Transfer Rumor Roundup: Sessegnon to Spurs, Arsenal back in for Zaha

Kyle Bonn
NBC Sports

A long-rumored switch may finally be taking action this week as Fulham winger Ryan Sessegnon is reportedly set to leave for a move to Tottenham.

According to The Telegraph, the two sides have had a “breakthrough” in negotiations and Spurs could capture the player soon for around $25 million plus add-ons.

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Sessegnon has reportedly been a Tottenham target for years, with the club attempting to pry him away from Craven Cottage multiple times. With Fulham relegated this past season, Sessegnon has rejected a number of contract offers from the Whites in favor of looking to find a permanent Premier League home.

The 19-year-old England youth international was a key part of Fulham’s promotion campaign two years ago, but struggled at times with the speed and physicality of the top flight last season. Still, Sessegnon is considered a bright prospect and can play either left-back or move forward into a more attacking role.

Interestingly, the report also states that Fulham is interested in a pair of fringe Tottenham players who are likely leaving the club. Both Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Josh Onomah have been left off the preseason roster and thus are probably on the move, and the report states that Fulham could be interested in both. Whether that means they will be included in a swap deal, or cash from the Sessegnon transfer could be immediately used to then negotiate a new deal for the two is unclear.

According to a report by The Independent, Arsenal is looking for creative ways to keep a move for Wilfried Zaha on the cards despite Crystal Palace’s massive asking price. The Gunners have apparently suggested a new offer of $68 million plus $12.5 million of add-ons and a loan for young Reiss Nelson as a temporary replacement.

While Palace apparently believes this is still nowhere close to their valuation, it represents an Arsenal desire to keep negotiating despite a strapped summer budget that has them struggling to meet Palace’s asking price, which is rumored to be near $100 million.

While the report states that there is still plenty of discussions still to take place and Arsenal may have to pony up even more, it also mentions that Crystal Palace’s negotiating base isn’t exactly rock solid. Zaha has told the club he’d like to move on and while that doesn’t mean he’s at the stage of forcing a move, it does signal that it may be in the club’s best interest to concede on certain matters and cash in now rather than create an internal struggle that devalues his position on the open market even further.

A report by The Times suggests that a Manchester United deal for Nicolas Pepe is “progressing” and while talks have dragged on for much of the summer, there could be movement in the short-term.

With Liverpool not looking to spend big this summer, Arsenal’s budget a struggle and Everton reportedly focusing on Moise Kean, Manchester United could be in a position of strength among the other suitors.

His agent spoke vaguely about the possibility of a move this summer, acknowledging that Pepe has interested plenty of clubs and that a move away from Lille is likely. “All parties need to reach an agreement,” his agent Samir Khiat said to L’Equipe Mercato. “There are exchanges and discussions. He is wanted by a considerable number of clubs. For him the most important thing is to be wanted and to go to a good club in which he will play and continue to progress.”

The 24-year-old scored 22 goals in 38 Ligue 1 matches for Lille last season, helping them to a surprising second-place finish in Ligue 1. Pepe is considered to be valued at around $73 million.

The Chelsea official website has hinted that fringe pair Reece James and Lewis Baker will likely be moving out on loan this season as the club looks to get them playing time.

The club has a somewhat awkward Media Watch section on their official website that drums up interest but also gives credit to media rumors that clubs often wish to steer clear of.

James, a 19-year-old defender, spent last season on loan at Wigan and is considered to be a future first-team prospect by the club, according to the Daily Star report that Chelsea linked to on the site. While they have reportedly turned down a bid from Crystal Palace for a permanent offer, Roy Hodgson has openly admitted they need defensive options and therefore a loan could make sense to help cover the gaps in the short-term.

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Baker has been a journeyman loan option over the past few years, seeing time at Reading, Leeds, Middlesbrough, and Vitesse over the past few years. Still without a view to the first-team, the Media Watch pointed to a report from Germany that suggests Baker could be headed to Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Every loan the Blues make this coming season will be noteworthy given their transfer ban, leaving the club looking at internal options to fill holes in the first-team squad. Therefore, any player that departs this summer thins the available pot of players the team can look to moving forward in the short-term.

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