10 Hottest Transfer Rumours in European Football Right Now
The European transfer window is a merry-go-round of faces forever in a state of revolution, and the summer of 2013 doesn’t look likely to see that trend stop.
While it may be three months prior to the next transfer opening, numerous stars have already emerged as major candidates to be shipped out from their respective clubs.
Here, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest of those rumours to have emerged in recent weeks, considering just how much impact the change in personnel could have on those clubs involved.
10. Keisuke Honda
From: CSKA Moscow
For the last three years, Keisuke Honda has perhaps been the standout player of the CSKA Moscow team, consistently contributing to any success the capital club might see come their way.
However, it recently emerged that the Japanese international could be against penning an extension on his current contract, which is set to run out at the end of the season (via Metro).
As a result, Liverpool are supposedly raising their interest in the potential free agent, looking to save some money compared to their more extravagant purchases of late.
Playing from attacking midfield, Honda is also a set-piece specialist that, should he be picked up for free, would be an extremely valuable acquisition.
Due to his current contract running so close to its end, Brendan Rodgers’ side is, by rule, permitted to agree to a pre-contract with the player and his representatives in a bid to finally bring CSKA’s premier playmaker to the English top flight.
9. Jordy Clasie
Feyenoord’s talismanic anchorman, Jordy Clasie, looks set to disappoint a number of Premier League clubs allegedly chasing his signature and sign with Fiorentina this summer.
The Daily Mail has suggested that the central midfielder is already in negotiations with the Serie A outfit who, after a very strong domestic season, are looking to beef up its squad in preparation for a European campaign.
Having made his way into the Netherlands’ international setup, Clasie has improved by leaps and bounds in the last two seasons, showing himself to be one of a number of very capable, young Eredivisie talents.
8. Patrick Ebert
From: Real Valladolid
To: Atletico Madrid
Were it not for a crippling injury, Patrick Ebert may not have found himself staying at Real Valladolid as long as he has but, alas, the German’s 2012-13 season was temporarily put on hold twice this season.
However, Ebert is back in La Liga action now and is once again courting the interest of numerous European outfits, most notably Atletico Madrid.
Stories recently came out alleging that Ebert has had a secret meeting with Atletico sporting director, Jose Luis Perez Caminero (via Marca), and that Valladolid are looking into legal action against their Spanish rivals (via Football Espana).
If true, this would suppose that both parties are certainly interested in a deal, and the 26-year-old winger might find himself teaming up with the likes of Radamel Falcao and Adrian Lopez in the Champions League next season.
7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
From: Saint Etienne
To: Inter, Arsenal, Newcastle
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang first burst onto the mainstream scene at the 2012 London Olympics, impressing greatly for an Under-21 Gabon side.
Since then, the Saint-Etienne winger’s reputation has only risen, earning the Ligue 1 wideman a raft of European interest in the last couple of months.
In 30 Ligue 1 outings, Aubameyang has scored 17 goals and recorded 13 assists, outlining himself as one of the most reliable all-round goal threats in the French top flight.
According to talkSPORT, Newcastle and Arsenal are the two Premier League clubs leading the race for his services while Inter have also emerged as summer candidates.
Should the Gabonese international continue in his current vein of form, we might see even more names added to the list of those interested in time for a summer move.
6. Vincent Kompany
From: Manchester City
The 2011-12 Premier League Player of the Year and a most omnipresent light in Manchester City’s rise as a European power, Vincent Kompany can boast a great deal of responsibility for the club’s more recent successes.
However, it seems such good form could see the Belgian international captain out of the Etihad Stadium with the Mirror reporting Kompany to be on the radar of Barcelona.
The Catalan giants are supposedly seeking out a successor to the aging Carles Puyol in a bid to tighten up their backline, a hunt that has brought them to Manchester City’s stalwart.
Barca are ready to offer former Udinese star and Manchester City target, Alexis Sanchez, to Roberto Mancini’s side in exchange, but that would still leave the Citizens seeking a defensive replacement for their outbound captain.
5. Stevan Jovetic
To: Arsenal, Manchester City
While the Montenegrin international has had far from his most successful season in front of goal for Fiorentina, Stevan Jovetic is again being courted by some of Europe’s biggest and brightest with Arsenal and Manchester City supposedly at the head of the pack (via Express).
