World Football

A Dream Transfer Deal Apiece for the World's Top Clubs

Matt CheethamCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2014

A Dream Transfer Deal Apiece for the World's Top Clubs

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    As Brazilian samba beats slowly begin to fade, Europe will soon find itself flush with transfer rumours.

    The World Cup has left many clubs unable to conclude deals, with players on international duty and not wanting distraction.

    After Sunday night, however, all that will change—and change quickly.

    Cue a frantic rush for marquee signings.

    Here's a look ahead to a perfect—semi-realistic—target for some of Europe's top clubs.

    By looking at semi-realistic options, it obviously avoids putting Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo with every club, instead assessing the best of those more likely to be linked.

     

    All statistics via WhoScored.com

Arsenal: Sami Khedira

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    Arsenal have already landed a perfect signing in Alexis Sanchez, via The Independent.

    A right-back appears on the way, in the form of Mathieu Debuchy, per David Ornstein of BBC Sport, leaving midfield and striker as the remaining places to strengthen.

    Arsene Wenger could do with a fast, pacey forward, such as Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but defensive midfield presents the greater need.

    Sami Kehdira would provide a steely presence long yearned for in the Gunners' core. He would be imposing off the ball and fits in well with Arsenal's possession play.

Atletico Madrid: Romelu Lukaku

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    Atletico Madrid are in danger of being picked apart off the back of their momentous La Liga title. 

    They have already lost their key strike-force of Diego Costa and David Villa, Thibaut Courtois won't return and several other players are in danger of some heavy courting.

    Given Diego Simeone's aggressive 4-4-2, Mario Mandzukic might not be the only striker arriving at the Vicente Calderon.

    Romelu Lukaku was inconsistent at the World Cup, but that was largely due to Belgium's passing game. Deployed in a more direct system such as Atletico's, the Chelsea man would thrive.

Barcelona: Mats Hummels

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    Having formed arguably the world's most fearsome attacking combo, Barcelona need something of substance behind it.

    It's time to leave behind the days of make-shift defenders and insert some genuine quality at centre-back.

    That's something Mats Hummels would instantly provide.

    An uncompromising centre-back with the ideal passing game for the Catalans, a move for Hummels would excite every Barcelona fan.

Bayern Munich: Diego Godin

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    Bayern Munich have one of the most complete starting line-ups in Europe, especially with Robert Lewandowski now added in attack.

    One area they could potentially strengthen further, however, is central defence.

    Diego Godin enjoyed an impressive season at Atletico Madrid and would add extra physicality alongside Dante and Jerome Boateng.

    The Uruguayan was the key man in La Liga's leading defence and certainly dealt with Real Madrid forwards better than Bayern's defenders.

Borussia Dortmund: Matthias Ginter

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    Borussia Dortmund endured a frustrating past year, hugely disrupted by injuries.

    Several key players were sidelined but the most affected position was defence, with several drastic reshuffles required.

    Matthias Ginter has been heavily targeted by Jurgen Klopp's side already, per Bild (h/t Sky Sports) and he would be an ideal fit in the heart of defence.

    At just 20, he could form an exciting partnership with Mats Hummels and has the passing range to suit Dortmund's play.

Chelsea: Ricardo Rodriguez

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    Following Ashley Cole's departure, Chelsea have a gaping hole at left-back. 

    Cesar Azpilicueta performed admirably throughout last season but will surely harbour ambitions of claiming the right-back berth. Aside from the Spaniard, there are few alternatives of the right calibre currently owned by the Blues.

    Step forward, Ricardo Rodriguez. The Swiss left-back was a statistical marvel in the Bundesliga last season.

    He scored or assisted more goals (14) than any other defender in Europe’s top five leagues and was also the most creative defender in Germany.

    He was one of Switzerland's better players in Brazil, and, at 21, the Blues would be wise to tie him down now.

Internazionale: Erik Lamela

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    Erik Lamela seems completely lost at Tottenham.

    Given his success in Serie A with Roma, any return to Italy would represent a serious coup for that club.

    Inter's sporting director, Piero Ausilio, has already declared Lamela would be a "dream" signing to La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Sky Sports) and the Argentine would certainly add some much needed flair.

    With 15 goals in 30 starts during his final season at Roma, Lamela would reduce the scoring burden currently on Rodrigo Palacio.

