Football transfer rumours: Lisandro Martínez and Tielemans to Arsenal?

Have Manchester United signed anyone yet? Answer, of course: no. Their supporters have spent the first weeks of the transfer window getting very angry about this, even interrupting chief suit Richard Arnold’s lunchtime pint to show their frustrations.

So, any progress? To set aside the Frenkie de Jong tedium, there’s also Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, and Antony and Lisandro Martínez of Ajax. A theme there, right, all Dutch connections. And considering those from the Eredivisie don’t always find it easy in the Premier League, all a bit risky. In the case of Martínez, there’s the added complication that Arsenal want the Argentinian defender. Will that push Arnold et al into working faster? Let’s see about that. The price is set at £43m, and the Gunners have already offered £38m.

Cheaper may be the return of Sergio Romero, who spent last season at Venezia, but is being eyed as a chief reserve to David de Gea with Dean Henderson expected to leave the club. How might United pay for all these new players? Not by cutting Cristiano Ronaldo from the wage bill, after Bruno Fernandes said he expects to see his mate in training on Monday morning. Arsenal, meanwhile, remain hopeful of signing Youri Tielemans from Leicester. He prefers London over Manchester.

In the interim, Raphinha is wanted by just about everyone, and Barcelona, who the Leeds midfielder was linked to back when he was celebrating avoiding relegation in his underpants, seem to have found the money to sign him. Chelsea had previously been the favourites, with Arsenal also in the hunt, too, but Barça will be able to get hold of £60m, meaning Leeds will have cashed in the Brazilian and Kalvin Phillips, set to sign for Manchester City on Friday, for £100m.

Chelsea’s new owner, Todd Boehly, is trying to make his presence felt, and is learning his new job as interim sporting director the hard way by having to deal with Juventus, one of the transfer mercato’s canniest operators, in trying to prise Matthijs de Ligt away. Juve want £102m, what it says in the buyout clause of the Dutchman’s contract, and nothing less.

Juve might be interested in taking Timo Werner’s movement and wayward finishing skills to Turin, which gives Boehly some wiggle room. He’s also involved in a chase for Manchester City’s Nathan Aké, a former Chelsea youngster, and City are not a club given to selling players too easily, so good luck with that, Todd. And Presnel Kimpembe, of PSG, too, who may be a little easier to get hold of.

Another club dealing with Juventus may well be Liverpool. Juve want Roberto Firmino, set to follow Sadio Mané out of the club with French playmaker Adrien Rabiot to come the other way. Because, as all we transfer window lovers know, the swap deals always come off.