Atlanta - expansion side challenging for the title because of how well run they were and how well the side was put together. They win the title and get an opportunity to sign Martinez, the South American player of the year, but to make room for him they have to sell their best player (Almiron). They then fire their manager (another Argentinian) and bring in De Boer to try to add a more European sensibility to the side despite having a side full of South Americans and having just made the Martinez move.
Martinez plays like shit, De Boer gets fired and the now 27 year old recent South American player of the year ends up in Saudi Arabia after a little over a single season in the MLS.
Has massive flop written all over that. Watkins thrived in a Brentford side that attacked with wreckless abandon - now he’s going to be floudering around upfront in a team who can’t get out of their own half most weeks. He has been excellent for Brentford but, with the way they set up strategically, I don’t think they’re the kind of club you just pluck a player from and expect them to slot straight in.
In fact, if I were Watkins there’s no way I would leave Brentford for Aston Villa. He could easily be back in the Championship in 12 months time.
Everton are closing in on a deal to sign Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori on loan, report Patrick Boyland and Simon Johnson.
Tomori has been on Everton’s radar since last summer, when he came close to joining in a similar deal. On that occasion, the move was scuppered by David Luiz’s switch to Arsenal, but now they finally appear set to get their man.
Talks are progressing well between the two sides, and have accelerated after the toe injury to Mason Holgate in Everton’s 2-0 pre-season win over Preston on Saturday. Holgate, who left Goodison on crutches after the game, underwent tests over the weekend. Although an exact timeframe has yet to be specified, The Athletic understands he is likely to face an extended spell on the sidelines, missing the start of the season.
As reported by The Athletic last month, Rennes are among a host of other clubs interested in signing Tomori. However, one of clubs linked, Newcastle, is not one of them. Chelsea also considered offering the centre back on loan as part of negotiations with West Ham over Declan Rice, but nothing came of it.
Tomori made 18 starts in the first half of last season under coach Frank Lampard, but has been named in the first XI just three times since the turn of the year with his last appearance coming seven months ago. Injuries have played a part in his lengthy absence, including a muscular problem ahead of the restart in June, however a lack of game time has been a cause of some frustration.
Ivan Ilic from City to Hellas Verona on loan.
Armand Lauriente from Rennes to Lorient for £2.7m.
Ollie Watkins from Brentford to Villa confirmed, £27.7m, potentially raising to £33m.
Steve Mounie from Huddersfield to Brest for £4.5m.