Summer Transfer Window Preview: Top 25 Biggest Names Who Will Be Changing Clubs
The January transfer window has come and gone, and to be quite honest, it was one of the most exciting winter transfer windows ever. There were big name players swapping teams and the drama went all the way down to the final day.
This was one of the most active Januarys ever, with British clubs spending over £200 million, compared to just £29 million last January.
However, all is not settled in the world of football. There are still star players who are unhappy at their clubs, or just players who believe they could be making more money. Besides, behind every great player is a greedy agent, an agent who is constantly giving that player "advice." That advice from the agent is usually to move on to a new club. After all, the more moves a player makes, the more commissions the agent receives.
The January transfer window is usually more quiet due to the amount of star players cup-tied in European football. Teams aren't going to shell out large transfer sums for a player who can't even play for them in the Champions League.
Therefore, most teams wait for the summer, when teams know what they need and players contracts expire.
Previous summers have seen many shocking moves as star players jump ship to other clubs. This summer looks to be no different. Here are 25 players who could be changing clubs this summer.
Best Of The Rest
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The Hungarian midfielder was sought after by many clubs in January but will remain with Fulham for the rest of the season. However, Gera's contract runs out following this season, and Gera's agent insists that the midfielder does not want to sign a new contract at Craven Cottage. Gera will likely move to another Premier League side in hopes of securing regular first team football.
Taiwo has been tremendous for French club Olympic Marseille this season but his contract is set to expire this summer. Portuguese giants Benfica are looking to pursue the left-back's signature but they will be facing competition from England. Both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are also said to be interested, as Tottenham are looking to bolster their back line, while Everton could be preparing for the possible departure of left-back Leighton Baines.
It's hard to see the American striker remaining with Villarreal after this season. Since Villarreal paid the MLS $10 million in 2008 for the Red Bull striker, Altidore's career at the club and international level has been marred by inconsistency. Altidore has now started his third loan spell in as many years, this time with Turkish Champions Bursaspor. This comes following an uneventful full season loan at Hull City last season. If Altidore doesn't turn it around with this new loan, Villarreal could be looking to offload him this summer.
Arteta signed himself a new contract with Everton earlier this season to keep him at Goodison Park for the next few years. However some of the big English clubs have had their eyes on the Spanish midfielder, most notably Arsenal, who see Arteta as a replacement for Cesc Fabregas in the event that the Gunners skipper leaves. Everton are amid a financial crisis and rumours are swirling that they may in fact go into administration. If that happens, some of their big money players may have to be sold so Everton can get money.
25. Owen Hargreaves
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No matter if you are a Manchester United fan, you cannot say that Owen Hargreaves was a failure at Old Trafford. Not after that stunning goal against Arsenal that helped United on to a second straight title in 2008.
But what you can say is that Hargreaves' time at Old Trafford certainly failed to live up to the potential greatness that it could have been.
When Hargreaves was brought to Old Trafford in 2008, many fans saw him becoming a permanent fixture in United's central midfield. Unfortunately, Hargreaves has spent more time on the training table then on the pitch in his three-and-a half-years at United.
Hargreaves played all of 20 seconds for United in the 2009/10 season, and has made just one appearance this campaign, a game that he started but came limping off five minutes later.
What Hargreaves may need most is a change of scenery for the slim hope that he will be able to revive his career somewhere else. His contract comes to an end this season and it is highly doubtful that United will look to renew it.
24. Nicklas Bendtner
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Nicklas Bendtner's Arsenal career has been filled with promise and potential. Unfortunately, only glimpses of that promise and potential have shown during his career.
Bendtner has struggled to maintain his fitness, and when fit, he has struggled to get regular first team appearances. He has constantly been behind Robin Van Persie, and last summer Arsenal picked up Marouane Chamakh, limiting Bendtner's first team appearances even more.
Bendtner became a late January target for Newcastle, as a possible replacement for Andy Carroll, who moved to Liverpool on the final day of the January transfer window. He was also linked with a move across London to West Ham United, but Bendtner claimed he had no interest in the move.
Bendtner claims he has no desire to leave the Emirates, but if his first team opportunities continue to be few and far between, his mind could easily change this summer.
23. Jack Rodwell
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Everton's young midfielder is ready to step in and play a major role for the club in the second half of the season. Rodwell spent most of the first half of the season on the sidelines with injuries but is hoping to have a strong showing for the second half of the season.