Juventus: Juan Cuadrado

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    Juventus are another side with a formidable starting XI; however, with Patrice Evra seemingly on the way, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian, the Turin club may switch from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3 this season.

    For that, they will need some genuine attacking threats out wide, something Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado would be able to supply.

    After a strong World Cup and an impressive season in Serie A, the explosive Colombian is in demand this summer.

    Should he end up with Juventus, Cuadrado would instantly bolster Antonio Conte's options.

Liverpool: Xherdan Shaqiri

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    With the sale of Luis Suarez, via The Mirror, Liverpool need to replace their star man with some world-class talent.

    Bringing in Xherdan Shaqiri would do exactly that.

    The Swiss international is at home in any attacking position and would allow Daniel Sturridge to play more centrally.

    At 22, it's time for Shaqiri to become the main man at a club, something he's not quite been able to do at Bayern. At Liverpool, he would take centre stage.

Manchester City: Mehdi Benatia

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    Another team where there aren't too many flaws is Manchester City.

    However, having recorded the Premier League's best defensive record in 2011/12 (29 goals conceded) and 2012/13 (34 goals conceded), last season didn't quite match those standards.

    City shipped 37 goals, 10 more than the division's best return from Chelsea. Clearly improvements can be made here and adding an elite talent alongside Vincent Kompany would do exactly that.

    Mehdi Benatia is an ideal solution, having starred at the heart of Roma's stingy defence last season.

Manchester United: Arturo Vidal

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    Arturo Vidal would improve most—if not all—teams in world football. He's arguably the best central midfielder in the game and one of the most well-rounded footballers.

    Why he's linked with Manchester United here instead of many other candidates is due to their dearth of world-class talent in the Red Devils' midfield.

    Michael Carrick had Marouane Fellaini plundering around with him last season, which proved wholly unsuccessful. Ander Herrera has been added but elsewhere, Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley hardly put fear in the eyes of Europe's major clubs.

    Filling that void with Vidal would be the stuff of dreams for most United fans.

Milan: Alessio Cerci

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    Gone are the days of Milan competing for major European transfers.

    With less ammunition currently at their disposal, semi-realistic options are a little harder to find.

    However, if the Rossoneri could strike a deal for Torino's Alessio Cerci, he would prove an important signing for Milan.

    Mostly found on the right, Cerci would be a natural fit alongside Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy in a three-pronged attack.

Napoli: Keylor Navas

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    Napoli have numerous offensive threats but currently lack enough star names in defence.

    Kalidou Koulibaly has arrived to strengthen centre-back, while additions such as Liverpool's Lucas Leiva, could add something at the base of midfield.

    However, with Pepe Reina returned to Liverpool, Napoli need a new goalkeeper to start the season. Step forward Keylor Navas.

    The Costa Rican was inspired during the World Cup and deserves a move to a top club in Europe. Napoli have the biggest need in his position making it a solid fit.

Paris Saint-Germain: Yaya Toure

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    Rumours of Yaya Toure being disenchanted with life in Manchester, per Le Parisien (h/t The Independent) can only interest a select few clubs, one being PSG.

    The French champions have already splashed out on David Luiz this summer, and they would presumably need to sell to meet Financial Fair Play restrictions.

    However, if they did exactly that and pursued the Ivorian, suddenly the spine of their team is as good as it gets.

    Thiago Silva, Toure and Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes some beating and his addition would radically boost their Champions League ambitions.

Real Madrid: Paul Pogba

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    Pretty much any player is a realistic option for Real Madrid.

    Having seemingly already landed Toni Kroos, via Marca (h/t Yahoo Sports), how about adding one of the game's most exciting, young central midfielders alongside him?

    At 21, Paul Pogba is already dominating most games he plays for Juventus.

    His blend of physicality and skill would combine well with Kroos and would challenge any midfield in Europe.

Roma: Serge Aurier

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    Roma have a tough task matching last season's success, where they finished second to Juventus in Serie A.

    Many star names are being linked away from the club, making it difficult to assess where their biggest needs lie.

    If everyone stays put, however, Roma remain strong on paper, with few obvious holes in their starting XI.

    Adding a right-back to compete with Maicon is perhaps the most pressing need.

    Serge Aurier was one of the best right-backs at the World Cup and would add an extra attacking threat linking up with fellow countryman, Gervinho.

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