Predicting the Destinations of the 25 Biggest Names Left on the Transfer Market
With Euro 2012 nearing its climax, the world football transfer market is set to kick back into overdrive.
Several big deals have already been completed, but over the coming weeks we'll hear countless rumors about potential big-money, big-name transfers.
Today we're sorting out the 25 biggest names left on the transfer market, complete with where we think they'll be heading this summer (if anywhere).
Have another name? Disagree with our predictions? Let us know in the comments.
Robin Van Persie
Current club: Arsenal
After a disappointing Euro 2012, Dutch forward Robin van Persie now returns to his day job—sorting out his future at the club level.
An Arsenal player since 2004, Van Persie has just one year left on his contract. With negotiations failing to produce a new deal so far, RvP has been linked with big-spending English champions Manchester City, as well as Juventus and Barcelona.
According to the Daily Telegraph, City are set to make a "formal offer." But after losing Samir Nasri (to Man City no less) and Cesc Fabregas last summer, Arsenal might not be willing to sell this time—even for a large transfer fee.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been quoted as saying he is "certain" that Van Persie will stay (via London Evening Standard).
Destination: Staying at Arsenal. For now.
Current club: Porto
Soon after Chelsea signed Eden Hazard from Lille, the rumor mill sparked to life again with word that the Blues were on the verge of signing Brazilian forward/winger Hulk from Porto.
As yet, however, Porto have not received any bids (via ESPNSoccernet).
Current club: AC Milan
Brazilian defender Thiago Silva visited Paris earlier this month to hold talks with Paris Saint-Germain (per Sky Sports).
A deal seemed likely at the time, and Italian paper Gazzetto dello Sport reported that the potential transfer was in the hands of AC Milan owner and president Silvio Berlusconi.
Destination: Staying at AC Milan.
Current club: Borussia Dortmund
Just as Euro 2012 began, Poland coach Franciszek Smuda let slip that Poland and Borussia Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski was on his way to Manchester United (via Goal.com).
A few days later, Dortmund denied it, saying Lewandowski would remain with the club (from The Independent).
Who's telling the truth? Time will tell.
Destination: Staying with Dortmund.
Current club: Valencia
Before Euro 2012 began, Valencia full-back and left-sided midfielder Jordi Alba was reportedly close to signing with Barcelona (per ESPNSoccernet).
As yet, nothing official has been announced, but that seems like only a matter of time.
Current club: Ajax
Rising Danish star Christian Eriksen, 20, has been linked with several clubs, but after a disappointing Euro 2012, it's likely he'll stay at Ajax for at least another season.
Besides, that's reportedly what he wants anyway (per Soccerway).
Destination: Staying at Ajax.
Current club: Ajax
Another Ajax star, Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen, has long been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, among other English clubs.
Even with manager Harry Redknapp gone, Vertonghen reportedly still wants to join the club (via Daily Mail).
Destination: Tottenham Hotspur
Current club: Tottenham Hotspur
After impressing with Croatia at Euro 2012, midfielder Luka Modric is being linked heavily with a move to Real Madrid. Or at least he reportedly wants a move to the Spanish capital (per Daily Mail).
If Real aren't interested, former Croatia boss Slaven Bilic is reportedly ready to take Modric to Lokomotiv Moscow (via The Sun). Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are also thought to be in the chase.
Destination: Real Madrid, if they really want him. Anywhere but Tottenham, it would seem.
Current club: VfL Wolfsburg
Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic fell out with Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath last season (per The Guardian), and although they patched things up somewhat, it's still likely that Mandzukic will move on this summer.
After Mandzukic scored three times at Euro 2012, Everton are thought to be interested in a move that would reunite Mandzukic with fellow Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic (via Daily Mirror).
Current club: Brøndby
Veteran midfielder Michael Krohn-Dehli scored twice and added an assist for Denmark this summer at Euro 2012. Now he's being linked with a move to Swansea City (per Daily Mail).
It would seem like a good fit, but will Krohn-Dehli want to sign with the first club that's interested?
Destination: Another club not linked with Krohn-Dehli yet.
Current club: CSKA Moscow
Alan Dzagoev turned heads and turned 22 during Euro 2012, scoring three times for Russia in the group stage.
That's brought on the usual post-tournament transfer speculation, with Arsenal reportedly interested.
The Daily Mail reckons Dzagoev is rated at £13 million, but that figure might be low considering Dzagoev's performance at Euro 2012.
Destination: Too soon to tell.