Rodwell is still young and continuing to grow but has shown great potential throughout his early career. He is already being projected to form a long-time central midfield partnership with Arsenal's Jack Wilshere for England in the years to come.
Rodwell's name seems to come up in the transfer rumours every season, with Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly being interested in making a 20 million bid for the midfielder. Ferguson see's Rodwell as a player who could become a big time midfielder for United and replace the aging Paul Scholes when he chooses to move on.
Toward the end of the January transfer window, rumours started swirling around Liverpool that Everton were struggling financially and are about to be going into administration. If those rumours are true, and Manchester United comes knocking on the door with a £20 million pound bid, it will be hard for Everton to turn down that offer.
22. Shay Given
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Shay Given may in fact be the Premier League's most unhappy player. Given lost out on the no. 1 goalkeeper's job at Manchester City at the start of the season to Joe Hart. He has expressed his desire to leave ever since.
Given was the subject of many transfer rumours at the end of the summer transfer window, with an apparent loan to Scottish club Celtic falling through. Given spent the first half of the season on the bench, making sporadic appearances in mostly Carling Cup matches.
Given had been being linked with a move to Arsenal throughout the first few months of the season, but it appeared that Arsenal became uninterested due to the superb play of 20-year old Polish stopper Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has already gone ahead and said that Szczesny is now the Gunners no. 1 keeper, leaving the Gunners with no need to move for Given.
Given once again became vocal about leaving Eastlands late in January when Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini announced that he was reluctant to let Given leave, in case Joe Hart would pick up an injury.
Given has now said that if no Premier League team wants him, he is ready to move down to the Championship level, in hopes of securing regular first team football.
Given failed to move away from Eastlands in January, and will likely now have to spend the remainder of the season on the Manchester City bench. However, it is very likely that the unhappy keeper will get his way and be able to leave Manchester City this summer.
21. Manuel Almunia and Carlo Cudicini
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It has been a rough season for these two North London goalkeepers. Despite Cudicini entering the season as Tottenham's backup, there appear to be no signs of the Italian moving up in the ranks, despite some struggles of first choice keeper Heurelho Gomes.
For Almunia, this was supposed to be the season where he took a stronghold on the no. 1 goalkeeping job at Arsenal. Instead, though, his play has been marred by inconsistency and a return of the mistakes that have made Arsenal fans frustrated by him in the first place.
To make matters worse, earlier this season Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger opted to give 20-year-old Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny his debut. Szczesny made his debut and hasn't looked back. He has since been named the no. 1 keeper for Arsenal, ahead of Almunia and fellow countryman Lukasz Fabianksi.
Almunia has played sparingly since his errors cost Arsenal a 3-2 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion in September, but Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has praised the professionalism of Almunia, despite his lack of starts.
Wenger had also claimed that Almunia would be free to leave in January, with Athletico Madrid rumoured to be interested. January has come and gone and Almunia is still with the Gunners, perhaps this summer will see two goalkeepers leave North London in search of regular first team football.
20. Lassana Diarra
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Diarra was involved in a bunch of transfer rumours this January, with the big one saying that Tottenham Hotspur were interested in bringing in the Real Madrid midfielder on loan. Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho said that Madrid were not interested in loaning out Diarra, but would be happy to sell him to Spurs for £18 million.
Manchester United, Liverpool, AC Milan, and Paris-St. German are all also rumoured to be interested in obtaining the midfielders services.
However, Diarra's agent has said that Diarra would not be leaving Madrid this season, and is content to fight for his place in the team.
However, fighting for his place in the team could become a long tiresome affair for Diarra. Diarra has only been featured in 12 Madrid matches this season. His playing time has been severlely limited by the arrival of German international Sami Khedira last summer.
19. Landon Donovan
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The star of the USA's World Cup run in 2010 could be on the move this summer. Donovan spent 10 weeks on loan at Everton last season in preparation for the World Cup in South Africa.
Though the move was questioned at the time, Donovan's loan spell turned out to be a roaring success, both for the player and for Everton. Both Everton manager David Moyes as well as Everton's fans made it clear that they wished Donovan could stay longer.
Last summer Everton were reportedly in talks with the LA Galaxy and MLS to try and bring Donovan to Goodison Park permanently. The deal fell through when the Galaxy's asking price was too high for Everton.
A true ambassador of the game, Donovan has said all the right things. He has made it clear that he is happy in Los Angeles, and enjoys playing for the Galaxy. However, he has also made it clear about how much he loves Everton and how much he would enjoy getting another chance to play there again.
