The season has been over a matter of weeks and already football fans across the globe are foaming at the mouth, excited for the new campaign to start. But which players will be playing for which team? The transfer gossip that has been swirling round have all been fascinating. Here I will look at ten players that could be moving/have moved, and give my opinion on any transfer.
Neymar- Barcelona (DONE £49M), Real Madrid
Let’s kick off this list with Brazil’s new poster boy Neymar. The 21-year-old was linked with both of the Spanish giants but decided that the Nou Camp is the best place for him to ply his trade. Both Madrid and Barca had a bid accepted, and the Catalunya club’s offer of $57 million, or £49 million, was successful. My major complaint with this deal is, is he worth this amount of money?
Yes, he has a fantastic goalscoring record for Santos and Brazil, but every time I have seen this man play, I have come off feeling disappointed. None more so than against England in Rio. You could see the effort that Neymar was putting in, but it seemed to me that the quality wasn’t there. And with all due respect, the Brazilian league does not really match up to La Liga or the Barclays Premier League, or any top European league.
While I hope that Neymar proves me wrong, and continues his amazing goalscoring record at Barcelona, and becomes one of the greatest players in the world, the jury is still out on this one.
Christian Benteke- Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal
Aston Villa’s main man has had a very impressive debut season in England. Being the fourth top scorer in the Premier League, at a struggling Aston Villa side, is an amazing achievement. The fact that the Belgian is only the age of 22, adds to his potential. He has been linked with some top sides, to nobody’s surprise.
From my understanding, there have been only 2 bids made for Benteke so far. Atletico Madrid made the first with a £25m bid, which was rejected. Tottenham made the second bid which was a cash plus Jermain Defoe swap offer, which was also rejected. Many people were surprised at Villa’s dismissal of the offers, and I can understand why.
Atletico’s pure cash offer was of a lot of money, more than Benteke is worth right now, and a suitable replacement could have been bought with half of the money from that deal. Add that to Lerner’s tight purse strings at the Midlands club, and shock is expected at the rejection. Spurs’ offer was also a fantastic bid. Jermain Defoe is still one of the best strikers in England’s top division, and I am confident he would score many goals at a young side like Villa. Maybe the cash offered wasn’t enough.
However, maybe, Paul Lambert is determined to keep Benteke at Villa Park, at all costs. Lambert has spoken of Benteke being a “boy with a man’s body” so he may feel that the Belgian needs more growth before his big move. I certainly expect that Benteke will be playing his football at Villa Park next season, but never say never.
Younes Belhanda- Galatasary, Atletico Madrid, Aston Villa, Inter Milan, AC Milan
A man who could be playing alongside Benteke next season is Montpellier’s top player, Younes Belhanda. The midfielder has won the Ligue 1 title in 2011/12, and impressed again last season. He has gained a big reputation and has top clubs sending scouts seemingly every game he plays. One team that stands out in that list is Aston Villa.
While all the others are top sides in Europe, Villa have been struggling lately, so surely, Belhanda laughs off their interest right? Wrong. It’s my understanding that Villa are the heavy favourites to sign the 21-year-old, as Belhanda’s preferred destination is the Premier League. Paul Lambert has made a bid of around £13m, as have the other four clubs interested.
So I think, unless another side from England’s top division make an offer, we may just see Younes Belhanda line up in claret and blue next season.
Wayne Rooney- PSG, Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid
As you can expect, when news comes out that Wayne Rooney wants to leave Manchester United, top clubs are queueing around the block for England’s star striker. Rooney put in a transfer request in February, with his lack of starts in important matches being cited as a reason. However, a new manager has come in at Old Trafford so will that change his view?
While it is certain that Wayne Rooney would become an important player for any of the sides linked to him if he moved, he would be a sore miss for the Premier League. His goals, passing range, hard work and attitude are qualities every manager wants in their players, and qualities every fan loves to see. Over the past few days, he has been strongly linked with Arsenal, but all the messages seem to be about Arsene Wenger being interested but nothing of Wayne Rooney being interested in Arsenal.
Personally, if he leaves Old Trafford, I think it will be for Chelsea. Jose Mourinho has always been a huge fan of Rooney, and has constantly praised him in public throughout his career. With Chelsea off-loading Fernando Torres, and looking for a top quality striker, Wayne Rooney may just fit the bill. The question is, does David Moyes see Rooney in his United plans?
Marouane Fellaini- Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona
With the boss leaving Goodison Park, and Martinez coming in, the afro-haired Belgian may decide his time at Everton has come to an end. He has constantly been linked with all the big clubs over the past year, and has a fantastic season at Everton, becoming one of the best players in the Premier League. Many people think he needs a move to a higher club to progress his career, and I think this summer will be the time that happens.
As I’m writing this, it’s my understanding that Arsenal are the favourites for Fellaini signature, and are close to concluding a deal. All the betting odds for this move have been slashed, and Arsene Wenger seems set to get his man. However, will he fit Arsenal’s style of play?