Since losing Robin van Persie to Manchester United last summer, the Gunners are yet to really replace their attacking focal point while Mario Balotelli’s January departure to AC Milan has seen the Citizens fall shorter than usual up front.
With 12 goals and four assists to his name in 26 Serie A appearances this season, Jovetic has helped La Viola into the top four of Italy’s elite and looks to be firing the Florence outfit into European football.
However, any deal that Arsenal or City can hope to accomplish would supposedly cost the pair a reported £30 million which, while not completely out of the question for the latter, would require a record-breaking sum to be put up by Arsene Wenger’s side.
4. Christian Eriksen
For several seasons now, Christian Eriksen has been the cream of Ajax’s latest crop of aspiring young talent but has so far failed to agree an Amsterdam exit that, at this point, appears inevitable.
With just a year left on his current contract, Liverpool have risen as one of the most likely suitors to take advantage of the Danish international’s situation, having scouted his skills on numerous occasions in recent months.
According to a report in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf (h/tTelegraph), Ajax technical director Marc Overmars has been quoted as saying, “We have the list of the scouts of foreign clubs who have been here recently and Liverpool has been a regular visitor.”
In the past, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all been closely linked with the attacking midfielder who is regularly looked upon as the future of the Danish national team, but speculation has died down in recent months, something Brendan Rodgers might be keen to take advantage of this summer.
3. Luis Suarez
To: Juventus, Bayern Munich, Manchester City
One of the most sought-after talismans in all of world football right now, Luis Suarez’s on-going exploits in front of goal are one of, if not the primary, reason why Liverpool have even been associated with a return to England’s top four of late.
With 29 goals and 12 assists to his name in 38 starts across all competitions this season, the Uruguayan hitman has rightfully earned his place among the Premier League’s Player of the Year contenders.
That being said, the Independent recently reported the pint-sized poacher as saying that any clubs competing in the Champions League next season are “very welcome” to register interest in his services—chilling words to any Reds supporter.
The comments, made in Suarez’s native Uruguay while the striker was on international duty in March, are not a complete surprise given the forward’s known desire to play Champions League football.
While Manchester City’s spending methods makes them an almost automatic contender for speculation, the Citizens would certainly be tempted by a proven Premier League asset to fire them back into English dominance next campaign.
However, Bayern Munich pose the greatest threat to Liverpool’s chances of hanging onto their star due to the brother of the striker’s agent, Pere Guardiola, just happening to be the man set to take the managerial reins at the Allianz Arena, Pep Guardiola.
From: Zenit St. Petersburg
After enduring a torrid time with the Russian club, it seems Hulk’s tenure at Zenit St. Petersburg could come to a premature end this summer after it became known that Jose Mourinho is targeting the striker amidst a Chelsea return.
According to the Daily Star, Mourinho has already agreed a deal to move back to his former West London stomping grounds with Hulk at the top of his summer shopping list.
Since moving to Russia for a groundbreaking fee of around £40 million last summer, Hulk has gone through a rough relationship with manager Luciano Spalletti, teammates, and even some of the club’s fans (via Goal.com).
Prior to his Eastern European switch, Hulk was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, and while the Brazilian international may have hoped that his time in the Russian Premier League was a more fruitful one, his talent has still earned him an early exit from his current predicament.
1. Radamel Falcao
From: Atletico Madrid
Although one might still find reason against it, the stars would appear to aligning over Radamel Falcao’s potential move to Stamford Bridge—albeit all too nicely if anything.
With Fernando Torres failing to fire on all cylinders for the Blues, the almost inevitable rumours have emerged that the Spaniard, once worth £50 million, could be offered a route back to his former club in exchange to finance such a deal that would benefit both parties (via Mirror).
Alternatively, the Express alleges that young Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has spent the last two (very successful) seasons with Falcao on loan from Chelsea, could be used as a makeweight.
At this stage, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be going where in this particular Anglo-Spanish mish-mash, and both Blues could end up as part of the deal to bring one of the world’s most prolific finishers to Stamford Bridge.
In any case, even with Financial Fair Play coming into action over the next year, Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea are likely capable of financing such a transfer which, at this point, just can’t be called “out of reach.”