Transfer Rumours: Top 10 Central Defenders Who Could Be Sold This Summer
A top central defender is paramount to any kind of success for a team, so who's set to move where in the summer I hear you ask?
Well, I'll tell you.
These 10 top-ranked centre-backs have all been mentioned in the media as being likely to depart for pastures new come the summer, and here, I'll tell you where they might be heading.
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If having one rival for a player's signature is bad enough, try having nine.
Metro have reported that the Belgian international will leave Ajax at the end of the season with Arsenal leading the race for his signature.
The article goes on to state that nine other clubs including the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are also interested which could make life difficult for Arsene Wenger.
There is no fee mentioned for the player.
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The Sun claims that Manchester United are likely to look to Valencia centre-back Adil Rami as a summer purchase that will represent the long-term replacement of Rio Ferdinand.
Rami is rated as a £20 million player, with Barcelona also reported to be interested in the 26-year-old.
It may be that Rami would prefer a move to the reigning Spanish and European Champions rather than moving country.
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Last month, Metro also speculated on the return of Gerard Pique to Manchester United.
The Barcelona defender moved from Manchester to Barcelona in 2008 where he has developed into a world-class defender under manager Pep Guardiola.
United may try to now lure the Spanish international back to Old Trafford come the summer, but Barcelona are unlikely to want to depart with him on the cheap.
Barcelona have been linked with a number of other defenders—as you will read—so perhaps, that's a sign that Pique is on his way out.
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AC Milan defender Thiago Silva could be the man to replace Gerard Pique if there was any truth in that last story.
El Centrocampista has identified both Manchester United and Barcelona as being possible suitors for the highly rated Brazilian.
There is no fee mentioned for the player, but once again, it's Manchester United and Barcelona who are the teams making all the enquiries.
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Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic is valued at approximately £16.5 million by Manchester United who seem intent on getting a central defender during the summer.
Neven Subotic has formed an excellent partnership with German Mats Hummels at Borussia Dortmund, and Mail online states that Nemanja Vidic has recommended his international compatriot to Alex Ferguson.
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Despite being linked with Thiago Silva, Barcelona have reportedly identified Chelsea's David Luiz as a £35 million summer purchase.
The report goes on to state that the Catalan club sees Luiz as a long-term replacement for Carles Puyol, but Chelsea only signed Luiz in 2011, and John Terry is in the twilight of his career.
Expect big money for the 24-year-old Brazilian if Chelsea decide to sell.
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As always with football transfers, each move has a knock-on effect.
With David Luiz heavily linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid could be set to lose one of their defenders back to the Premier League.
The Sun reports that Manchester City are set to make a move for the Spanish international Raul Albiol at the end of the season.
Albiol has become somewhat of a bit-part player under Jose Mourinho.
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Matija Nastasic is the latest young hotshot to be linked with Arsenal Football Club.
The Serbian U-21 defender has already featured prominently this season for Serie A outfit Fiorentina, and Arsene Wenger is reported to be eyeing a move for the versatile defender.
Liverpool are the latest club rumoured to be interested in signing Vasco De Gama and Brazil central defender Dede.
Damian Comolli has already reportedly been to watch the highly rated 23-year-old player in action, but there's no mention of how much the player might cost.
Dede has just two international caps to his name but looks set to be a long-term selection for the Brazilian national side.
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OK, so I'm bending the rules on this one, but Micah Richards is highly capable of playing central defence as well as full-back.
Juventus are reported to have an interest in the Manchester City and England player and will apparently follow up on the enquiry they made in January.
City are expected to strengthen significantly in the summer, leaving Richards' place in the starting XI a doubt.
He is believed to be worth £15 million, but I'd expect a bigger fee than that if he were to leave.
As always with transfer gossip, 90 percent of it has to be taken as just that—gossip.
Until official bids are received and it is declared on the news, I usually try to assume that there is nothing behind any of the stories mentioned—but sometimes, your heart rules your head.
Of all the moves mentioned on this slideshow, David Luiz strikes me as the most likely to depart.
Barcelona are a huge draw for any player, and Chelsea are in a period of uncertainty right now.
As always, it's just a case of wait and see.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out Rafael Benitez: 5 Reasons Why Benitez Wouldn't Be Bad For Chelsea FC.