Gossip: Man United linked with £97m Bale bid, Sanchez and Sterling latest, Arsenal could turn to Van Dijk

The transfer window is closing and clubs are getting desperate to do business.

Transfer deadline fever is a powerful affliction – and it affects us all.

Last night I had a dream that West Ham signed Jonny Evans. It’s true. A minor symptom, you might argue, but think about it. If the fever is infecting the deepest subconscious of this innocent bystander, imagine what havoc it is wreaking inside the minds and nervous systems of the managers who have spent entire summers chasing targets, or the players whose futures will be decided within the next 36 hours.

Coutinho, Costa, Alexis, Bale, Van Dijk, Barkley, to name a few – their hopes and dreams are on the line. No wonder most of them are “injured”. A weird dream about Jonny Evans would be a blessed relief to these poor people – at least it would mean they’re getting some sleep.

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Sanchez set to escape Arsenal

Let’s start with Sanchez, whose last chance to escape the horror of the Emirates for a better life is being dangled oh so tantalisingly close to his face by Manchester City.

The Mirror says City boss Pep Guardiola is wavering in his determination to retain Raheem Sterling and, after having a £50m straight-cash bid for Alexis rejected, will now offer Arsenal the English forward plus £30m.

Another unlikely Gunners swap deal is mooted in the Express, which says the club could sign Virgil van Dijk and send Theo Walcott to Southampton in part-exchange. The Dutch beanpole would rather sign for Liverpool though, and the Star says he still might – for £70m.

Man United chase unsettled Bale

Meanwhile, the Express is continuing to forgo sleep and showering until Gareth Bale has signed for Manchester United. The result is a bedraggled article penned at six o’clock in the morning claiming the Red Devils have offered Real Madrid £97m for the Welshman, bulked up by some old quotes about Bale from David Moyes. We kid you not.

This is apparently the time of the transfer window when Tottenham will start buying lots of players, and it seems they actually might be. The Sun says Spurs have beaten Man Utd in the race to sign Serge Aurier from Paris Saint-Germain – all they need now is for the Home Office to grant the convicted criminal a visa. Lovely.

The north Londoners are also closing in on the £8m signing of young Argentine defender Juan Foyth while flogging Kevin Wimmer to Stoke for more than twice that much (Guardian) – proof that Daniel Levy has not lost his touch.

READ MORE: Man City want straight-cash deal for Alexis

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appears to have been hit bad by deadline fever, with the Mirror claiming he is getting “cold feet” about a £40m move to Chelsea. The midfielder is apparently apprehensive about being re-imagined as a right wing-back by Blues boss Antonio Conte and may hold out for a move to Liverpool instead.

Liverpool wait on £74m Lemar bid

However, the Anfield club seem more interested in Thomas Lemar, although the Mail says the Reds face a “race against time” to complete a deal for the winger as Monaco consider their £74m bid. Remember when he was valued at £30m at the start of the summer?

West Brom may have pulled off a coup by persuading Paris Saint-Germain’s Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak to move to the Hawthorns on a season-long loan. The Sun says the Baggies beat off competition from Chelsea and Juventus to secure that deal. Sure they did.

Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez is “willing to sell Dwight Gayle for £18m”, says the Guardian. Which would be a wonderful idea if only there was anyone out there willing to pay £18m for Dwight Gayle. (Actually, Aston Villa probably would.)

Elsewhere, Chelsea have offered £25m for Ross Barkley and £15m for Fernando Llorente (Express) as fellow Blues target Danny Drinkwater hands in a transfer request (Sky Sports), Everton are considering a surprise loan move for beefy Watford striker Stefano Okaka (Mirror) and Jonny Evans is set to snub a move to Arsenal and complete his long-awaited £30m move to Man City (Mail). Wait until he finds out about West Ham’s interest though…