Saturday 14 August, 12.30pm
Welcome to our rolling blog where you'll find up to date Premier League pre-season news with friendly results, transfer rumours and signings as we count down to the big kick-off for 2021/22...
"In the outright betting Manchester City 1.84/5 are favourites to retain their Premier League title with Liverpool 6.86/1, Chelsea 7.26/1 and Manchester United 9.617/2 their nearest rivals."
Key dates and odds
The Premier League season 2021/22 gets underway on Friday 13 August when newly-promoted Brentford host Arsenal for a London derby. After that, gameweek one continues across Saturday and Sunday.
In the outright betting Manchester City 1.84/5 are favourites to retain their Premier League title with Liverpool 6.86/1, Chelsea 7.26/1 and Manchester United 9.617/2 their nearest rivals.
Below you'll find updates on breaking transfer news, pre-season friendly results and anything else that we think Premier League bettors need to know.
Harry Kane is being backed to join Man City after reportedly failing to return to training at Tottenham this morning following his post Euros holiday.
Harry Kane is absent from training this morning with reports suggesting it isn't COVID related.? Betfair (@Betfair) August 2, 2021
Will he get the move he's pushing for? He's odds on to join Man City. pic.twitter.com/L1kGG6Evmt
Grealish heavy-odds on for City move
The Aston Villa captain has become Pep Guardiola's top target as he tries to freshen up his attack this summer. City want Harry Kane too but it's likely to be easier to bring in Grealish - following a reported £100m bid - than to prise Kane from Spurs.
Arsenal want to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan, according to reports. The striker won't come cheaply, though, and the Serie A champions are said to value him at around £77m. Italian newspapers say Inter turned down a bid that included Hector Bellerin or Alexandre Lacazette moving the other way.
The Gunners face competition from Atletico Madrid as they bid to bolster their frontline and retain the La Liga title this season.
Tottenham are also looking to strengthen and are interested in Argentina defender Cristian Romero of Atalanta and Wolves winger Adama Traore. The latter knows new Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo well as he was coached by him at the Molineux club.
Manchester United's big summer of signings could continue after they were linked with Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka. New Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann is confident, however, that the player will sign a new contract with the Bundesliga champions.
City want Grealish in time for Wembley
Jack Grealish is 8/13 to sign for Manchester City in the current transfer window amid reports Pep Guardiola wants the player in his squad in time for the Community Shield on 7 August.
League champions City take on FA Cup winners Leicester in the traditional season curtain-raiser a week on Saturday and it could be the first chance fans get to see Grealish in blue.
The England playmaker, who impressed with his ability to make an impact at Euro 2020, is high on Guardiola's list of priorities as he tries to freshen up his attack. City are 1.774/5 to retain their title in 2020/21.
Villa will offer the player a new contract and he is 5/4 to remain there beyond this window.
Arsenal want Maddison but he won't be cheap
Arsenal are interested in signing James Maddison but the midfielder is under contract until 2024 and Leicester won't let him leave cheaply.
The Foxes value the player at over £70m and are prepared to play hard-ball, just as they did two years ago when they made Manchester United pay £75m for Harry Maguire.
The Gunners may baulk at the price for Maddison so they are also monitoring Martin Odegaard's situation at Real Madrid following reports in Spain that they may allow him to leave this summer.
Lautaro Martinez is another Gunners target, according to reports, as Mikel Arteta looks at bolstering his attack with the Inter Milan man.
Brighton defender Ben White's move to Arsenal could be completed in the next few days.
Manchester United are having a busy summer, signing Jadon Sancho and finalising a deal for Raphael Varane, but there are more rumours about Paul Pogba leaving Old Trafford.
Paris Saint-Germain are interested in bringing the World Cup winner home to the French capital and reportedly speaking to the player's representatives. United may accept a bid of around £45m.
United confirm Varane and City prepare Grealish offer
Manchester United have said the signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid will be completed "subject to a medical and to player terms being finalised". As reported yesterday (see below), the deal is thought to be worth an initial fee of £34m.
Chelsea are also trying to bring in a highly-rated French defender from a Spanish club.
The Champions League winners have have opened talks with Sevilla about 22-year-old France international Jules Kounde, who has a £68.4m release clause
Manchester City are preparing to bid for Jack Grealish, according to several reports this morning.
