As is usually the case at this time of year, the Premier League transfer window is finally getting into its stride with just over a week until it slams solidly shut for four boring months.
Of course, I jest, and the transfer-less months will be as exciting as they ever are, but that doesn’t change the fact that the summer months make for eventful viewing.
With that in mind, here are the top ten players still being linked with a move away from their current surroundings in the English top flight and where it is they could end up.
For the sake of this article, every team will be limited to just the one candidate, giving us the fairest and most varied selection possible.
Modric: So long, farewell?
In perhaps the longest transfer saga of the modern era, Luka Modric continues to be linked with a move away from White Hart Lane with Real Madrid and Chelsea emerging as the most likely destinations (via Mirror).
The Croatian international has been associated with a Tottenham exit for over 18 months now, and Andre Villas Boas has stated that he is ready to let the midfielder leave—but only for the right price (via BBC Sport).
Gossip and speculation recently went into overdrive when the official Real Madrid website showed—if only temporarily—a Luka Modric player profile (via Simon Harrison of Goal.com).
Although the mishap is put down to hackers, it shows the extent to which this transfer situation has come to, and one of Europe’s elite playmakers may soon find himself on the move.
Dempsey: Set for a Cottage exit?
Another player to have become the subject of their own PR hiccup this summer is Fulham star and US international, Clint Dempsey.
The New England Sports Network—a site owned and operated by the owners of Liverpool F.C.—published a story advertising their supposed purchase of the 29-year-old’s signature (via Mirror).
Again, the story was swiftly taken down, but it nevertheless affirms that the Reds are amongst the parties interested in signing Dempsey.
The transfer appears more likely when you consider that Dempsey didn’t travel to the Cottagers’ preseason training camp in Switzerland, and was also left out of the Fulham squad that played Norwich over the weekend.
The Telegraph allege that the attacker was reportedly “refusing to play” and with his own manager calling him “a disgrace”, it seems almost certain that Dempsey—who has less than 12 months on his Fulham contract—will leave West London this summer.
Agger: "Where to next?"
Despite resounding calls from club and player alike that Daniel Agger will remain a Liverpool player this season, you can’t help but feel that a last-minute move could still come off.
The Danish international has been most fervently linked with a move to Manchester City in recent weeks, and Liverpool have responded by slapping a reported £23m price tag on their defender (via Daily Mail).
The Daily Mail also says that Brendan Rodgers is eager to tie the player down to a new contract in order to deter interest, but unless the Merseysiders’ luck improves soon, Agger may start considering his options.
Cabaye: Impressing at St. James'
One of the surprise packages of the 2011-12 season, Yohan Cabaye’s stock has skyrocketed since his arrival upon Tyneside last summer.
The playmaker was a huge part of Newcastle’s journey to a fifth place finish, which has led to the alleged interest of Manchester United (via France Football, h/t Goal.com).
Alan Pardew has made no secret of the fact that he is keen to hang onto Cabaye’s talent this season (via Goal.com), but the Magpies’ board could still opt to cash in on their player if they feel the offer is right.
Fellaini: A valued figure at Goodison
Probably the most unlikely candidate on this list to switch allegiances in the coming week-and-a-half, Marouane Fellaini has nevertheless been involved in his fair share of transfer speculation in recent months.
The midfielder most recently displayed his talents against Manchester United, a game in which he scored and undoubtedly boosted his reputation by some margin.
Speaking to Belgian radio station, RTBF (h/t Independent) earlier this summer, Fellaini seemed open to the idea of leaving Goodison Park for Champions League football.
The Toffees have shown a remarkable ability to hang onto players over the years, and Jack Rodwell’s departure means the club aren’t exactly desperate to sell another of their stars.
Moses: Will he, won't he?
Yet to pen an extension at the DW Stadium, gossip would appear to dictate that Victor Moses is still looking for an exit from Wigan Athletic this summer.
The youngster has less than a year left on his current deal, and Chelsea have shown a particular interest in acquiring his services in recent weeks (via BBC Sport).
Moses was one of the Latics’ standout players last season, enacting a late, surging run of form that helped his side greatly in delivering the goods and securing their top flight survival.
Although Roberto Martinez is intent on hanging onto the former Crystal Palace prodigy, Wigan—who will surely be candidates for the drop again this season—may be forced into receiving a fee for the winger while they can.
Berbatov: Growing weary at OT?
With Robin van Persie now amongst their ranks, Manchester United have even more reason to warrant the sale of Dimitar Berbatov this summer.
Much to the bemusement of some supporters, the Bulgarian was included sporadically in the last campaign, and managed to make just five league starts.
However, the former Spurs star still managed to net on seven occasions, resulting in the interest of numerous European outfits.
Sir Alex Ferguson took up the opportunity to extend Berbatov’s contract by a year earlier this summer, and with a wealth of attacking options, may consider selling the £10m-rated striker.
De Jong: Champagne times coming to an end?
Yet another addition to this list with just a year left to run on his contract, Nigel de Jong has been firmly mentioned as a possible departure from the Manchester City wage list this summer.
Bayern Munich were thought to have held an interest in signing the Dutchman (via Daily Mail) but their need for a defensive midfielder appears to have been filled by the imminent signing of Javi Martinez from Athletic Bilbao (via ESPN.com).
However, Der FCB won’t be the only outfit tracking De Jong’s situation, and the 27-year-old may yet evacuate the Etihad Stadium in the coming days.
With 63 caps for Holland, De Jong is still an undeniable talent but may find it more difficult to make the cut under Roberto Mancini given Jack Rodwell’s recent arrival at the club.
Ever present in the tabloid pages, Joey Barton finds himself being touted as a possible transfer for many teams these days, most recently with Marseille (via BBC Sport).
Recent weeks have also seen a move to Fleetwood Town being publicised as a possible switch (via Mirror) with the Rs looking to rid themselves of the hardman, who is banned for the first 12 games of QPR’s campaign.
More a case of “Who wants him?” than “Hands off our man”, the West London club look likely to let Barton leave this summer, provided there is someone out there willing to fund the deal.
Following on from two impressive seasons in succession, Swansea City may now lose the man who’s largely responsible for their presence in the Premier League.
Scott Sinclair scored 27 goals in 50 games for the Swans in their 2010-11 campaign and contributed well in their top flight survival season last year.
The former Chelsea trainee is now being linked with a move to Manchester City, who appear intent on investing in young, English talent following their purchase of Jack Rodwell.
Sinclair may not have fared too well during his last stint with a “top four” team, but Swansea first-team coach, Alan Curtis, thinks the winger is destined for pastures new (via BBC Sport).