Donovan chose not to go back on loan to Everton this January, citing the need to rest and relax before the 2011 MLS season after playing nearly a full year of football in 2010.
With Steven Pienaar having left Everton for Tottenham in January, the Toffee's now have an opening in their midfield. If the Jack Rodwell rumours are true, and Everton are able to sell him for £20 million, then they could find themselves with the cash to bring Donovan back to Goodison Park, a move that Donovan would happily accept.
18. Giuseppe Rossi
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Giuseppe Rossi, the American-born Italian striker just can't keep his names out of the gossip pages. It seems that every time another transfer window opens, Rossi is being linked with a move back to the Premier League.
Rossi, who first signed with Manchester United when he was 17, has settled in nicely at Spanish club Villarreal. Rossi has scored 65 goals in 154 appearances for Villarreal, and has added three international goals for Italy; two of which came in the Confederations Cup against the United States just to remind US fans what they were missing.
Rossi has been a big part in Villarreal's climb up the La Liga table as they sit in third place, just six points behind Real Madrid.
Last summer, Rossi was left off Italy's World Cup squad despite making the initial 30-man roster. The move sparked outrage among the Italian fans who believe Rossi should now have a permanent spot in the Italian starting XI.
With every goal Rossi scores, the interest from overseas gets louder and louder. Manchester United have denied reports that they are interested in bringing Rossi back, despite having a buy-back clause in his contract. Meanwhile Tottenham were reported to being very close to brining Rossi to North London in a deadline-day deal in January, but conflicting reports say that either the deal fell through, or the deal was never on.
It is hard to see Villarreal ever being able to take the next step in La Liga and be able to compete with Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. The interest in the Premier League is not going away, and this summer Villarreal's phone will be ringing with offers. It is only a matter of time where the allure of a chance to win trophies in the Premier League will be too much for Rossi to say no to.
17. Miroslav Klose
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The German international could be playing out his final season with Bayern Munich this season. Klose had already been a transfer interest of clubs Real Madrid and Inter Milan this January.
Klose's Bayern contract runs out this summer and many expect the striker to be wearing a different shirt at the start of the next season.
Klose could be open to a summer move as he has already been quoted saying, "My first priority is Bayern Munich. But I am open to anything and could seriously imagine a move within the Bundesliga or overseas."
The interest is there from many teams, including former team Werder Bremen. In England, if Klose's contract runs out and he could be brought in on a free transfer, there are reports saying Premier League side Wolves could look to bring in the German.
There is plenty of interest out there for Klose, and his comments don't exactly show that he has long-term commitment to Bayern. Bayern better start preparing a list of possible replacements.
16. Philippe Mexes
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Roma defender Philippe Mexes spent the entire first half of the season being linked to a January move to Arsenal. In the end, Arsenal chose to remain quiet on the transfer front.
Now Mexes has said that his contract talks with Roma are ongoing. The two sides are now looking to extend his contract, which runs out this summer.
However AC Milan are reportedly paying very close attention to the contract negotiations and are looking to pounce in case those negotiations fail.
Mexes and Roma have been involved in contract negotiations for quite some time now, but the two sides have been unable to come to an agreement on the personal wages for the defender.
But just because Arsenal did not make a move in January it does not mean that they are no longer interested in Roma's prized defender. Arsene Wenger looks intent on bolstering up Arsenal's back line which has been inconsistent this season.
If Mexes' contract runs out this summer, both Arsenal and AC Milan will be ready to try to lure the defender away from Roma.
15. Charlie Adam
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Charlie Adam was involved in one of the most intriguing transfer sagas this past January. Early reports were that Liverpool were interested in signing the Blackpool skipper, but their initial £6 million bid was rejected by Blackpool.
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway said that Adam was worth between £10-12 million, and that Blackpool would not be selling for less. The matter was taken to a new level when Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson came out and said that Adam's corner kicks alone were worth £10 million. This coming after Adam set up two Blackpool goals from corners against the Red Devils.
As the month of January wore on, Adam increased speculation by handing in his own transfer request to leave Blackpool.
The story ended up dragging on to the final day of the transfer window. When it became likely that Liverpool were going to lose striker Fernando Torres, the rumours intensified that they would use some of that money to pry Adam away from Blackpool.