City are said to be about to offer £75m plus add-ons for the player who is 1/2 to move to the Premier League champions this summer.
Villa value the player at £100m so may reject City's initial offer in the hope they return with a bigger bid. Grealish, who was impressive for Villa last season and made an impact coming off the bench for England at Euro 2020, is 6/5 to stay at the Midlands club.
City are 1.784/5 to retain their Premier League title in 2021/22. They won it by 12 points last season but Pep Guardiola is keen to refresh his squad, particularly in attack where they are also pursuing Tottenham's Harry Kane.
He's 4/11 to move to the Etihad in the current transfer window.
United agree fee for Varane and Spurs seal Gil deal
Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane is close to joining Manchester United after the clubs agreed an initial fee of £34m.
The France defender is set to become Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's second major signing of the summer - after Jadon Sancho's arrival was confirmed last week - and should strengthen United significantly at the back.
The Red Devils are 9.617/2 in the Premier League title outright betting on the Exchange.
Tottenham are also bringing in a player from Spain after the signing of Bryan Gil from Sevilla was confirmed.
The 20-year-old winger is currently representing Spain at the Tokyo Olympics and will join up with his new club at conclusion of the tournament.
Spurs paid £21.4m for the player and Erik Lamela moved the other way, bringing to an end his eight years in north London.
In management news, John Terry has left his assistant's role at Aston Villa to "pursue his objective of becoming a manager."
United close in on Varane and may call Saul
Manchester United are close to signing Raphael Varane, according to reports in English and Spanish newspapers. The Red Devils have been pursuing the France international and are set to lodge an official bid of around £50m in the next few days.
United have already signed winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now wants to strengthen his defence. Varane would be an impressive addition to the squad and, alongside Harry Maguire, could give United the platform to challenge for major trophies in 2021/22.
Solskjaer signed a new contract last week and, after finishing second last season, United are 9.89/1 in the Premier League outright winner betting.
United could also move for Varane's international teammate Jules Kounde. The 22-year-old defender currently plays for Sevilla.
Speculation continues around the future of Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez. He's 8/11 to join Barcelona but they may struggle to raise the funds and United are believed to be interested.
The Red Devils are 10/3 to sign Saul while Liverpool 4/1 could also swoop if the midfielder's move to Nou Camp fails to come off.
Elsewhere, Manchester City are ready to step up their pursuit of Jack Grealish.
Crystal Palace are in talks with Schalke over a fee for Ozan Kabak - the 21-year-old centre-back who spent part of last season on loan at Liverpool - although they could face competition from clubs in Germany and Spain.
Reports in Italy say Paris Saint Germain are talking with Kalidou Koulibaly's agent as they consider a move for the 30-year-old Napoli defender.
Shock defeat for Red Devils but West Ham impress
A number of Premier League clubs were in friendly action on Saturday with a mixed bag of results.
Manchester United, Leicester and Aston Villa all suffered defeats to EFL teams with perhaps the biggest surprise coming at Loftus Road where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men went down 4-2 to Championship outfit QPR.
It was by no means a strong United line-up with many of their big names who featured at Euro 2020 still on holiday, though the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James and Mason Greenwood did feature.
A relatively strong Leicester side drew 0-0 at League One side Burton before losing on penalties, while Aston Villa went down 2-0 at Stoke. West Ham put up the best friendly performance on Saturday, winning 6-2 at Celtic with Michail Antonio starring with a brace of goals.
Saturday's friendly results
Arseanl 4-1 Millwall
Burton 0-0 Leicester (Burton win on penalties)
Celtic 2-6 West Ham
Ipswich 0-1 Crystal Palace
QPR 4-2 Manchester United
Stoke 2-0 Aston Villa
Watford 0-0 West Brom
Real Betis 0-1 Wolves
United confirm signing of Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho is officially a Manchester United player. The club confirmed the £73m signing of the England winger from Borussia Dortmund.
United are 9.89/1 to win the Premier League title in 2021/22 and the arrival of Sancho should strengthen their attack significantly.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who tried and failed to sign Sancho last summer, predicted the player would be a key man in his squad.
Sancho agreed a five year deal at Old Trafford to become the second most expensive English player of all time behind his new United team-mate Harry Maguire.
