Let the madness of the transfer window begin!
The Premier League season was again fantastic, and the last-day drama as Arsenal and Tottenham battled for fourth place kept things intriguing to the end. But with the regular season over, it's time to turn to rumors and signings on the transfer window.
Here, I've accumulated some of the hottest transfer rumors and news items from the week. If a big-time player is rumored to be heading in or out of the Premier League, you'll find it here.
Edinson Cavani is a huge name that seems set to make a move this summer, with Manchester City and Chelsea believed to have interest in the striker, amongst many other teams in Europe.
And for good reason—Cavani scored 38 goals in all competitions for Napoli this season and has few weaknesses as a forward.
And now it appears City have gotten the jump on signing the player, according to ESPN:
Edinson Cavani insists he is focused on playing for Napoli, amid the latest round of speculation linking him with Manchester City and Chelsea.
Cavani, 26, is widely believed to be set for a big-money transfer away from Serie A this summer, with the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and City reportedly interested.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed his club have opened talks with City over the signing of the striker, while the player's father has said his son's future could lie in Spain.
City is pretty stacked at forward, with Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko all available. Still, the chance to pass up one of the finest strikers in the world is one City surely won't pass up.
Well, unless Chelsea or Real Madrid have something to say about it, that is.
If Tottenham are to earn a top-four finish next season, the team really needs to improve at forward and add a goal-scorer or two to take the pressure off of Gareth Bale. It seems the team intends to do just that this summer, targeting Barcelona's David Villa and Internacional's Leandro Damiao.
We start with Villa. From Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail:
Barca are willing to sell the Spain star this summer, who has found first-team football difficult to come by this season, but want a fee of around £12 million.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will not match that asking price but hopes he can negotiate a lower price.
The Villa addition is a curious one, at least in my opinion, since he would likely play as either a winger or central forward behind the primary striker. In other words, he would be fulfilling the role Clint Dempsey often played for the team this year.
While Villa is obviously a step up from Dempsey, the American international was solid this season, scoring 12 goals and adding six assists in all competitions. Villa would feel like excess to a surplus, at least in my opinion.
Damiao, however, makes a ton of sense for Spurs. From Mokbel:
And talks between Spurs and Internacional over an £18 million move for Damiao have reopened.
The Brazil striker came close to joining the White Hart Lane club in January, but Levy could not agree a fee.
However, discussions between both clubs have recommenced with Spurs chiefs confident of finally landing the centre-forward.
I fully expect this to happen this season. The Brazilian international tallied 17 goals and five assists for Internacional this season and would give Spurs a solid forward to take some of the goal-scoring pressure off of Bale.
It appears that Robert Lewandowski, long thought to be a target of several Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, will be leaving Borussia Dortmund and heading to rival Bayern Munich, according to Sky Sports:
Asked on Monday on Poland's TVN24 whether the Borussia Dortmund striker Lewandowski is moving to Munich, agent Cezary Kucharski replied: "Yes. Robert will join Bayern this summer.
"There is no point in pretending that he will not move to Bayern. Robert wants to leave and that is what will happen.
"It is a matter of time. It could be a done deal within a week or within two to three weeks. We are waiting for a signal from the club. We are working on this deal.
"Robert needs a new challenge. He needs other people around him, a new coach and new motivation. For us it is clear, but we have not signed anything."
Lewandowski will apparently be joining teammate Mario Gotze in heading to the Bavarian club. It will be a major disappointment to any team that may have been pursuing his signature this summer, including United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea or Tottenham.
Liverpool have to know that teams are going to come bidding for star striker Luis Suarez after he scored 30 goals in all competitions for the club this season.
If Liverpool hope to reach the Champions League next year—already a long shot even if Suarez remains—they need to add help for Suarez, not lose him.
But with Real Madrid on the hunt and apparently willing to spend big bucks to sign him, keeping him at Anfield could be tricky. From Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun:
Liverpool are determined to fight off a £40 million bid for Luis Suarez from Real Madrid.
The Spanish giants have contacted the striker's agent Pere Guardiola, brother of new Bayern Munich boss Pep.
Suarez tops Real's shortlist of strikers because he is cheaper than Napoli star Edinson Cavani, who has a £52m get-out clause.