The reports only continued to increase as later in the day, reports came out that Adam had in fact, arrived at Liverpool's training ground to take a medical and work out personal details if a deal would go through.
But unfortunately for Adam the deal never came to pass, but the day certainty didn't lack drama. At one point Manchester United had reportedly entered the mix, seeing Adam as a possible replacement to Paul Scholes. Conflicting reports stated that United were either never interested, or backed out because Adam's price was too high, perhaps Sir Alex's comments ended up shooting himself in the foot?
Later in the day it was revealed that Tottenham had actually had a bid for Adam accepted by Blackpool, but Blackpool couldn't locate two of their shareholders in time to make the deal happen.
At the end of the day, Adam remained with Blackpool, and though he has stated that he is fully committed to helping Blackpool keep up their impressive first season in the Premier League, there is no doubt he is looking to move away next season.
14. Johan Elmander
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The Swedish international has finally found his goal scoring form this season for Bolton Wanderers. Elmander scored six times in Bolton's first 13 matches, and currently leads the team with 9 goals. Prior to this season Elmander had scored struck just eight times since moving to Bolton in 2008.
Elmander also has 13 goals in 51 appearances for the Swedish national team, and played in both Euro2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
Elmander's impressive form has come at the right time for the striker, as his contract with Bolton is set to expire at the end of the season. Elmander had been linked with a move to Newcastle on the final day of the January transfer window, as Newcastle were in a desperate search to replace Andy Carroll.
However Bolton boss Owen Coyle has since claimed that no offers came in regarding the striker.
But interest for Elmander has not gone away, and Newcastle are expected to try to lure the striker to St. James Park this summer. Italian side Fiorentina are also rumoured to be interested.
If Elmander maintains the goalscoring form he showed in the first half of the season, interest from other clubs will be high. If other clubs are able to offer higher wages, Elmander could be on his way out of the Reebok Stadium.
13. Roman Pavyuchenko/Peter Crouch
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For a team that spent the entire deadline day trying to bring a striker to White Hart Lane, surely Spurs won't offload two of their remaining three strikers this summer. But this summer Tottenham are once again going to get active in the transfer market looking for a big name striker, and it is likely that one of these two strikers will be included in a deal to bring one in.
Last season, Peter Crouch scored the goal that put Tottenham in 4th place, securing their first ever spot in the Champions League. But this season Crouch has scored just two goals in 24 Premier League appearances, causing him to fall out of favor with manager Harry Redknapp.
Meanwhile Pavlyuchenko holds some of the most unique numbers out of any player in the world. Outside of the Premier League, Pavlyuchenko has been absolutely brilliant, well worth the £14 million that Spurs originally spent on him. In 22 non-league games for Tottenham, Pavlyuchenko has struck 18 times! However, somehow this has not transferred over to the Premier League at all.
In three years with Tottenham, Pavlyuchenko has made 61 appearances, but has scored just 15 times. His lack of goal scoring has long caused him to fall out of favor with Redknapp when it comes to league matches. While Pavlyuchenko features in almost all of Tottenham's non-league matches, those appearances have not been enough to keep the striker happy.
The striker has long been voicing his displeasure with his lack of opportunities and has long been looking for a move out of North London. Pavlyuchenko was included in Tottenham's January bid for Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, but the bid was rejected.
Pavlyuchenko was also rumoured to be a transfer target of Sunderland, who were looking to replace Darren Bent after he left for Aston Villa. Shockingly, Real Madrid were also reported to be interested in the striker, but that was only if their loan move for Emanuel Adebayor fell through.
There are several teams keeping their eyes on Pavlyuchenko, and with the striker's lack of playing time at White Hart Lane, it's hard to see the Russian remaining in North London following this season. If he somehow does, it is even harder to see Spurs holding on to both Pavlyuchenko and Crouch.
12. Emanuel Adebayor
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I'm taking the easy way out on this one. Adebayor belongs to two clubs, his parent club Manchester City, and the club to whom he's been loaned to for the second half of the season, Real Madrid. Either way, Adebayor will not be wearing the same shirt next season.
Adebayor's Manchester City career started off with a bang, scoring in his first four consecutive matches. However, midway through the season, City underwent a managerial change bringing in Roberto Mancini.
Adebayor has had a rough relationship with Mancini, and he has since fallen down the pecking order. Carlos Tevez became the club's first choice striker, while last summer the club brought in Mario Bolatelli from Inter Milan.
