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There is just a week until the transfer window closes shut in the Premier League and some major deals are almost done, but not confirmed. Leading the pack is Nicolas Pepe who had an outstanding season with Lille and his impending move to Arsenal. Whilst last weeks blog was concerned by the Gunners up and coming season, bringing in quality like Pepe is obviously going to boost the club. They will be breaking their transfer record too as reports are suggesting he will cost £72m.
By making the switch Pepe will be giving up Champions League football which he fought so hard to achieve with Lille who surprised everyone in Ligue 1 by finishing as runners up to PSG. But he will believe that with Arsenal he will be returning to the competition soon enough. All of a sudden Arsenal's season could be impacted very positively and it does look mouthwatering to think of Pepe alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who finished joint top goal scorer in England last season.
Everton look like they will secure the services of Moise Kean from Juventus, which would be a fantastic swoop for the club. The fee is reportedly under £30m although Juventus will likely have some form of buy-back option. When Kean was given the chance to play in the side at the back end of last season, after the club had in theory wrapped up the title early, he really shone and scored goals as if he had been playing for much of the season.
Kean looks like a quality player and will be an added bonus for Everton who have seen Idrissa Gueye sold to PSG last week. For the club it is all about progress from last season and Kean if he gets off on the front foot should be able to help the club achieve that.
Romelu Lukaku could be joining either Juventus or Inter Milan although Juventus remain the favourites as that deal could be part of their forward Pablo Dybala joining Manchester United. Lukaku is a quality striker but he has struggled somewhat for Manchester United last season and the deal would be arguably a good one for United. For Lukaku going to Italy could be good for him but at the end of the day joining up with perhaps the best defensive league in Europe could expose the Belgian even more.
The saga continues in Spain with Gareth Bale who thought that he was about to join the Chinese Super League where he could have commanded wages of up to £1m a week. But despite manager Zinedine Zidane wanting him out of the club the Real Madrid board have blocked the move, and they are probably right to do so.
It's true that questions remain over the fact that Bale hasn't really integrated himself in Spain and that he has had niggling injuries but he remains a supreme player and apart from his dizzying wages of £15m a season at Real he is a player that the club should want in their team. With Zidane disagreeing with this what will the outcome be? Could we see the Frenchman quitting the club twice in just over a year? He may well feel undermined by Madrid president Florentino Perez. Or he may just have to bite the bullet, pull on his pride and accept that Bale can still do a job for the club.
Keeping with La Liga as it stands no TV broadcasters have taken up the option to show any matches in the UK for next season with the start of the season less than three weeks away. The irony that British fans won't be able to see arguably the best player in the world in Lionel Messi ply his trade in 2019 won't be lost on some football fans. Plus this season is gearing up to be a special one in Spain with Real Madrid investing heavily in the market and Atletico Madrid splashing the cash, we should have a three way struggle for the league title.
However maybe the British public have simply voted with their feet and in general are not that bothered with watching La Liga. First Sky were happy not to pay just £20m to renew their contract and the downward spiral had started from there. Of course there are plenty of fans in the UK that want to see La Liga but perhaps there are simply not enough?