According to Kastrinakis, the Reds don't plan on selling. But for £40 million, it may not be so easy to resist.
The rich aim to get richer.
Neymar may be heading to Barcelona, but Real Madrid have long been thought to be admirers of Tottenham's Gareth Bale. And for good reason—the winger scored 26 goals and added 10 assists in all competitions this season.
He was the Premier League's best player this year, no two ways about it. And Real Madrid are going to try to lure him away from Spurs with a bid worthy of the league's best player, according to Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail:
Daniel Levy's determination to hold on to Gareth Bale will be tested by a staggering £65 million bid from Real Madrid.
The Tottenham chairman will have to resist a massive summer offer from the Spanish giants after rivals Barcelona finally captured Santos forward Neymar on a five-year deal yesterday.
Real accept they will have to spend big to land Bale and will accelerate their plans to land the Spurs and Wales talisman.
Real Madrid can offer Champions League football, but it seems more likely that Bale will give the club another season to finish top four before bolting to a bigger club. Then again, when Real Madrid come calling, it's hard to ignore that call.
According to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic could become the latest addition to high-spending Monaco's already impressive shopping cart this summer:
Branislav Ivanovic is wanted by Monaco after they were rebuffed in a bid to lure Vincent Kompany from Manchester City.
The 29-year-old Chelsea defender has been recommended by coach Claudio Ranieri to Russian owner Dmitry Rybolovlev as the newly-promoted French side undertake an ambitious summer recruiting programme.
They have had a £51.3 million offer accepted for Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, who is set for a medical today, and that follows Friday's £60 million deal for Porto's Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez.
Monaco are ready to offer around £25 million for Ivanovic, who scored the winning goal in the Europa League final, but he is also wanted by incoming Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Move over Paris Saint-Germain, there's a new big spender in Ligue 1.
Ivanovic was excellent for Chelsea this season and is versatile enough to either play centrally or out wide defensively. He was one of Chelsea's most consistent players this season.
The fact that Monaco have nearly sealed the deal with Falcao will also be a major disappointment to Premier League clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea, who were thought to have major interest in the prolific striker.
If Monaco do land Falcao and also pry Ivanovic from Chelsea, they'll be a dangerous club next season.
Arsenal have been linked to some big names this spring, including Stevan Jovetic, Karim Benzema and Kevin Strootman, among others.
Add Lyon's talented playmaker Clement Grenier to the list, according to Ed Malyon of the Mirror:
Arsene Wenger has admitted his interest in signing Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier.
The 22-year-old playmaker was nearly sold by the Gerland club last summer but Yoann Gourcuff's injury granted him an opportunity and he has proceeded to dazzle this season, attracting admiring glances from all over Europe.
Wenger told Telefoot: "We are following him, I like the intelligence of his play."
"He has interesting qualities, if anyone, he reminds me of [Samir] Nasri," admitted the Arsenal boss.
That's high praise, though Arsenal fans still turn their noses up a bit at the mention of the Man City mercenary.
Grenier certainly showed plenty of promise this year, scoring seven goals and adding eight assists in 33 total appearances. With Wenger apparently interested in adding a player to settle in behind the striker this offseason, Grenier is a name to remember.
After losing David Moyes to Manchester United, Everton is seeking a new manager. Wigan's Roberto Martinez is a strong possibility, especially since the club were relegated this season and he may desire to remain in the Premier League.
But according to Alan Nixon of the Mirror, he won't come cheap:
Supremo Bill Kenwright is preparing for a cash wrangle with Latics chief Dave Whelan as the Spanish coach has no fixed compensation figure in his contract.
Martinez will tell Whelan early this week that he wants to move but the veteran chairman won’t allow him to go without a fight—or a pay-off.
The Wigan boss is on a roll-on contract so Whelan holds the upper hand in negotiations over him when Everton come calling.
Whelan may want as much as £5 million for Martinez. He paid Swansea handsomely for him after picking up a huge fee for Steve Bruce.
Martinez helped Wigan stave off relegation for years. It would be intriguing to see if he could help Everton take the next step and finish in the top four, especially in a summer where top players like Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini could be poached by bigger clubs.