Possible Transfer Targets
Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the footballing world when he declared his intention to leave Real Madrid last month. The 32-year-old, who captained Portugal to a third placed at the Confederations Cup in Russia over the summer, announced that he wanted to escape Spanish football after becoming embroiled in a dispute over tax. Initial reports suggested that the four-time Ballon d’Or winner, who lifted the La Liga title and the Champions League trophy last season, fancied returning to former club Manchester United, but a release fee of €1 billion and hefty wages of around £365,000-per-week have all but killed any deal. Don't expect Ron to be heading for the Real exit just yet.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may have been on the footballing scene for some time now, but the pacy winger is still only 23-years-old. The England international has already racked up more than 100 appearances for Arsenal and 27 caps for his country, but has found first team action hard to come by of late. Disagreements over a fresh contract at the Emirates haven't helped matters, with the likes of Champions League competitors Chelsea and Liverpool rumoured to be sniffing around the youngster. With his time in north London looking to be at an end, expect The Ox to seek greener grass this summer.
Alexis Sanchez may be enjoying a well-deserved break after his exploits with Chile this summer, but that hasn’t stopped rumours about the Arsenal frontman’s future spreading like wildfire. The papers seem to suggest that the 28-year-old sees his future at the Etihad, working alongside former manager Pep Guardiola, but would the Gunners really allow their star player to join one of their closest rivals? The red half of north London won’t be showcasing Champions League football next season and a lack of harmony between the manager and the fans could force the ex-Barcelona man to stray from the Emirates sooner rather than later.
Kylian Mbappe electrified the European football scene last term as he helped Monaco secure a first Ligue 1 title since 2000. Still only 18-years-old, the Frenchman certainly has a lot of potential and has already represented his country on four occasions. Reports suggest the striker wants to join Real Madrid, but could an extortionate transfer fee discourage the Spanish champions from pursuing this exciting talent?
Alvaro Morata may be just 24, but the Spaniard has been netting goals for two of Europe’s elite teams since 2010. An incredible two-year spell with Juventus convinced former club Real Madrid to bring Morata back to the Bernabeu last summer, but with others ahead of him in the pecking order, the two-time Champions League winner could be forced to seek opportunities elsewhere. Manchester United were reportedly in talks with the young goal getter earlier in the month, but talks appear to have stalled with the Red Devils’ pursuit of a certain Everton striker leaving this deal dead in the water.
Joe Hart was the subject of much attention following the arrival of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City last summer, with the England number one cast aside in favour of Claudio Bravo. A surprise loan spell at Torino allowed Hart to experience a year on the continent, but now the 30-year-old goalkeeper must begin his search for a permanent move if he is to secure a starting place between the sticks. West Ham currently head the pack for the shot stopper’s signature, but the Hammers could face competition from the likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle and Watford.
Romelu Lukaku has enjoyed a fantastic time at Goodison Park since he joined in the summer of 2014, following a successful loan spell the previous year. Since signing permanently for the Toffees, the 24-year-old has helped himself to 53 goals in 110 appearances and has become one of the most prolific hitmen in Europe. Naturally, the big clubs began circling, with former employers Chelsea initially looking the most likely to agree a big money deal for the Belgian. However, a surprise £75 million bid from Manchester United seems to have forced the Merseyside club's hand, with Lukaku likely to join the Red Devils before they begin their pre-season tour.
This summer could see a whole host of clubs around Europe smash their transfer records as they look to strengthen their squads ahead of the new season. Chelsea may have recaptured their Premier League crown in style, but expect the Blues to bring in more quality in the next few weeks. The same can be said for the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and both of the Manchester teams, as all four look to mount a challenge for honours on home soil as well as the European stage.
Football fans can also expect plenty of movement at Real Madrid too, with the Spanish giants determined to secure a third straight European triumph. There could also be plenty of exciting transfer action involving sides such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint Germain.
Romelu Lukaku and Joe Hart look certain to move, with the former determined to play at the very top level, while the latter would just settle for a starting place. Both players look destined to leave their respective clubs, with odds on Hart looking the more tempting. As for the situation involving Cristiano Ronaldo, don’t expect the Portuguese captain to leave the Bernabeu any time soon, especially when such a huge amount of money is involved.
- Sport’s.net top tip: Joe Hart to join West Ham: 6/5
*Please note, odds may fluctuate before the transfer deadline.