's side. If both Middlesbrough and Valencia find an agreement of sorts on an acceptable fee and deal for all parties, the former Manchester City striker will return for a second spell in English football.
Matt Phillips can be a real handful with his pace and directness, and Premier League defences will become familiar with his name once again as he joined West Bromwich Albion for £5.5 million. It's a four-year deal to learn the secrets and tricks Tony Pulis hides under that baseball hat of his. Phillips might also discover the shortcut to Mordor if he runs and fouls enough. Oh, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan went somewhere to earn far more money than he's worth. Lewis Cook joined Bournemouth from Leeds United. Does anyone care about that deal? Okay, then.
Graziano Pellè is believed to be one of the highest paid players in the world after moving to Shandong Luneng Taishan for £12 million. The hunky striker turned 31 this week and will be set up for life. Good luck to the man who celebrates a goal with energy and passion. We need more footballers who can celebrate a goal well; it's an underrated art form.
Pellè will form a partnership with Papiss Cissé who moved there this month, but Charlie Austin, Shane Long, and Jay Rodriguez don't exactly spell poverty in attack for Southampton. Whether a big striker will arrive to help Claude Puel is unknown. What we do know is that the Saints have marched off with a 20-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder for £12.8 million. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is the young man joining another new era at an exemplary model of Premier League stability and upwards mobility. Insert Liverpool joke here.
Now, this is one transfer to watch out for; fantasy Premier League managers take note. The talented Gökhan Töre has moved to West Ham on loan with a £10 million purchase option. The 24-year-old wide player links up again with Slaven Bilić after their time together at Beşiktaş. Fenerbahçe have probably been blinded by the brilliance of Martin Škrtel, a player who is good at holding onto attackers. Ashley Fletcher will also be at West Ham after the young striker joined from Manchester United after his contract expired. 18-year-old defender Tyler Reid moved from Man United to Swansea, seeing as we're vaguely in a section that involves Man United.
Vincent Janssen is now ready to be schooled by Mauricio Pochettino after the 22-year-old Dutch striker joined Tottenham Hotspur from AZ Alkmaar. Janssen banged an impressive 27 goals in 34 Eredivisie appearances last season, but it's the the Dutch league so time will tell. He follows Victor Wanyama and cost £17 million. That's £28 million on two players in positions of need in an era of cloying gluttony in England's top flight. Spurs trying to do things without going Troy Deeney or Christian Benteke. There's still time for transfer madness to touch Spurs, though.
Barcelona seem to be fond of French players at the moment. Central defender Samuel Umtiti joined for a reported £21 million from Lyon, while Lucas Digne moved from Paris Saint-Germain for £13.9 million. Mehdi Benatia is a very good defender, possibly excellent in a time where too many defenders are given far more respect than they deserve. The 29-year-old joined Juventus on loan for a fee of £2.2 million with an option to make the deal permanent for a further £14.3 million. That's not a bad deal at all for the reliable Moroccan international. Schalke are getting ready to lose Leroy Sané, because Pep gets what he wants.
Here's a few good ones before we wrap up. Sam Allardyce is the favourite to become Roy Hodgson's successor as England manager. Wilmots has left Belgium and Shevchenko has become Ukraine's manager. Seriously, though, there is something wrong with English football when Allardyce succeeding Hodgson is the best thing the FA can come up with to account for at least six years of shaping the national team. Oh dear.