Rumored Summer Transfers That Could Alter European Football's Power Balance
On Wednesday the typically reputable Times of London published a report that Paris Saint-Germain will test Manchester United’s resolve with a £40 million bid for Wayne Rooney in the summertime.
Now that PSG has as close to unlimited resources as you’re likely to find in club football, it’s very much within the realm of possibility that they could table such an offer. But the transaction would hinge on United’s willingness to sell, and in the case of Rooney they’d be unlikely to even entertain such a possibility.
When perusing transfer rumors it’s important to remember that while any club is free to bid on any player at any time, it’s the selling club that holds all the cards. That is, unless the player forces a move, in which case any model of football economics gets thrown out the window.
But transfer rumours are also good fun, and the ones included in this slideshow have reported by numerous sources at various times. So we have a pretty good idea there’s something to them.
Where there’s smoke there’s fire, the saying goes. And when it comes to transfer gossip, what better motto than that?
Following are a handful of footballers rumored to be heading for the exits this summer. And with their transfers, should they happen, would come a shift in the power balance of European club football.
Edinson Cavani, Forward, Napoli
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Assuming Manchester City fail to win the title this season they’ll be expected to spend, and spend big, in the summer to regain it.
Cavani is widely thought to be atop their shopping list, and with Mario Balotelli having left the club, Edin Dzeko pondering a move and Carlos Tevez playing some of the most inconsistent football of his career, manager Roberto Mancini is certainly in need of reinforcement in the attack.
Cavani, 26, is tall, strong and willing to track back—attributes that would serve him well in English football. And in the coming weeks he’s also likely to surpass the 33 goals he bagged in each of the last two seasons.
Now, Real Madrid have also been linked to the Uruguay international in recent days, and given the ease with which Barcelona disposed of them in the Primera Division title race they’ll certainly be looking for an upgrade or two in the coming months, particularly as neither Karim Benzema nor Gonzalo Higuain are especially popular in the Spanish capital.
Radamel Falcao, Forward, Atletico Madrid
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Atletico Madrid are experiencing severe financial difficulties at present, and their early Europa League exit won’t have helped them on that front.
They’ll almost certainly be forced into selling their star forward in the summertime, and Chelsea have both the means and the need to acquire him.
A swap deal involving Fernando Torres (and a bagfull of cash) is a possibility.
Marouane Fellaini, Midfielder, Everton
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Fellaini is another transfer target of Chelsea’s, and with Frank Lampard expected to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season club owner Roman Abramovich will be looking to enhance his central midfield.
Fellaini has never made a secret of the fact he thinks his future lies at a bigger club than Everton, and with 10 Premier League goals to his name so far this season he has drawn no shortage of attention.
Manchester United are another possible destination, and, of course, City have been kicking tires as well.
Luis Suarez, Forward, Liverpool
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Call it the Guardiola effect.
Since Bayern Munich announced that former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola would be joining the club ahead of next season the Bundesliga giants have been linked almost every big-name player expected to make a move in the summer.
It’s hard to imagine Liverpool without their most gifted forward, but another tumultuous summer could well be in store for the Anfield club, and if Bayern Munich were to come in with a big offer for Suarez it’s conceivable that it would be accepted.
Bayern are also posting record profits these days, and as players line up to work with Guardiola the Bavarians could well be on the cusp of an era of European domination.
Stevan Jovetic, Forward, Fiorentina
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How long can Fiorentina possibly hold on to their Montenegrin super-striker?
The 23-year-old is among the top goalscorers in Serie A this season and needs only three more Serie A goals to surpass the career high of 14 he set last season.
Rarely does a chance present itself to sign a forward of such superb technical ability, and Arsenal have been repeatedly rumored to be interested in signing him.
So too have been Juventus, and it might just help that fellow Montenegro international Mirko Vucinic—who Jovetic idolizes—plays his club football in Turin.
Gareth Bale, Forward, Tottenham Hotspur
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With every goal he scores (he’s bagged eight of Spurs last 10) and every game-winner he strikes (four in his last four appearances) Gareth Bale’s value goes up and up and up.
It would hardly be inconceivable to see him go for £70 million on the open market, and when you’re talking about that sort of amount there’s only a handful of clubs that could afford to come in for him.
Real Madrid are thought to be very, very interested in the Welshman. His ability to play both down the left and in the middle would suit Madrid well, and as their strikers struggle for goals at the best of times his offensive contributions would be most welcome.
Of course, any move for Bale would seem to hinge on the future of Cristiano Ronaldo. And as the Portugal captain has been coy regarding his plans—and in contract negotiations—this one is very much up in the air.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Forward, Real Madrid
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His two-goal performance against Barcelona in Tuesday’s Copa del Rey match was a reminder of just how dominating a presence he can be.
But as he continues to dither over a contract extension at Real Madrid—and as Gareth Bale’s reputation continues to grow—the likelihood of a summer exit (and at this stage it’s still not all that likely) increases.
The thing is, if United were to blow that kind of money on Ronaldo, why wouldn’t they sign Bale, instead?