Adebayor continued to fall down the pecking order at Manchester City, and it was made worse when the club brought in Edin Dzeko in January.
Adebayor was given new life when Manchester City agreed to send the striker to Real Madrid on loan. Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho was looking for a striker to replace injured Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain.
The move will work out well for Adebayor now, but when Higuain returns from injury, Adebayor may very easily find himself on the bench once again.
Adebayor could end up staying at Real Madrid, or Real Madrid may opt not to make the loan move permanent, instead sending Adebayor back to City. If Adebayor ends up back at Eastlands, he will look for another transfer move away from City.
11. David De Gea
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Athletico Madrid goalkeeper David De Gea is out of contract this summer and according to the goalkeeper, he has yet to be offered a new contract.
In Manchester, Manchester United goalkeeper has announced that he will retire at the end of this season, leaving Manchester United in search of a replacement.
It has widely been reported that De Gea is on the shortlist of potential replacements for Van Der Sar, and Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to make a move for the keeper this summer.
United have reportedly already assured Athletico Madrid that they will make a bid for the keeper this summer, should Athletico put him up for sale.
De Gea is still just 20 years old, and may not become United's first choice keeper right away, but all signs are pointing to an Old Trafford move for De Gea this summer.
10. Leighton Baines
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Everton defender Leighton Baines has been making a big name for himself in recent years. The master of crosses coming in from the left side helped Baines rack up nine assists in the Premier League last season. This season, Baines has already set up another seven goals and has scored two himself.
Baines had his name thrown around in the gossip pages during the first half of the season, with reports that German club Bayern Munich were making advances towards signing the English left-back.
Baines rejected Munich's advances, but said he was flattered by the link. Currently though, it is being reported that Manchester United are eying Baines as a potential replacement at left-back should Patrice Evra leave this summer.
Baines has maintained that he is happy with life at Everton, but there are several reports of a dire financial situation at Goodison Park. If those reports are true, and a big club comes in offering the club a lot of money for Baines, it might be an offer that Everton just have to accept.
9. Nicolas Anelka
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It is hard to say French Striker has been anything short of brilliant throughout his Chelsea career. Anelka has made 150 appearances in all competitions for the West London club, amassing a total of 75 goals.
Anelka's one setback in Chelsea came in the 2008 Champions League Final, when Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar saved Anelka's penalty, giving United the trophy.
However Anelka's playing looks almost certain to take a hit as Chelsea made a £50 million move to sign Liverpool striker Fernando Torres on the final day of the January transfer window.
It was first reported that as part of the deal Chelsea would send Anelka to Liverpool, but at the end of the day, Anelka remained in London. Despite his success for the club, it is hard to imagine that Anelka will be able to break-up the terrifying-on-paper pair of Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba.
If Anelka is confined to the bench as expected, you could expect several clubs to come calling this summer looking to obtain the Frenchman's services.
8. Maarten Stekelenburg
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At 28 years old, Maarten Stekelenburg seems to be the more ideal replacement for Edwin Van Der Sar at Manchester United. Stekelenburg is on the Manchester United shortlist for possible replacements, but reports have been conflicting as to whether he is at the top of the list or just on the list.
This would not be the first time that Stekelenburg has replaced Van Der Sar. Stekelenburg replace Van Der Sar when the keeper first left his club Ajax, and he has since replaced the 40-year-old as the first choice keeper for the Dutch National team.
Stekelenburg has already had success at the International level, helping the Netherlands reach the World Cup final in South Africa.
While there are questions over his potential availability this summer, that is the main reason Sir Alex Ferguson has been courting David De Gea as well.
With Stekelenburg's experience, he is Sir Alex's first choice to bring to Old Trafford this summer.
7. Gareth Bale
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Gareth Bale has spent the 2010/11 campaign emerging as one of the best left wing players in the world. He as already scored seven times for Tottenham in the Premier League, as well as another four times in the Champions League.
However Bale's crowning moment this season came when Bale repeatedly torched Inter Milan right back Maicon, considered by many to be the best in the world, during the two matches between the clubs in the Champions League. Bale tapped off the display by picking up a hat-trick in the second half of the match at the San Siro.
From that moment on Bale's name has been front and center of the transfer rumours involving all of the big clubs.
Manchester United saw him as a the heir to Ryan Giggs, Barcelona and Real Madrid were interested in him as well.
Barcelona are now reported to preparing to make a £40 million bid for Bale this summer. Inter Milan are reportedly ready to make the same offer.
