United and Liverpool out of the blocks early as transfer window waits to reach fever pitch

Manchester United and Liverpool were fast out of the blocks signing Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson respectively. United have continued their spending with the captures of Ashley Young and David de Gea, but their main rivals have been quiet.

Chelsea and Manchester City have not made any big name signings to date, though the latter seem set to capture Gael Clichy from Arsenal, who are probably the club about to undergo the most change after activity in the market.

Clichy seems set to be one of a number of players leaving the club, including captain Cesc Fabregas, Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson, Manuel Almunia and Andrei Arshavin.

Coming into the club are Gervinho, Gary Cahill and Ricardo Alvarez. As long as Samir Nasri doesn’t leave, the club can be optimistic that they will have undergone a successful overhaul. Fabregas is the best player in the team, and one of the best in the world, but he is not indispensible, particularly given the rise of Jack Wilshere, and central midfield is one area where the club have much strength in depth. Cahill will add solidity at the back, whilst Gervinho will give Arsenal another attacking dimension and a new supply of goals, most crucially.

For Tottenham, the other member of the big six, it is imperative for them that they sign a striker. Their failure to do so as yet will be a concern, and the club are keen to capture Guiseppe Rossi if he isn’t signed by Barcelona.

Elsewhere, the biggest movers have been Newcastle, who have decided to build their new side in France. Failed attempts to sign Kevin Gameiro and Gervinho have been assuaged by the captures of Sylvain Marveaux and Yohan Cabaye, as the club look to bring in talent from Ligue 1. It is an interesting policy which could reap benefits. The league from which it is easiest to adapt to the Premier League in Europe, its players are of a higher technical level than their English counterparts, and that could make Alan Pardew’s side a real force.

Outside of England, Lille and Borussia Dortmund, two of last year’s best sides on the continent, have been busy trying to hold onto their best players. As covered, Lille have already lost Cabaye and are set to see Gervinho leave too, but Eden Hazard will probably stay. In Germany, Dortmund have lost Nuri Sahin to Real Madrid, though the rest of their team remains relatively intact.

To La Liga, Barcelona are making the most of the transfer window, moving towards signing Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez, who has been at the heart of the main transfer story thus far. The Udinese winger only had eyes for Barcelona when interest came from abroad, and a deal should be concluded after the Copa America.

Real have captured Sahin and should now sign Fabio Coentrao as well, but they still have a way to go to catch up with their rivals. In Italy meanwhile, AC Milan have strengthened their squad with French defenders Andre Ayew and Phillip Mexes, whilst Inter Milan have lost coach Leonardo. The capture of Giampiero Gasperini as their new coach means they are delving somewhat into the unknown.

With almost two months still to go in the transfer window, there are many moves still to be made; clubs yet to commit and play their cards so to speak. The coming weeks should be fascinating, and will give a clearer picture of the relative strengths of teams going into next season.