With rumours flying ahead of the new 2013-14 campaign, top-flight clubs across Europe are looking to gain the upper hand in this summer’s transfer market.
New names are being linked to sides in the Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1, La Liga and beyond on a daily basis, and with the season just weeks away, the race to strengthen is hotting up.
Millions of pounds have already changed hands, and the quality on offer suggests millions more will be spent before the window closes in a little over seven weeks.
So with the clock ticking, we take a stab at naming a transfer rumour XI from stories that have broken in the last week, with our team lining up in a 4-4-2 formation.
Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar has been linked with a switch to Arsenal for what feels like an age, and according to John Cross at Mirror Football, Arsene Wenger is finally ready to make his move.
The Brazilian stopper is fresh from his country’s Confederations Cup triumph, and with QPR keen to get him off their wage bill following relegation last season, his departure looks certain.
At 33 years old, Cesar will expect first-team football at The Emirates and will go head-to-head with Wojciech Szczesny for a place between the posts should a move to North London come to fruition.
It’s fair to say Maicon’s switch to the Premier League hasn’t worked out for the Brazilian
The 31-year-old arrived at the Etihad Stadium on the final day of last summer’s transfer window but has found himself behind the likes of Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards.
The former Inter Milan man is now seen as surplus to requirements at City, and Pellegrini is keen to free up his reported £100,000 a week wages.
And though there seems to be some difference between the clubs’ valuations of the player, an improved approach for Baines remains a distinct possibility.
The Vecchia Signora’s initial bid was rejected, and according to talkSPORT, Manchester United boss David Moyes is keeping a close eye on the unfolding situation.
The Azzurri international remains at the Stadio Olimpico for now, but if Torino's valuation is met, the 25-year-old centre-back seems certain to move on.
Despite assurances from Paris Saint-Germain’s owner that Thiago Silva will not be sold this summer, it seems the Brazilian’s heart belongs to Barcelona after being sold on a move.
Spanish sports newspaper Marca have suggested that the defender was contacted personally by Barca manager Tito Vilanova as well as being talked into the switch by international teammate Dani Alves.
And a twist in the tale could emerge should Chelsea’s David Luiz arrive in Paris—a transfer that could trigger Silva’s proposed move to the Camp Nou.
Paolo Di Canio’s top-down overhaul of Sunderland’s senior squad shows no sign of slowing this summer, with an offer for Juventus winger Emanuele Giaccherini imminent, according to Simon Jones in the Daily Mail.
With seven new faces at the Stadium of Light so far, 28-year-old Giaccherini could become the eighth signing, with a fee of £8.6 million being mentioned.
After impressing for Italy at this year’s Confederations Cup, the former Cesena man is thought to be keen on a move to the Premier League.
A report by David McDonnell at Mirror Football suggests the cash-rich Russians are ready to test the waters with a £12 million offer for the Portuguese star.
One important ingredient could be the role of former Old Trafford coach Rene Muelensteen, who has recently joined Guus Hiddink’s backroom team at Anzhi.
Muelensteen knows the player well and could be play a pivotal part in any potential transfer.
Another player interesting Serie A side Roma is Kevin Strootman, but according to Charles Perrin in the Daily Express, Manchester United are still very much in the race for his signature.
The Dutchman, who is currently on PSV Eindhoven’s books, has admitted that several clubs have expressed an interest in him, but insists he won’t be rushed into a move.
And despite Sky Sports’ Gerrit van Leeuwen’s claims that the midfielder is not for sale, reports in Italy suggest an offer of €17 million is on the table from Roma
Brian Marjoribanks in the Daily Mail suggests that a fee of £12.5 million has been agreed between the two clubs for a player who cost just £900,000 two years ago.
The figure will set a new transfer record in Scotland, with the 22-year-old’s price tag eclipsing the £9.5 million paid by Spartak Moscow for Celtic winger Aiden McGeady in 2010.
After months of speculation, the future of Napoli forward Edinson Cavani looks to have become a little clearer following reports that Paris Saint-Germain have made a firm offer.
The report suggests a fee of £55 million has been agreed, with the 26-year-old set to pocket £8.5 million per season at the Parc des Princes.
Christian Benteke has become one of the Premier League’s hottest properties since his goalscoring exploits for Aston Villa last season, and he’s not without his suitors.
Benteke netted 23 times for Villa last term, and a fee of £25 million has been suggested if the forward is to be prised away from the midlands club.