Despite all the rumours, Gareth Bale has not only remained humble, but has insisted that he is happy at White Hart Lane and wants to stay there. Manager Harry Redknapp has stated that it is absolutely imperative that Bale remains at White Hart Lane, and that Tottenham continue to build their squad around him.
A month ago, it looked like it would be impossible for Gareth Bale to leave Tottenham. However, in January Spurs signed Everton left-winger Steven Pienaar, a move that could relegate Bale back to left-back, a position where he has struggled.
If Spurs have a player who could play on the left-wing, and the big clubs actually make formal bids offering a lot of money, how long can Tottenham say no for?
6. Patrice Evra
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Following the Wayne Rooney transfer saga back in October, Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra started voicing his displeasure with the club. It is unclear whether Evra is merely looking for a new contract or if he truly wants to leave Old Trafford.
Evra could be making a big mistake though, as Sir Alex Ferguson is not the manager whose patience you want to test. Just ask stars David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and Gabriel Heinze, just to name a few.
Evra's mistake is coming as he just saw the manager take a different approach and work out a new contract with Rooney, despite Rooney handing in a transfer request. The difference was after losing Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo last season, Sir Alex knew that loosing Rooney was not an option. Evra on the other hand, is expendable.
Furthermore, Evra has started to draw the ire of the Manchester United fans this season. Evra has always been known, and loved, for his ability to fly up the left wing and join the attack. However since the French debacle at the World Cup this summer, Evra's game has been different.
Evra's defending this season could be described as inconsistent at best. In some matches, he will actually defend, in other matches, he for some reason is unable to defend, and in some matches, he just doesn't seem interested in defending at all.
Real Madrid have openly voiced their interest in bringing the left-back to Spain, and while two years ago many United fans would never want to see Evra leave, many now are totally fine to see the Frenchman go, and let United give young Brazilian Fabio the chance to become the first-choice left back.
5. Karim Benzema
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Two seasons ago Karim Benzema was the hot striker on the market strongly being linked with a move to Manchester United. Then Real Madrid decided to go on a spending spree and signed the French striker away from Lyon.
But Benzema got off to a slow start at the Bernabeu and soon found himself relegated to the bench. His first team opportunities became few and far between. The end result, was Benzema being left off the French World Cup squad, which in hindsight was probably great for Benzema.
Benzema struggled for first team appearances under new manager Jose Mourinho. Despite Mourinho backing Benzema to succeed, Benzema has still found himself on the bench more often then not.
When Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain went down with an injury, it appeared that Benzema would finally get the chance to step in and shine for Real Madrid. While he has made more appearances, Mourinho made it loud and clear that he needed to look in the transfer market for someone to replace Higuain.
Real Madrid have now brought in Emanuel Adebayor on loan, a man Mourinho believes will be able to replace Higuain.
Real Madrid rejected a Juventus bid for Benzema during the January transfer window, saying that they needed Benzema to fill in for the injured Higuain. But then Madrid turned around and brought in Adebayor saying he would be the replacement.
From Benzema's camp, you can't help but think Real Madrid have been giving very mixed signals over their intentions for Benzema. At a certain point, Benzema will get fed up with Madrid, and look to take his football abilities elsewhere. That certain point, will likely be this summer.
4. Didier Drogba
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RIght now Chelsea's top three strikers are Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, and Nicolas Anelka. By the time next season starts it will be Torres and either Drogba or Anelka.
Reports from earlier this January claimed that Real Madrid were preparing to make a bid for Didier Drogba, and striker from the Ivory Coast said he would relish the opportunity to link up with his former manager once again.
Drogba's mind may have changed when Chelsea signed Torres, but that doesn't change the fact that Chelsea need to start winning right away. Chelsea currently sit 10 points behind leaders Manchester United, though they still must play United twice.
One of the reasons for Chelsea's poor form has been the poor form by Drogba this season. Drogba started the season off with a bang, picking up a hat-trick in Chelsea's first match this season. But since then he has been inconsistent, while also suffering from Malaria at one point.
Pundits have also claimed that Drogba was starting to look too comfortable at Stamford Bridge, or for lack of a better word, "bored." Some even suggested it was time for Drogba to move on from Chelsea.
Drogba will now have the chance to form a partnership with Fernando Torres, a partnership that is sure to scare the daylights out of the rest of the Premier League.