The Gunners are well-known for their passing style, and have a very small team, in the sense of height. Fellaini is at his best when the ball is in the air, either with his head or chest, using his power. A move to the Emirates may just let Fellaini prove his worth with his feet.
Radamel Falcao- Chelsea, Bayern Munich, AS Monaco (DONE £50M)
Falcao has proven himself as the best striker in the world over the past two seasons. He is surely the third best player in the world, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. He was expected to leave Atletico this summer so he could only get better. But to many people’s surprise, he has joined a club that are arguably in a lower stature, in AS Monaco.
France’s new team of money bags have been linked with all the top names as the newly promoted side start their attack on Ligue 1. By signing Falcao , they have made a big statement to PSG and the rest of Europe. Falcao has had many critics claim he has moved for the money, and despite all evidence supporting that claim, I have another theory.
What if the Columbian’s dream is to play for Real Madrid? Atletico would most certainly not sell him to their fiercest rivals. If he joined Chelsea or Bayern, they would not let him move to the European giants in a few years. But, maybe, Monaco will. Maybe, a deal is already agreed for Madrid to sign Falcao in two years. Maybe this is the way for the striker to keep his goalscoring reputation, earn some big money, before sealing his dream move.
Gareth Bale- Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Manchester United, PSG
Tottenham’s Welsh wizard is involved in the biggest transfer of the summer and will break the world transfer record, if he leaves White Hart Lane. The PFA Player of the Year has been strongly linked with all the top teams over past two years, but it seems that the Galactico’s at Madrid lead the race for Bale. He has been one of the most exciting and consistent players in the Premier League since a certain Ronaldo with the number 7, at Old Trafford. How mouthwatering is the idea of Bale and Ronaldo in the same side?
If he leaves, it is expected to be for around £85m, which would be a world record. Surprisingly, I agree with the fee. If Neymar has joined Barcelona for £49m, then Gareth Bale is worth £85m. Bale is more of a presence on the pitch and will thrive at such a huge team, while Neymar may just fail. While he will be a miss to England’s top division, I think Gareth Bale will end up in sunny Spain, sooner rather than later.
Luis Suarez- Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City
A man who could be alongside Bale and Ronaldo as part of Real Madrid’s front three is Liverpool’s resident troublemaker Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan has stated he wants to leave Anfield for Madrid this summer, stating that he cannot deal with the English press. That is simply laughable. I know the English media are wilder than in countries like Spain and Holland, but Suarez has brought the bad attention on himself. I’m sorry Luis, but when you get yourself involved in racism affairs, constantly dive, and bite chunks out of opponent’s shoulders, you’re going to get headlines.
In terms of the transfer, I think Suarez to Real would be a fantastic move for everyone involved. Liverpool will get £40m to find a replacement, Real will get a fantastic striker, and Suarez will get Champions League football. But do Real really want him? I’ve heard news that the Madrid side may pull out of the deal, after Suarez’s comments about leaving. This is one that may play out all summer. But a front three of Ronaldo, Suarez and Bale is tantalizing.
Robert Lewandowski- Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Manchester City, PSG
Dortmund’s big Pole is expected to leave the Champions League Runners Up this summer, as he has a year left on his deal. The German side can get £25m for him this summer, or let him go for free next summer. It’s common business sense, you’d think right? Wrong.
Dortmund lately announced that they will not allow Lewandowski to join Bayern this summer, who he has been heavily linked with. Whether or not that opens up opportunities for other sides, I do not know, but if nobody else does the Dortmund may regret it. While I understand that they do not want to sell him to their biggest rivals, They did allow Mario Gotze to join Bayern earlier this summer.
Lewandowski is the second best striker in the world, in my eyes. His hat-trick against Real was one of the best moments in European football’s recent history. He has been a linchpin in an amazing Dortmund side, but I think his time at Borussia Dortmund may be over.
Romelu Lukaku- West Ham, West Brom, Tottenham
Chelsea’s young Belgian had a fantastic season on loan at the Hawthorns in 2012/13, and was one of players of the season. Yet, he still finds himself on the outside at Stamford Bridge. Every rumour still links him to a loan move away from Chelsea, and I am confused why. Chelsea have themselves there a ready-made replacement after Didier Drogba’s departure last year. He scores goals, he wins headers and makes assists. He would excel playing with Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Frank Lampard. Maybe returning Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will see that.
If he does get loaned out, I think we can rule out West Brom as a destination. While he enjoyed his time there, and would love to go back, Albion simply could not afford him. West Ham and Spurs will offer more as a loan fee, and pay more of the wages. You have to remember West Brom could not pay all of Lukaku’s wages last season. Tottenham are looking at more permanent targets so could we see Lukuku at Upton Park if another expect deal, Andy Carroll to West Ham falls through?
This was fun to write. It’s quite amazing how many big transfers could happen this summer. I never even mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo or Carlos Tevez.
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