25 Deals That Are Likely to Go Right to the Transfer Deadline
Here are 25 footballers who could be summer transfer window deadline-day targets.
As humans, we procrastinate, so it is understandable why some clubs do not finish the bulk of their transfer business until the last minute.
These 25 footballers are subjectively ranked on current playing ability.
25. Lucas Leiva
Linked with a move to Napoli, per Football Italia, Lucas Leiva's departure from Liverpool is still in the balance.
Lucas has high character, is a great teammate and an accurate passer (90.8 percent pass completion rate).
However, he is not a box-to-box player, leaves gaping holes at the back and his body is breaking down.
Playing in Serie A would be Lucas' light at the end of the tunnel.
24. Daniel Agger
Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger begged manager Brendan Rodgers to be let go, per Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.
But which club would Agger go to?
Barcelona, a club that fits Agger's ball-playing style, have already signed Jeremy Mathieu and Thomas Vermaelen.
When asked about Agger's future, Rodgers revealed no club has shown an interest in signing the Denmark international.
"Dan's still getting some work done on his knee, he's been a bit unfortunate since America," Rodgers said, per Sky Sports. "I've seen some stories on that but, no, we haven't had any enquiries [for Agger]."
Agger's inability to stay fit for the entirety of the season is a hazard for suitors.
Shakhtar Donetsk left-winger Bernard's relationship with manager Mircea Lucescu seems irreconcilable.
"Bernard responded on twitter, said Lucescu counted wrong the time he has been away," per a tweet from Sky Sports Brazilian correspondent Paulo Freitas.
It is just another story in the Bernard soap opera.
July 21, 2014: Refused to train, citing personal safety amid the sociopolitical instability in Donetsk, per Jonny Singer at the Daily Mail.
May 22, 2014: Complained about not being a week in, week out starter, per Globo Esporte (h/t Paulo Freitas at Sky Sports).
While Bernard is a prima donna, he is extremely quick and very skilful.
A big team could take a punt on his upside and attempt to massage his ego by treating him with kid gloves.
22. Mattia De Sciglio
AC Milan are mulling over the idea of selling Mattia De Sciglio, per Gaia Brunelli at Goal.com.
Has De Sciglio's development dipped? Yes. However, he is an elite prospect, can play either full-back position and is only 21 years old.
Even if Milan are raising funds, who are they going to buy?
21. Keita Balde Diao
Lazio forward Keita Balde Diao is a €30/£24 million transfer target for Liverpool, per Metro.
Keita is an incisive runner, his turn of pace is lethal and he is already a Lazio regular at 19 years of age.
He was two goals behind Miroslav Klose's seven last season, despite starting eight less games.
The fee is inflated when you factor in Keita's five goals from 25 Serie A games, but his potential is sky high.
20. Mauro Icardi
Inter Milan have not yet been tempted into selling centre-forward Mauro Icardi.
"We already received an offer of over €25/£20 million for Icardi and turned it down," said Inter technical director Piero Ausilio, per Football Italia. "Both he and Mateo Kovacic are untouchable, because they are fundamental for our project."
Icardi has been average since scoring four goals for Sampdoria against Pescara last January. He was heralded as a once-in-a-generation No. 9, but ambles along through games. If he keeps playing like that, he will continue being an irregular starter.
However, given he is still 21 years old, he has time to justify the hype and transition into a prolific scorer.
That is why Inter will not sell unless they receive a preposterously inflated bid for Icardi.
19. Toby Alderweireld
Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld does not want to stay at the club if he is not afforded an extended starting run, according to his father.
"Since last year we have had several discussions on this issue and Atletico understand and believe it makes no sense for Toby to have another year on the bench," Vic Alderweireld said, per AS (h/t Football Espana). "Toby wants to play."
Alderweireld only played about 30 percent of Atleti's La Liga games last season.
He is a quality, ball-playing defender who would be a starter for the majority of top-flight European teams. Unfortunately, he found himself in the same situation as Josuha Guilavogui: right club, wrong time.
With Atleti treating every game as a cup final last season, Alderweireld was a peripheral figure.
Guilavogui was sent on loan to Saint-Etienne last season and Wolfsburg for the upcoming season, so the loan route will be a realistic option for Alderweireld.
18. Matija Nastasic
The arrival of Eliaquim Mangala is an indictment of Matija Nastasic, who has lost the confidence of Manchester City management.
This Mangala guy must be a superstar, right? Wrong.
He makes mistakes, he is unproven at the top level, and aside from being a physical specimen, it is hard to digest his €40.1/£32 million transfer fee.
Nastasic is only 21 years old, and in his first season for City, he proved his elite potential. Then, injuries in his second season limited his ability to perform.
Why are City giving up on Nastasic? It makes no sense whatsoever.
Why? If Juventus sign Luisao, you would think that Nastasic won't be targeted.
Rather than selling Nastasic or forcing him to sit on the bench, City should loan him to a Premier League team and then evaluate his situation at the end of the season.