Current club: Zenit St. Petersburg (on loan from Arsenal)
If Alan Dzagoev does sign with Arsenal, he's likely be a replacement for his countryman Andrei Arshavin.
Arshavin joined Arsenal in January 2009 after impressing at Euro 2008. He fell down manager Arsene Wenger's midfield pecking order last season, and it's hard to imagine the Gunners recalling Arshavin from his homeland.
Destination: Zenit, permanently, even with the owner angry at Arshavin (via AFP).
Current club: Atletico Madrid
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao scored the winning goal for Porto in the 2011 Europa League final. He then joined Atletico Madrid in a big-money move and promptly scored twice in Atletico's victorious 2012 Europa League final.
Manchester City have been sniffing around, but Atletico are reportedly saying Falcao will not be sold (via Goal.com).
Destination: Staying at Atletico for another year. Don't City have enough strikers?
Current club: Napoli
Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani has been linked with English big-spenders Chelsea (per Daily Mail) and Manchester City (Metro), but the 25-year-old is also reportedly wanted by Italian champions Juventus (Goal.com).
Cavani has spent the last two years in Italy with Napoli, so a move to the Bianconeri might make the most sense.
Current club: AC Milan (on loan from Liverpool)
Even by the standards of world football transfer gossip, the case of Alberto Aquilani is difficult to sort out.
One day, Aquilani's agent says Aquilani could be heading back to Liverpool after spending last season on loan with AC Milan (Daily Mirror).
Then, lo and behold, AC Milan are reportedly interested again (Fox Sports).
Destination: AC Milan
Current club: Tottenham Hotspur
Along with Luka Modric, Welsh winger Gareth Bale is Tottenham Hotspur's hottest transfer commodity. But with manager Harry Redknapp out, Bale's future is less than certain.
But do Barca really want both Bale and Jordi Alba?
Destination: Not Barcelona, but probably not Spurs either, in the long run. Too early to call.
Current club: Athletic Bilbao
According to The Independent, "a host of clubs" are after Athletic Bilbao and Spain forward Fernando Llorente.
But according to that same article, any interested party will have to pony up £30 million for the 27-year-old's services.
Destination: Staying in Bilbao.
Current club: Lille
Lille manager Rudi Garcia laughed off Newcastle United's recent bid for French full-back Mathieu Debuchy (via ESPNSoccernet).
If Newcastle up the ante, however, a deal seems possible.
Current club: Rennes
Before Euro 2012, French holding midfielder Yann M'Vila put off speculation about his future until after the tournament.
France crashed out of Euro 2012 this weekend, and M'Vila is reportedly interested in Arsenal (Goal.com).
It's likely the Gunners are as well—but only if the price is right, as ever.
Current club: Montpellier
Speaking of Arsenal and French internationals, forward Olivier Giroud is reportedly close to a move to North London from French champions Montpellier.
The tight-lipped Arsene Wenger even told a French TV station that the deal is "90 percent" done (ESPNSoccernet).
Destination: An Arsenal-sized summer spending spree.
Current club: Liverpool
After missing out on AC Milan defender Thiago Silva, Manchester City are reportedly ready to spend £20 million on Liverpool center back Martin Skrtel (Manchester Evening News).
The Daily Mail reckons Skrtel will turn down City, but Liverpool might well want to cash in for such a gaudy figure.
Destination: Staying at Liverpool.
Current club: Manchester City
Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko struggled to find playing time last season among Manchester City's crowded front line. Now, he's reportedly a £20 million target for Bayern Munich (The Sun).
Dzeko formerly played in Germany with VfL Wolfsburg, so a move to Bavaria might make sense.
Destination: Bayern, or another German club.
Current club: Manchester United
Dimitar Berbatov fell out of favor at Manchester United last year, and the Bulgarian striker's agent has hinted at a summer move away from Old Trafford (Daily Mail).
Destination: Malaga. They have the money and a recent history of signing formerly great strikers.
Current club: Swansea City (on loan from Hoffenheim)
Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson joined Swansea City on loan from Hoffenheim during the most recent winter transfer window. After impressing during the season run-in, Sigurdsson was expected to sign with the Welsh club permanently (Wales Online).
Then manager Brendan Rodgers joined Liverpool, and Sigurdsson was suddenly being linked with a move to the Kop (Daily Telegraph).
Current club: Fulham
Dempsey, however, has repeatedly said he wants to play in the Champions League (per The Guardian). Neither Liverpool nor Roma will play in the competition next season, and at 29, Dempsey might be running out of time to fulfill his dream.
Destination: Too soon to tell.
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