Cristiano Ronaldo’s imminent return to Manchester United could shape the final hours of the summer transfer window with the potential for a number of knock-on effects in the Premier League.
Jesse Lingard and Daniel James are among those being linked with an Old Trafford exit as Ronaldo’s arrival further limits their potential playing time.
West Ham remain keen on Lingard after his star turn on loan in the second half of last season helped them qualify for the Europa League, but they continue to pursue CSKA Moscow’s Croatia international Nikola Vlasic as an alternative.
Wales winger James has started two of United’s opening three Premier League fixtures but has also been strongly linked with a loan move away, with Everton, Brighton, Leeds and Crystal Palace all eyeing up the 23-year-old.
One other young attacking United player, Amad Diallo, was set to join Feyenoord on loan but a thigh injury for the 19-year-old has scuppered the deal.
Things are quieter on the other side of Manchester, with any chance of a new striker arriving at City this summer apparently over after the failure in their pursuit of Harry Kane before the brief dalliance with Ronaldo.
Bernardo Silva is still being linked with a move away, but no suitors have put forward an offer as yet.
West Ham have already been busy over the Bank Holiday weekend, bringing in Kurt Zouma from Chelsea.
That move theoretically frees up space for the Blues to pursue France defender Jules Kounde, but Sevilla are reportedly not budging from their £68.5million valuation of the 22-year-old.
Callum Hudson-Odoi could follow Zouma through the Stamford Bridge exit, with Borussia Dortmund thought to be keen on a loan deal for the 20-year-old.
James is just one of several players being linked with Everton as Rafa Benitez looks to further reshape his squad in the final hours of the window.
Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles is another option for a loan, while Benitez could turn to his old charge Salomon Rondon, now of Chinese club Dalian Pro, as cover for Dominic Calvert-Lewin as Moise Kean appears set for a return to Juventus to replace Ronaldo.
But one of the big storylines at Goodison Park over the final hours will be over James Rodriguez’s future as the Toffees look to get the Colombian off their wage bill.
Maitland-Niles could be one of several players to leave Arsenal in the coming hours, with Willian, Hector Bellerin, Eddie Nketiah, Sead Kolasinac and Reiss Nelson also linked with moves as Mikel Arteta looks to streamline his squad.
If several players are moved on, the Gunners may still reinforce Arteta’s group after a dismal start to the season.
Business seems less likely across north London, where Tottenham’s links with Nuno Espirito Santo’s old favourite Adama Traore have faded since Kane committed his future last week.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers would like to strengthen his own attacking options, and has been linked with a move for RB Leipzig’s former Charlton, Everton and Fulham winger Ademola Lookman.
Norwich have already made 10 signings in this window but are still being tipped to make a late move for Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo, a player also linked with Southampton.