17. Loic Remy
Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes is hopeful centre-forward Loic Remy will stay with the club rather than leave for a bigger team.
"I have a special relationship with Remy from playing FIFA with him, and I hope to continue playing FIFA with him throughout the season," Fernandes said on talkSPORT's Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. "I am moderately optimistic Remy will be wearing the Hoops' shirt throughout this season."
Fernandes forming a bond with Remy is excellent, especially with the French international's morale down after his proposed move to Liverpool collapsed.
Remy scored 14 goals in the Premier League on loan at Newcastle United last season.
16. Xherdan Shaqiri
Bayern Munich attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri could seek a move away from the Bundesliga champions.
"Basically, I believe I will be staying on at Bayern Munich," Shaqiri said, per Bild (h/t Thomas Zocher at Sky Sports). "But as long as the transfer window is open, anything could happen in the very end."
Translation: If I receive guaranteed starts from a major European club, I'm out of here.
When Bayern spoke about Shaqiri being a prospect for the future, he cheekily tweeted back: "I live in present... Not in future....;-)."
15. Marcos Rojo
Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo is attempting to force a move to Manchester United.
What complicates Rojo's transfer to United is Sporting bickering with Doyen Sports, an investment company that owns a majority of the Argentine international's playing rights, per Duncan Castles at One World Sports:
[Rojo's] "economic rights" are 75 percent owned by an investment fund, Doyen Sports, who while not directly entitled to enforce the player's sale have structured their ownership in a manner that allows them significant influence over a transfer.
According to a source close to the deal, should Sporting refuse to sell to United for the €20/£16 million offered, the Portuguese club will be contractually bound to pay Doyen 75 percent of the value of the rejected bid.
That €15/£12 million would have to be paid within a fortnight.
Here is the twist: Sporting have terminated their agreement with Doyen Sports, per Sky Sports.
Rojo is athletic, can play two positions and would be a left-sided centre-back in a three-man defence at United.
In reaction to United's interest, Rojo has gone on strike and is refusing to train, per Sporting TV (h/t The Guardian).
Before people hate on Rojo, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Two years ago, he was a Spartak Moscow discard, so he has battled his way to the top.
He was imperssive at the FIFA World Cup. Rojo is now not only dreaming of donning the United shirt, the move would set his family up for life.
Understandably, Rojo is extremely resentful of Sporting right now.
Amid Rojo and Doyen Sports' legal dispute with Sporting, United need to consider alternative targets because this drama has just begun.
14. Wilfried Bony
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is pushing the front office to sign Swansea City centre-forward Wilfried Bony, per Alan Nixon at the Mirror.
Bony can ram his way past opposing defenders and provides an aerial presence—he won 105 headers last season. He has scored 47 goals in his last two seasons for Swansea and Vitesse.
He would bolster Liverpool's attack, an area chief executive officer Ian Ayre needs to address.
13. Memphis Depay
PSV Eindhoven left-forward Memphis Depay has yet to decide whether to join Tottenham Hotspur for €18.7/£15 million, per David Hytner at The Guardian.
Depay plays with flair, is exquisitely skilful, possesses elite dribbling ability and can score long-range goals. He scored 12 goals and registered seven assists in the Eredivisie last season.
He started this season with a brace against Willem II during PSV's 3-1 win.
12. Aymeric Laporte
Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte's release clause is €42/£33.7 million, per Tom Conn at Inside Spanish Football.
At 20 years of age, Laporte is, statistically speaking, already a better defender than Paris Saint-Germain's €49.5/£39.3 million-valued 27-year-old David Luiz.
|League Only 2013-14||Aymeric Laporte||David Luiz|
|Tackles Per Game||2.2||1.2|
|Fouls Per Game||1.3||1.4|
|Tackles Per Foul||1.7||0.8|
|Interceptions Per Game||2.3||1.3|
|Possessions Won Back Per Game||4.5||2.5|
|Headers Won/Headers Attempted||88/140||41/67|
|Headers Won %||62.9||61.2|
When you consider Luiz's blockbuster transfer from Chelsea to PSG, plus Manchester City paying Porto €40.1/£32 million for Eliaquim Mangala, it would not be a shock if a major European team triggered Laporte's release clause.
11. Andre Schurrle
Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle is a summer transfer window target for Atletico Madrid, per Sam Adams at the Mirror.
The issue with Schurrle is he performs like a world-class player for Germany, yet is frustratingly inconsistent for Chelsea.
If he can emulate his displays for the German national team at Chelsea, he will be one of the Blues' best players.
Chelsea should stick by him.
10. Edinson Cavani
Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is being pursued by Liverpool, per Phil Kirkbride at the Liverpool Echo.
The reason why Cavani would consider a move away from PSG is being shifted out wide. Last season, he spent portions of the campaign on the right wing, though his average position was always central.
In PSG's 2-2 draw against Reims, Cavani started on the left.
The team runs through Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so Cavani being the second option limits his chances of being PSG's main man.
9. Radamel Falcao
Monaco have vehemently denied claims that centre-forward Radamel Falcao's will move to Real Madrid.
