Whether we like it or not, money is slowly but surely taking over football.
Clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are becoming mega-rich because of the endless stream of oil money being injected by Middle Eastern billionaires. It's sad, and a bit disgusting, but it's one of the changes that football is undergoing as it becomes more modern and it's something us football fans have to accept.
With all of that money comes huge transfer fees spent on players: the 80 million pounds spent by Real Madrid on Cristiano Ronaldo, or more recently the 50 million pounds that Chelsea spent on Fernando Torres. When a top club sells a top player, it demands top dollars, and that's something we see every transfer window.
Here are my predictions for the 10 largest transfer fees of the summer window, and keep in the mind that the predicted fees are rough numbers and not meant to be spot on.
A player that many have forgotten about since Russia's shock exit from Euro 2012, Alan Dzagoev was a revelation for Dick Advocaat's side in Poland and Ukraine.
The 22-year-old CSKA Moscow midfielder scored three goals in his opening two matches for Russia at the tournament, remaining as one of the joint top goal scorers for Euro 2012. Hype for a transfer to one of Europe's top clubs started to build up, but eventually cooled down following Russia's unexpected exit.
Nonetheless, it's about time for Dzagoev to move on from CSKA Moscow. He's a very complete midfielder in that he can pass precisely, shoot powerfully and is skillful with the ball at his feet. I see a top club stepping up its interest in him later on in the window.
Arsenal currently seem to be the only club in the frame for Dzagoev's signature, but don't be surprised if other top clubs become interested.
Since signing for Tottenham on loan from Manchester City last summer, Emmanuel Adebayor has reasserted himself as one of the Premier League's best centre forwards.
The former Arsenal forward had an exceptional season with Spurs, and was the spearhead of their attack as he scored 17 goals and got 11 assists. Deemed surplus at Manchester City as they already have Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, and Edin Dzeko in the striker position, Adebayor has expressed his interest in staying at White Hart Lane in a permanent deal.
New Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas would be wise to snap up Adebayor permanently, and although it would take a considerable sum for Spurs, I see this move happening.
Yann M'Vila's transfer to Arsenal looked complete before Euro 2012, but things have cooled down since and it's possible that Arsenal are reconsidering the move after M'Vila's issues in the dressing room with France in Poland and Ukraine.
Nonetheless, the Rennes midfielder has admitted that he'd like to join Arsenal and Arsene Wenger should capitalize on that as his side do need an out-and-out defensive midfielder desperately. There are currently no rumors on M'Vila joining the Gunners, but I think Arsenal will step up their interest again as they are in the market for a defensive midfielder and M'Vila certainly fits the bill.
However, Rennes current asking price is around 22 million euros (about 17 million pounds). As I don't see Arsenal paying that much for M'Vila, my best bet is that Arsene Wenger will negotiate the price down to around 15 million pounds.
After scoring 31 goals in all competitions for Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund, Robert Lewandowski is now one of the most coveted strikers in Europe.
With Arsenal and Manchester United both in the frame for his signature, it's looking likely that Lewandowski will leave Dortmund this summer. At 23 years old, a move to England for the Polish hitman would be an exciting prospect. Lewandowski has all the attributes necessary to succeed in the Premier League, and if he were to move to a top English club he would surely be contending for the golden boot as well as the Premier League title.
Dortmund won't let their top scorer leave for cheap though, and I'm expecting them to demand somewhere from 15 to 20 million pounds for the forward.
Edin Dzeko's departure from Manchester doesn't seem to be dependent on City bidding for van Persie though, as Bayern Munich are interested in the Bosnian forward and a move to Munich could be in the cards. Dzeko's form dipped significantly after scoring a spectacular four goals against Tottenham at the start of the season for City, but his talent is undeniable nonetheless and he's still deserving of a place at a top European club.
It may not be Bayern Munich in the end, but Edin Dzeko's departure from Manchester City looks inevitable and the Bundesliga looks like the most probable destination.
Moutinho was one of Portugal's best players in their run to the semifinal, and although he missed a crucial penalty in the shootout against Spain, he also provided the inch perfect cross for Ronaldo to head home against Czech Republic for the winning goal in the quarterfinal.
It's easy to see why Manchester United and Spurs want the FC Porto man, as the 25-year-old would be a welcome addition to any Premier League side with his creativity and playmaking ability. I see Porto letting their midfielder go for around the 20 million pound mark.
Jovetic would certainly be an adequate replacement for van Persie–even his 14 league goals for Fiorentina don't reflect the way he carried the Serie A side on his back at times. The Montenegro international definitely fits the bill as an "Arsenal signing". At 22 years old, he's young and despite only three assists this past season, Jovetic is a good passer of the ball.
Chelsea are apparently also in the frame for Jovetic's signature, but those rumors have cooled lately as Arsenal have emerged as the favorites to sign Jovetic if he leaves Italy. This deal is purely based off of rumors, but if Jovetic does in fact join Arsenal I think the price will be in the 20-25 million pound range, with 20 million too little for Fiorentina and 25 million too much for Arsene Wenger.
After Euro 2012, the Robin van Persie transfer saga will be the biggest event to follow in football this summer. The Olympics can wait.
After stating that he will not extend his contract with Arsenal, it's looking likely that van Persie will leave North London this summer and there are plenty of clubs that would gladly sign the Dutch forward. Manchester City are apparently preparing a 15 million pound bid for van Persie, but I'm expecting Arsenal to reject any offers below 20 million for their skipper.
If reports are true about Barcelona lining up an offer of cash plus David Villa for Van Persie, there could be no big transfer fee in this deal at all. Arsenal supporters will be hoping that rumor is true (crossing my fingers), but if not I'm expecting Arsenal to try and fetch around 25 million pounds for their 37-goal man.
It looks like Luka Modric is finally on his way out of White Hart Lane, and although he's once again wanted by Chelsea, reports say that Real Madrid are close to completing their capture of the Tottenham midfielder.
Modric had a good Euro 2012 despite getting knocked out in the group stages with Croatia, nearly leading his side to a victory over Spain as well as a draw against Italy and a win against Ireland. He remained as one of the most creative players in the Premier League this past season with the most completed passes (2215) and the second most chances created from open play (65).
Modric would be a stellar addition to Real Madrid in order to strengthen their already star-studded squad which swept La Liga this season with a record 100 points.
We all know how reluctant Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is to sell Modric, and it seems like the only thing left in this deal is for Spurs and Real Madrid to agree on a price. I see them settling on a fee of around 35 million pounds.
There's no doubt that Hulk is the most overpriced player in the world; his 85 million pound release clause can testify for that.
The Brazilian's move to Chelsea looked done and dusted after it had been reported that a 38 million pound deal had been agreed, but something must have went wrong after that as there has been no news on the transfer since. Still, I can't see Hulk wearing a Porto shirt in the 2012-13 season, and if it's not Chelsea that he goes to, the forward is bound to move to one of Europe's top clubs.
Yes, my prediction is that Hulk will be the most expensive player of the summer, and that his fee will wander somewhere around the 40 million pound mark. If he ends up at Stamford Bridge, will he be another super-expensive flop, or will he light up the Premier League?