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Quiet start to deadline day with Sanchez, Costa and Coutinho futures up in air

Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool were among the Premier League clubs braced for a busy final 12 hours of the 2017 summer transfer window.

There was a quiet start to Thursday’s deadline day as Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool all waited to learn if they would be subject of big-money moves before the 2300BST deadline.

Sanchez’s future has been in doubt for the best part of a year but losing the Chilean so late in the summer, with little chance of finding a replacement, would sour the mood of Arsenal supporters further.

Particularly damaging would be to sell to a title rival and, while Manchester City is his most likely destination, it is not difficult to imagine Chelsea and Manchester United joining the bidding should Arsenal indicate a willingness to negotiate.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appears likely to make a £40million move from Arsenal to Liverpool, whose resolve to retain Brazil forward Coutinho could be tested by Barcelona.

Costa is in a stand-off with Chelsea and agitating for a return to Atletico Madrid, with a potential deal complicated by the fact the Spanish club are unable to register new players until January.

Swansea striker Fernando Llorente has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge and a reunion with Antonio Conte, his former boss at Juventus, as Costa’s replacement.

But Tottenham are reportedly also eager to secure the services of Llorente.

United, after three wins from three games, appear unlikely to be busy on deadline day, unless an irresistible opportunity arises.

Chelsea, Premier League champions in May, could be the busiest, but Conte insists he will be content even if his thin squad is not augmented.

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