However if Drogba's form does not improve, Nicolas Anelka will be waiting to show how well he could link with Torres.
Either Drogba or Anelka will be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer, if Anelka proves he could link well with Torres, Didier Drogba could be wearing a different shirt next season.
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Another member of Real Madrid's summer 2009 spending spree, Kaka spent the first half of the season, and the first season under manager Jose Mourinho, sidelined with an injury. When Kaka was preparing to return rumours started swirling of Mourinho sending the Brazilian play-maker to Manchester United on loan, with an option to make the move permanent.
Mourinho questioned how well Kaka would fit into Madrid's new style of play, claiming that the new style may not suit the abilities of Kaka.
Kaka has struggled at Real Madrid, scoring just nine times in 33 appearances in all competitions last season.
This season Kaka has made just three appearances since returning from injury. His lack of appearances and form at Real Madrid led to Kaka being left off the latest Brazil squad.
If Kaka continues to struggle to find his form at Real Madrid this season, perhaps Mourinho was right and the formation of Madrid is not the best fit for Kaka. If that is true, it would be best for Kaka to look to play elsewhere.
2. Cesc Fabregas
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The biggest transfer saga of last summer was the constant rumours of Cesc Fabregas wanting to join his original club Barcelona from Arsenal. Despite the constant reports, Fabregas never denied their truth and let them continue all summer.
To make matters worse for Arsenal, Fabregas spent the early part of the summer playing for Spain in the World Cup, along with several Barcelona players. There were many reports claiming that Fabregas had told the Barcelona players that he wanted to continue playing with them.
The story reached new levels following the World Cup when several Barcelona players through a Barcelona shirt onto Fabregas during a Spain victory celebration.
When the dust finally settled though, Fabregas remained at Arsenal. Fabregas had met with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and the two of them decided it would be best for him to stay.
The situation is very similar to what Manchester United went through in the summer of 2008, when Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to join his dream club of Real Madrid. Ronaldo met with Sir Alex Ferguson, where the two decided that Ronaldo would stay at United for one more year, and that United would sell him the following season.
Ronaldo stayed at United the next season, helping them reach a second consecutive Champions League final. He was sold to Madrid shortly afterwards.
It is hard to imagine that Wenger and Fabregas didn't come to a similar agreement. However, what Fabregas was promised last season, was that Arsenal would be active in the transfer window to try and build a squad that would win the Premier League title.
There are differences of opinions of whether Arsenal were active enough, but either way, if Arsenal don't win any trophies this season, you could expect Fabregas to loudly voice his desire to join Barcelona this summer.
1. Carlos Tevez
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There are many words that could be used to describe Carlos Tevez. Whiner, complainer, and baby are the three that come to mind that are also suitable to print. I mean, is it really that cold that he needs to wear that silly looking neck warmer every single match?
Since 2009 Carlos Tevez has done two things; score goals and complain. He complained about his lack of starts at Manchester United, complained that United weren't giving him a new contract (hmm if you don't like that your not playing why would you want to stay with that team?). At Manchester City he complained about his new manager, he complained about his new managers training policy, he complained about Argentina during the World Cup, he complained about Argentina's travel accommodations from the World Cup, he then claimed that he was depressed, he then claimed he wanted to retire, he then handed in a transfer request and wanted to leave Eastlands. Tevez followed that by signing a new contract and claiming he had worked out his differences and was happy at Manchester City.
So the end result is that Carlos Tevez is a head-case. He seems to complain more then NFL wide receivers. If he were in America he would have been given his own reality TV show long ago.
Perhaps maybe one of the reasons Sir Alex Ferguson didn't want to re-sign Tevez is because he felt the £17 million that it would have reportedly cost United to keep him, and the amount of goals Tevez would score, wasn't worth the headache that Tevez would cause him.
With all the drama Tevez has gone through at Manchester City, Roberto Mancini could be thinking the same thing. This January City spent £27 million to sign striker Edin Dzeko. The move could be the beginning of City's attempt to replace Tevez.
Dzeko is an incredibly gifted and dynamic striker, well worth his £27 million price-tag, and he is capable of replacing Tevez.
Tevez may not be happy with life at Manchester City, and he may still be homesick. Or it could just be Manchester City are tired of the drama Tevez is causing, and his frequent and random trips back to Argentina to see his home.
Tevez claims the differences have been worked out and he is happy at Eastlands once again, but it would not surprise me if Carlos Tevez is not a member of Manchester City next season.