Kane odds-on to join Man City amid reports of Spurs u-turn
Harry Kane is 1.51/2 on the Betfair Exchange to join Manchester City after it was reported that Tottenham had decided to let him sign for the Premier League champions.
City are said to have made a bid worth £160m for Kane and he is now out to 2.1411/10 to stay at Spurs.
The Sun has reported that Daniel Levy has given the go ahead for Kane to join City who want to sign a world class replacement for Sergio Aguero. Kane fits the bill after scoring 33 goals and providing 17 assists in all competitions last season.
Kane, 27, said towards the end of last season that he wanted to leave Spurs. He was disappointed by Spurs chaotic campaign, which saw Jose Mourinho sacked as manager in April, and wants to play for a club that's challenging for silverware.
One player who is staying at Spurs is Son Heung-min. The South Korean forward has signed a new contract that will keep him with the club until 2025.
Reporters speculated that this may have been announced to soften the blow of Kane's departure as Levy prepares to accept City's bid.
Richarlison scores historic hat-trick at the Olympics
Everton's Richarlison became the first Premier League player to score a hat-trick at the Olympics when he struck three first-half goals for Brazil against Germany.
The Toffees forward made it 3-0 to his team inside 30 minutes. Germany pulled two back in the second-half before Paulinho scored for Brazil to give them a 4-2 win.
Richarlison has already appeared for his country this summer at the Copa America where Brazil were runners-up to Argentina.
After their strong start, Brazil are the favourites at 2.77/4 to win gold in the men's football at the Tokyo Olympics.
New Everton manager Rafael Benitez will be hoping Richarlison can channel his international form into his displays for the Premier League club in 2021/22.
You can get tips for the Tokyo Olympics on our dedicated blog.
Lewandowski to Chelsea rumours and PSG weighing Pogba move
Chelsea are interested in signing Robert Lewandowski and have contacted his agent about the player's availability, according to reports.
Thomas Tuchel is keen to sign a striker to spearhead his attack this summer and the 32-year-old, who scored 41 goals in the Bundesliga last season, is an appealing option.
Tammy Abraham looks set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer with Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham all said to be interested in taking the 23-year-old forward.
It remains to be seen whether Bayern would be prepared to sell Lewandowski. He turns 33 next month and new manager Julian Nagelsmann has said he's unhappy about having to discuss the striker's future.
Manchester City were rumoured to be weighing up a move as they seek a replacement for Sergio Aguero.
Manchester United, meanwhile, look set for a busy few weeks in the transfer market. They are still interested in signing Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, with some sources saying the player had agreed terms, but the defender's France team-mate Paul Pogba could be on his way out of Old Trafford.
Pogba's future is once again the subject of speculation with PSG reportedly planning to bid for him if they can free up some cash by off-loading players first. Pogba was in imperious form for his country at Euro 2020, prompting further questions about whether he will ever perform to the same level for United.
Everton sign Townsend and Spurs close in on Gil
Everton have signed Andros Townsend on a free transfer from Crystal Palace. The 30-year-old's deal with Crystal Palace expired at the end of the season and new Toffees boss Rafael Benitez was keen to snap him up.
Townsend previously played under Benitez at Newcastle and the ex-England player said joining up with him at Goodison Park was "a no-brainer".
Tottenham are said to be close to signing 20-year-old Spanish winger Bryan Gil from Sevilla. Spurs are reportedly in final negotiations for a deal that would see them pay around £22m plus Erik Lamela.
Gil is highly-rated and is currently in Japan with the Spain squad at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Premier League club also look set to sign the Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini on an initial loan and an option to by for £13m.
Gollini has represented his country but was not part of the squad that won Euro 2020.
Meanwhile, Harry Kane is 4/7 to stay at Tottenham this summer as new boss Nuno Espirito Santo tries to convince the England striker his future lies in north London.
Vieira and Xisco sack race favourites
Pre-season should be a time of optimism but the Premier League sack race market will worry fans of Crystal Palace and Watford. Their respective managers - Patrick Vieira and Xisco - are joint-favourites at 6/1.
Palace won their opening pre-season friendly 1-0 against Walsall last Saturday while Watford overcame Colchester 2-1.
Newcastle's Steve Bruce and Southampton's Ralph Hasenhuttl come next in the betting but check out the full story on the market to find out who else is in contention and why.
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Saturday 14 August, 12.30pm