Cesc Fabregas and David Villa are rumoured Premier League targets.
With the season all but wrapped up, attention is turning to the transfer window, where Europe’s top teams try to out-muscle and out-bid each other to sign the hottest properties in football.
As clubs and agents try to ramp up the price for their prized assets, an inevitable deluge of rumours rain down. Some are true, some are far-fetched and some seem thoroughly impossible.
What is certain, however, is that big changes are afoot. Perhaps this season more than ever.
With clubs set to receive an extra £70 million apiece due to the biggest TV broadcasting rights deal in history, there will be money to spend.
And with Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure from Manchester United, David Moyes swapping Goodison for Old Trafford, Roberto Mancini sacked at Manchester City and Jose Mourinho widely tipped for a return to Chelsea, a wind of change is blowing across the Premier League.
Maybe the power balance is about to shift in England’s top flight.
Here we look at five transfers who could have a huge impact on the Premier League’s most talked-about teams.
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Barcelona's David Villa.
The 31-year-old shot to prominence when he played for Valencia CF.
He was the club’s top scorer for five consecutive seasons, scoring 126 goals in 215 games for the club (Transfermarkt).
He has also been outstanding on the international stage, winning the Golden Boot as Spain won the UEFA European Championships in 2008 and lifting the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Villa won La Liga, the Champions League and the FIFA World Club Cup titles, among others, after joining Barcelona in 2010. But a broken leg, suffered in 2011/12, saw him out of the game for eight months.
Since returning for the Nou Camp side this season, Villa is back on the scoresheet with nine goals and five assists from 25 La Liga appearances (FCBarcelona.com).
The Spaniard has a year left on his contract at Barcelona but has struggled to cement a place in the side after returning from injury (Goal.com).
Villa is reportedly worth £15 million and, as Spain’s all-time top scorer, could be a canny signing for Spurs.
Andre Villas-Boas’ side could benefit from having a ruthless striker up front. Current forwards Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor have found the back of the net just 16 times between them this season.
Maybe Villa could be the difference in Tottenham Hotspur pushing not only for Champions League qualification but for Premier League honours to boot.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.
Rooney’s apparent unhappiness at Manchester United has been no secret in recent weeks (Goal.com).
To add to stories that the 27-year-old wants to leave Old Trafford have been reports linking him with a move to Arsenal (Metro).
Rooney to Arsenal seems like a credible move. It certainly holds more water than the speculation linking him with the likes of Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich.
For all his talent, Rooney doesn’t seem like the player most likely to ply his trade overseas.
The Daily Mail said this week that Arsenal are serious about making a move for the United striker.
It could be a huge signing for Arsene Wenger’s side. Since joining in 2004, Rooney has scored 197 goals for Manchester United, netted 35 goals for England (FA.com) and has a haul of silverware at Old Trafford, including the UEFA Champions League, five Premier League titles, two League Cups and the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup (Manutd.com).
If Arsenal are going to seriously contend for silverware in 2013/14, Rooney could be just the man to help them do it.
Former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas.
Manchester United are in need of a creative midfielder, and Cesc Fabregas fits the bill.
After missing out on signing Luka Modric and Eden Hazard last time around, the Old Trafford side should be in the market for a playmaker this summer.
Fabregas has a proven pedigree and would take no time to adapt back to the rigors of the Premier League.
The 26-year-old spent eight seasons with Arsenal and was a key player for Arsene Wenger’s side, where he made almost 300 appearances.
His current contract still has three years to run at the Nou Camp, but he has failed to nail down a place in Barca’s starting XI.
It could prove to be a positive signing for new United manager David Moyes, who could use Fabregas in the same role that Mikel Arteta flourished in at Everton.
Manchester United comfortably won the Premier League this campaign and, with the addition of a player like Fabregas, could be a powerful force in Europe next season.
Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.
Reports last week suggested that Radamel Falcao had inked a deal with French side AS Monaco (The Sun).
The Atletico Madrid frontman has been one of the most talked-about players this season after scoring 28 goals in La Liga.
The Blues are sure to be contenders for the Premier League next season, if they can sign a potent striker.
Fernando Torres has failed to live up to his £50 million price tag after scoring just 33 goals in 130 appearances for the club, and Demba Ba, while skilled, would benefit from competition and playing with a world-class striker like Falcao.
The Stamford Bridge side must have been buoyed with reports this week of Falcao dismissing his rumoured move to Monaco (FIFA.com).
And with one of the best midfields in Europe, the addition of Falcao would surely push Chelsea to the next level.
Napoli forward Edinson Cavani.
Edinson Cavani is the Serie A version of Falcao.
Although a year younger than the Atletico Madrid striker, he too is South American, has scored 28 goals in 33 domestic appearances for his club this season and is wanted. By everyone.
Rarely does a week go by where Cavani isn’t linked with a host of Premier League and European clubs.
And it’s Manchester City who could really benefit from the Uruguayan’s services.
Cavani, who has four years remaining on his current contract, has scored 103 goals in 137 matches for the Serie A club and is rumoured to be worth an estimated £53 million.
The Daily Mail reported that Cavani could be part of a swap deal, with Dzeko transferring to Napoli.
After suggesting that City could make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League.
If Cavani were to continue his 30-plus goals a season at Manchester City, the pendulum of power would swing back in their favour.