"I have met several times with Real's representatives, but we never spoke about Falcao at all," Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev said, per L'Equipe (h/t Marca). "We are not involved in negotiations."
This is the same spiel Vasilyev gave to the media when asked if Monaco would sell James Rodriguez.
"We strongly believe in [James], it is very important to us," Vasilyev said, per Graeme Bailey at Sky Sports. "He still has four years on his contract and we will do many great things together."
Twenty days later, Monaco sold James to Real for €80/£63.4 million.
Once Real president Florentino Perez targets a big star, it is a seemingly never-ending obsession. He does not care about the losses he suffers in the transfer market or how illogical his transfers are. He is only concerned about expanding Real as a brand via his "Galacticos" policy.
8. Sami Khedira
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has made his stance clear: He does not want to sell Sami Khedira.
"[Khedira is] a Real Madrid player," Ancelotti said, per ESPN FC. "He has a contract until June 30, 2015 and that's all there is to say."
Khedira, a world-class midfielder who is a FIFA World Cup winner with Germany, will have multiple suitors.
It would make sense for Real president Florentino Perez to offload Khedira.
Why? The investment in Asier Illarramendi has a higher chance of succeeding.
Nobody but Perez valued Illarramendi at €32.19/£25.79 million.
7. Juan Cuadrado
Barcelona are ready to outbid Manchester United for Fiorentina utility player Juan Cuadrado, per Carmen Torres at Marca:
[Cuadrado] has his heart set on a move to the Camp Nou and has told the Fiore higher-ups and some of his teammates as much.
The snag is that Manchester United have outbid Barça so far and the onus is on the 'Azulgranas' to match the Red Devils' €40/£32.1 million offer.
The Catalan giants had been reluctant to go this high, but now they have resigned themselves to the idea.
In fact, there were even suggestions that the Italians might hold out for €50/£40.6 million in light of the Colombian's fantastic performances at the World Cup and United's interest, but it is believed that €40/£32.1 million will be enough to seal a deal.
How did Cuadrado go from a headless chicken at Lecce to a world-beater?
His speed, playmaking ability and ability to play multiple positions means he is in demand.
Given Cuadrado's rise, you wonder if Rayo Vallecano's Lass Bangoura, a player with similar attributes, can turn into a world-class player in several seasons' time.
6. Paul Pogba
Juventus central midfielder Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has defused mounting speculation that his client is moving to a wealthier club.
"[Pogba] could remain at Juve without renewing his contract as he is committed until 2016," Raiola said, per La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Nadia Carminati at Sky Sports). "It is also possible that he could decide to sign an extension before the start of the new Italian season."
Pogba is on course to become one of the greatest players of his generation.
He is a threat from long range, he can create for his teammates, he can take the ball past opposing players and possesses immense physical attributes.
It would take a bid of Zinedine Zidane-like proportions for Juve to relinquish Pogba.
5. Marco Reus
Dortmund will need to renegotiate Reus' contract and take out the clause.
In order to do so, Dortmund have to offer him a salary befitting of his 16 goal and 13 assist campaign in the past Bundesliga season.
This is where Bayern come in. They have the financial clout to double whatever Dortmund offer Reus.
Atletico Madrid have so far rebuffed all offers for centre-back Miranda, per Charles Perrin of the Daily Express.
However, Atleti are a selling club and will hold out for an astronomical fee.
Miranda was one of the in-form centre-backs last season and, along with Diego Godin, was crucial to Atleti's success.
3. Mehdi Benatia
Manchester United are interested in signing Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia, per Miguel Delaney at ESPN FC.
Benatia would cost upward of €37.4/£30 million.
He is one of the best centre-backs in the world and was a primary reason why Roma conceded just 25 goals in 38 Serie A games last season.
The sale of Marquinhos last summer suggests Roma are open to selling their best players for top value.
2. Arturo Vidal
Antonio Conte walking away after leading Juventus to three successive Serie A titles fuelled rumours of the management willing to deal away the club's most valuable assets, per Football Italia.
Central midfielder Arturo Vidal is one of the pre-eminent box-to-box midfielders in the world. In his past four seasons, he reached the 10-goal barrier in league play three times.
During that same period, he has totalled 614 tackles and 246 interceptions.
- Between €45/£36 and €48/£38.4 million.
- Two United players, one being Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez
1. Angel Di Maria
Real Madrid attacking midfielder Angel Di Maria could become a casualty of president Florentino Perez's ushering in of the latest Galacticos era.
Giving up Di Maria, who registered 17 assists in La Liga last season and plays multiple positions, will be a big mistake.
Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Di Maria, per Pablo Polo at Marca:
Florentino Perez and the PSG president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, have a gentleman's agreement in place reached during their meeting in Spain, stipulating that the Paris club wouldn't finalise terms with Di Maria without Real's blessing.
Over and beyond that, UEFA and the looming shadow of Financial Fair Play represent a major stumbling block for PSG.
However, once PSG figure out a way of circumventing the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations to sign Di Maria, it might be too late.
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