Premier League Departure Lounge: The Stars Ready to Leave England

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportApril 11, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Eden Hazard of Chelsea is challenged by Andreas Pereira and Ander Herrera both of Manchester United during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey will lead the contingent of Premier League stars quitting English football at the end of this season, when he makes his free-agent move to Juventus.

The international summer transfer window opens on June 9, and already there are plenty of significant figures attempting to negotiate moves that will take them away from England.

After speaking to well-informed transfer sources at clubs across England, here we take a look at some of the major foreign moves beginning to look likely.


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Eden Hazard 

There is no player who will be missed in England quite like Chelsea's brilliant Belgian, Eden Hazard. 

Publicly, he continues to play down links to Real Madrid, but sources in Spain are adamant that the transfer is taking shape and he will become a Galactico.

The terms of his contract will be significant, with Madrid willing to give him a basic wage of £350,000 per week that will be topped up to take him closer to £400,000 if he gets the goals and silverware expected of him.

Chelsea still want £100 million for Hazard, despite the fact that his contract only has just over a year to run, but Bernabeu officials do not intend to meet that figure. 

Sources say that because the Chelsea No. 10 will be out of contract next summer, the Blues are likely to backtrack on their valuation in order to ensure they avoid losing one of the best players in the world on a free transfer in 2020.


Alexis Sanchez

There are few players in world football who need a flight out of England quite as desperately as Alexis. It's been a miserable season—he's started 12 games and scored two goals—but his biggest problem, if you can call it that, is that he's earning such incredible sums of money that only a handful of sides can afford to go near him.

Paris Saint-Germain have been mooted as the best fit for him, but unless one of Kylian Mbappe or Neymar moves on, it's not going to happen.

So the Chinese Super League is beginning to look like his best/only option of a permanent transfer in the near future.

Sources around United insist sides there have not showed interest in him. But it is an area that intermediaries are going to explore because the available cash at some Chinese clubs offers a chance for United to sell and for the player to continue to earn big wages.


Marko Arnautovic

He disrupted West Ham United's season in January by requesting a transfer after Shanghai SIPG offered him more than £200,000 per week to move to China. West Ham blocked the move and Arnautovic strangely signed a new improved contract, but the moment has backfired hugely on him.

West Ham United's Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini (L) gestures as West Ham United's Austrian midfielder Marko Arnautovic (R) is substituted during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Everton at The London Stadium, in ea
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Many of the fans who adored him no longer do, and his form has been affected—he's failed to score a single goal for the Hammers since the saga.

It is unclear whether Shanghai still want him, but it has become apparent that the 29-year-old will need to find a new club over the summer as his status with the Hammers has changed. Interest from English clubs has waned, and now it is expected he will have to leave the Premier League in order to revive his career.  


Ander Herrera

Manchester United have been trying to negotiate terms on a new deal, but they just can not get close to offering the same terms as PSG, who have been pursuing him for months.

Herrera picks up £80,000 per week at United, but he will become a free agent when his contract runs out at the end of the season. Sources say PSG are willing to pay double his current terms and that the player is almost certain to sign a contract for the Ligue 1 club in the coming weeks.

Other United players are set to join him by leaving the country, with Matteo Darmian likely to be the first to pack his bags and head back to Italy.


Idrissa Gueye

Interestingly, Gueye was pursued by PSG earlier in the year as they considered a deadline-day bid of over £26 million after previous advances were rejected, according to Jason Burt of the Daily Telegraph.

Gueye was frustrated that Everton would not sell him in January, but while he has not made a fuss about his feelings, B/R understands he does still want a move.

Representatives have been sounding-out other clubs across Europe and are very confident he will be playing for a Champions League club by next season. Gueye has no problem with Everton, but he is believed to have a determination to test himself at the highest level and hopes the club will allow him to move on this time.


Olivier Giroud and/or Michy Batshuayi

Chelsea have two strikers looking for moves that give them regular football, and at least one of them will leave permanently.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  Olivier Giroud of Chelsea is foiled by Lukasz Fabianski of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on April 08, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike H
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Giroud is frustrated at his continued lack of opportunities—he has started just 16 games this seasonand is opening up to the prospect of a move to Ligue 1, where Bordeaux have made their interest known. The Bundesliga is also an option, with at least three clubs registering an interest, including RB Leipzig as they prepare backup options for the departure of Timo Werner.

Batshuayi, currently on loan at Crystal Palace, is seeking to settle down after three loan spells over the past two seasons, with France and Germany the most likely destinations—but Chelsea want to recoup as much of the £33 million they shelled out on him in 2016 as possible.


Islam Slimani

The Leicester City striker was expected to achieve great things when he joined in 2016 on a five-year deal, but it has not gone to plan, and he will leave for good this summer.

Slimani has been on loan to Fenerbahce this season, but it is Greek side Olympiakos that look most likely to offer him a permanent deal.

Slimani, 30, is eager to get his career back on trackafter a miserable couple of years that saw him also flop at Newcastle United, he accepts that a career in England is not for him.