Arda Turan, Fabregas and 18 of the Most Coveted Midfielders in Europe
Once the 2014 FIFA World Cup comes to an end—or even, perhaps, during the tournament proper—world football midfielders will be fielding calls for transfers.
It looks set to be a busy window for some of the 2013-14 stars as clubs check in on their availability, and we've compiled a list of the top 18 who are set to be sought after.
Who joins Arda Turan and Cesc Fabregas in our selection?
Arda Turan, Atletico Madrid
According to The Express, plenty of English eyes are looking the way of Atletico Madrid star Arda Turan, with Manchester United seemingly at the head of the pack.
The Turkish midfielder was a key cog in Diego Simeone's double-winning side this past season, playing off the flank in a narrow 4-4-2 and driving forward with the ball at his feet.
Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona
According to The Metro, Cesc Fabregas will be offered £200,000-per-week to join Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.
Arsenal are thought to have first refusal on the deal but must wait until Barcelona officially field offers, and if he's going at a price of £40 million, other clubs will soon test the waters.
Fabregas has failed to adapt at the Camp Nou after being brought up in England, and his style has never quite looked a fit with the tiki-taka system in place.
Toni Kroos, Bayern Munich
With Toni Kroos entering the final year of his contract at Bayern Munich, English clubs are scrabbling for position and offering chunks of money to lure him in.
Pep Guardiola will not want to lose him for free, so if he can't get his player to agree terms with the club, he may well sell to one of the player's suitors.
The Daily Mail have suggested Chelsea have joined Manchester United in the race for his signature.
Paul Pogba, Juventus
At 21 years of age, Paul Pogba is already a better central midfielder than most who play the game. His remarkable blend of athleticism, height, technical skill and shooting threat puts him on a pedestal above everyone in his age group.
Not even Juventus are big enough to fend off interest, it seems, and The Guardian believe Chelsea want the Frenchman ahead of Cesc Fabregas.
Sky Sports report Paris Saint-Germain have also shown significant interest.
Koke, Atletico Madrid
According to The Standard, Chelsea are at the head of the queue for Atletico Madrid star Koke, who is also interesting Manchester United and the Spanish giants too.
The pliable, hardworking midfielder has done everything Diego Simeone has asked of him this past season and prospered as a result, forcing his way into the Furia Roja national setup and gaining status as a premier midfielder.
Paulinho, Tottenham Hotspur
Paulinho didn't enjoy a great debut season with Tottenham Hotspur, but that hasn't stopped other clubs from throwing admiring glances his way.
The Mirror believe Chelsea (sensing a theme here?) want a piece of the action, and it's clear Jose Mourinho is willing to spend to stock up his midfield corps this summer.
Fortunately for everyone, Paulinho's Brazil form is excellent.
Javi Martinez, Bayern Munich
Javi Martinez has found himself a little sidelined under Pep Guardiola despite sharing the same nationality, and that's a stark, unwanted change from his integral role under Jupp Heynckes.
Who wouldn't want a treble-winning European champion in their side?
Ivan Rakitic, Sevilla
Ivan Rakitic's form this past season was so good he was considered in most peoples' La Liga Team of the Year. He had a big hand in Sevilla winning the UEFA Europa League, and now he's the subject of some almighty interest.
According to Croatian newspaper Jutarnji, via Fox Sports, his agent is fielding offers from Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Sandro, Tottenham Hotspur
Sandro could be up for sale this summer despite his obvious brilliance, with The Metro citing Chelsea, Roma, Monaco and Napoli interest.
He's a UEFA Champions League-calibre defensive midfielder who apparently wants out. Should Spurs be willing to sell, it might just be a sillier decision than firing Andre Villas-Boas last year.
Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, Fiorentina
According to AS, via Inside Spanish Football, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado will be courted by both Juventus and Barcelona this summer after he's participated at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The tricky winger would be ideal for the Old Lady if they were looking to switch formations, but it's difficult to see how such a direct, risky player fits at the Camp Nou.
Morgan Schneiderlin, Southampton
Morgan Schneiderlin has asserted himself as a classy ball-winning midfielder who is well worth the interest from Arsenal and Napoli, reported by The Mirror.
With Tottenham playing hard-ball, Rafa Benitez would view him as an alternative to Etienne Capoue; Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, would see him as a No. 1 replacement for Mikel Arteta in defensive midfield.
Jack Colback, Sunderland
According to The Express, Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is wanted by a slew of mid-to-bottom-half Premier League clubs.
The versatile midfielder has played in plenty of positions but has failed to agree a new contract with the Black Cats. The Daily Mail believe the Newcastle United fan has picked the rival Tyneside club.
Ilkay Gundogan, Borrusia Dortmund
Ilkay Gundogan hasn't played for a year, but that won't stop suitors working the phones at Borussia Dortmund to see if he's up for sale.
The German playmaker recently signed an extension until 2016, but it's a deal that merely wipes off a wasted year and preserves his value in the market with 24 months on his contract.
Julian Draxler, Schalke
Arsenal tried to sign Julian Draxler this past January but were outpriced by Schalke. They did the sensible thing and refused to overpay for a teenager still very much learning his trade.
Football Direct News believe they'll try their luck again this summer with a slightly lower offer, and Bayern Munich may just step in should a bid actually land, attempting to safeguard another top German prospect.
Frank Lampard, Unattached
He's put all domestic matters on the back burner for the time being as England contest the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but when he arrives back from Brazil his agent will likely present a glut of options.
Major League Soccer is an early big contender for his signature.
Enzo Perez, Benfica
Enzo Perez, an Argentine midfielder seen by some as a better player than Nemanja Matic, could be set to depart Benfica this summer.
talkSPORT have learnt discussions are ongoing between the Eagles and at least two other clubs, with Manchester United and nouveau-riche Valencia named.
Kevin Strootman, Roma
Despite having a torn ACL and being unable to run in any direction other than straight, Kevin Strootman is still being linked with moves away from Roma.
The Guardian believe he's a £30 million target for Louis van Gaal at Manchester United and some groundwork could be laid after the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Erik Lamela, Tottenham Hotspur
Erik Lamela's debut season with Tottenham Hotspur was nothing short of a disaster, with poor form, questionable selection policies and injuries ruining it.
He's now on sale for £20 million, per The Metro, with Internazionale and Juventus considering a bid. Roma should also be interested in bringing him back.
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