Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
DONE DEAL – Cheikhou Kouyate – Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace have signed midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate from West Ham on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee. The 28-year-old Senegal international was with the Hmmers for four seasons, making 129 Premier League appearances and scoring 12 goals. Kouyate becomes the Eagles’ second signing of the summer, after keeper Vicente Guaita arrived on a free from Getafe in La Liga.
“This is the right time to move because I needed a new challenge,” said Kouyate.
We’re delighted to announce Cheikhou Kouyaté has joined on a four-year deal! #SenEagle 🦅
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 1, 2018
DONE DEAL – Lucas Digne – Everton
Everton have announced the signing of French left-back Lucas Digne from Spanish giants Barcelona on a five-year deal for a fee believed to be in the region of £18m.
The 25-year-old joined Barca from Paris St-Germain back in 2016, and he has won La Liga and Ligue 1 titles with his former clubs. Digne has 21 senior caps for France.
“Everton is a big club with a great history. I want to play games, win games and excite the fans with the quality of our football,” Digne said.
— Everton (@Everton) August 1, 2018
Moussa Marega, Yacine Brahimi and Joao Felix – West Ham
West Ham have looking to seal a triple swoop this week by completing up deals for Porto duo Moussa Marega and Yacine Brahimi, while also closing a deal for Benfica wonderkid Joao Felix.
Marega scored 22 times for Porto last season, while fleet-footed winger Brahimi has been one of the stars of the Primeira Liga for years. Joao Felix is regarded as one of the best young talents in Portugal – the attacking midfielder had been linked with moves to Chelsea, Man City and PSG. (ESPN)
Jefferson Lerma – Bournemouth
Bournemouth in advanced talks with Spanish club Levante over the signing of Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma, according to reports. Negotiations had reached an impasse, but a fee of circa £27m has now been agreed between the clubs.
Lerma handed in a transfer request last week to try to push through a move. The combative midfielder has 9 senior caps for Colombia. (Daily Mail)
Badou N’Diaye – Everton
Reports are emerging that suggest that Everton are in talks with Stoke City over a swap deal to take midfielder Badou N’Diaye to Goodison Park, with veteran defender Ashley Williams heading in the opposite direction.
N’Diaye is keen to extend his stay in the Premier League after he impressed after a £14m move from Galatasaray in January. Stoke would prefer to keep the Senegalese international however, to aid their attempts at winning promotion from the Championship. (Daily Mail)
Yerry Mina – Manchester United
Man Utd have cooled their interest in Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire and have instead turned their attentions to Barcelona defender Yerry Mina. The 23-year old Colombian international looks set to leave the Nou Camp this summer one way or the other.
It’s thought United could do a deal for the centre half at around £30m – less than half of what Leicester City are asking for Harry Maguire. Mina put in a string of impressive performances at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. (The Mirror)
Lewis Cook – Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is contemplating making a £30m move for Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook. 21-year old Cook established himself as a key member of Bournemouth’s team last season under Eddie How.
Spurs have yet to add to their squad this summer and they could make Cook their first new addition of the transfer window. Cook captained England to Under-20 World Cup glory last year and was on standby for Gareth Southgate’s senior squad in Russia for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. (Daily Star)
Salomon Rondon – Newcastle
Salomon Rondon’s proposed move from West Brom to Newcastle has hit a road block, as West Brom and Newcastle struggle to reach an agreement over a fee. The Baggies are reluctant to let Rondon go as they try to bounce straight back up to the Premier League this season.
Newcastle have offered to send Dwight Gayle to the Hawthorns in exchange for Rondon, though WBA are thought to have baulked at Gayle’s wage demands. (Chronicle Live)
Jordan Ayew – Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace are reportedly close to completing a deal for Swansea City’s Ghanaian forward Jordan Ayew. As part of the deal, Palace have agreed to send former Ajax midfielder Jaïro Riedewald to Swansea on a permanent basis.
Ayew scored 11 times for the Swans last season, but his goals couldn’t help the Welsh side beat the drop. (The Guardian)
Paul Pogba – Barcelona
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has told Spanish club Barcelona that he is willing to sanction a swap deal for Paul Pogba, that would see Ivan Rakitic move to Old Trafford.
Mourinho’s relationship with Pogba last season was has been strained and now the French World Cup winning star’s future at Man Utd looks less secure than it once did. (Don Balon)
Wilfried Zaha – Chelsea
Chelsea have made a player plus cash offer to Crystal Palace to try to secure the signature of their tricky winger Wilfried Zaha. Chelsea are believed to have tabled an offer that includes £30m plus midfielder Danny Drinkwater.
Drinkwater has struggled to make an impact at Stamford Bridge since moved there from Leicester City and now he looks set to be used as bait to tempt Palace into selling Zaha. (Metro)
Mohamed Salah – Real Madrid
Fresh reports have emerged linking Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah with Real Madrid. Salah has only just inked a new long-term contract at Anfield and is thought to be extremely happy on Merseyside.
However, Real Madrid still think they can lure Salah to Spain, though it’s likely to take an offer of close to £200m to sign the Egyptian international. (El Pais)
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