World Football: 20 Midfielders on the Market

Jimmi CarneyContributor IIIMay 3, 2011

World Football: 20 Midfielders on the Market

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    Will this season finally end Fabregas' transfer saga?
    Will this season finally end Fabregas' transfer saga?Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Spring is in the air..and with that comes the roar of a rumor mill in full, churning swing. With just weeks until the end of the season (and the start of the transfer market) speculation as to who will end up where has bucked into overdrive. Here's a list of the top 20 midfielders likely to switch kits over the summer months.

Ashley Young

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    BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 10:  Ashley Young of Aston Villa is thoughtful during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on April 10, 2011 Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    A contentious, flighty winger with great positioning and playing sense, Ashley Young has impressed at both the domestic and international levels this year for Aston Villa and England, respectively, so much so that clubs Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United are to duke it out over his services. Young's transfer card will cost a cool 25 million pounds, with a bidding war likely to escalate.

Luka Modric

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    PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 29:  Luka Modric of Croatia looks on prior to the International friendly match between France and Croatia at Stade de France at Stade de France on March 29, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    The Croatian playmaker has pulled the stings at White Hart Lane all season and deserves fair credit in Hotspur's historic run at the Champions League. Should Tottenham fail to qualify for the CL again-and with the weekend's unfortunate result making it a steep climb- several key players are likely to be picked off. Given Modric's exceptional command of the midfield, Man Utd, Inter and Juventus have all expressed interest in Croatia's number 10. Spurs have set a pharaonic price tag of 50 million pounds to head off interest, but that may just be an inflationary ruse..

Alberto Aquilani

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    TURIN, ITALY - APRIL 10:  Alberto Aquilani of Juventus FC in action during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and Genoa CFC at Olimpico Stadium on April 10, 2011 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Following a less than spectacular season at the Kop, Aquilani has finally gotten back to the form that made him an idol of the Roma fanbase. However, it is unclear whether Juventus will be willing to drop the 15 million euro price fixed over the summer. Should the deal fall through, Kenny Dalglish will be all too happy to keep the Roman for himself, though AC Milan have also expressed an interest in Aquilani as a replacement for the departing Andrea Pirlo.

Marko Marin

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    MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 29:  Marko Marin of SV Werder Bremen in action during the UEFA Champions League group A match between FC Internazionale Milano and SV Werder Bremen at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 29, 2010 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Valeri
    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Marko Marin has erased any lingering regrets over the sale of Mesut Oezil to Real Madrid over the summer- a left-footed winger with a good touch and read of the game has been dubbed the 'German Messi'. While a little of an overstatement, there is no denying Marin's talents- just ask any Sampdoria fan. Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United have all been linked, with a fee hovering between 15 to 20 million pounds. 

Florent Malouda

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23:  Florent  Malouda of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on April 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie
    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Malouda has played well as always for the Blues, delivering crosses and incisive passes galore. Chelsea will spend the summer rejuvenating an aging line-up, and the Frenchman's 30 years of age  effectively cuts him out from future plans. Tottenham, active in transfer speculation, are said to be interested (as a replacement for a Gareth Bale? One wonders..) as is Liverpool.

Javier Mascherano

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 05:  Javier Mascherano of FC Barcelona passes the ball during the La liga match between Barcelona and Real Zaragoza at Camp Nou on March 5, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 1-0.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
    David Ramos/Getty Images

    A gritty, tough tackling bulldog in the middle of the park, Mascherano has had trouble adapting to Barcelona's velvety play, giving rise to speculation that he may be on his way out. Chelsea, Manchester United and Juventus are all interested.

Andrea Pirlo

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    MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 16:  Andrea Pirlo of AC Milan in action during the Serie A match between AC Milan and UC Sampdoria at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 16, 2011 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    A player of undisputed class, Pirlo has yet to sign a new contract at AC Milan, and it doesn't look like he'll change his mind. The free acquisition of a champion like Pirlo has gotten a handful of the bigger clubs interested- Roma, Juventus, Manchester City, Barcelona and Napoli have all been linked with the Italian.

Alexis Sanchez

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    LECCE, ITALY - APRIL 03:  Alexis Sanchez of Udinese during the Serie A match between US Lecce and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Via del Mare on April 3, 2011 in Lecce, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
    Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

    Alexis Sanchez has set the Serie A alight this season in Udinese's black and white, providing goals, assists and thrills aplenty. A Who's Who list of clubs will have to  compete for the Chilean's signature, valued at 25-30 million pounds. To name a few, Inter, Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Barcelona, Arsenal, Liverpool.

Arjen Robben

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    MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 23:  Arjen Robben of FC Bayern Muenchen looks on during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Inter Milan v FC Bayern Muenchen on February 23, 2011 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Robben has had a year of seconds- 2nd at the World Cup, second best against Inter in the CL final of last season... Now the Flying Dutchman has dithered, wavered, and vacilitated over his future, saying at first that he'd leave the Bayern should they fail to play Champions next season, only to affirm a life-long commitment to the Bavarians a few days later. Needless to say, Robben's floundering (and impressive talents) means Chelsea Inter and AC Milan are keeping tabs on the tonsured winger.

Kakà

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    VALENCIA, SPAIN - APRIL 23:  Kaka of Real Madrid celebrates in action during the La Liga match between Valencia and Real Madrid at Estadio Mestalla on April 23, 2011 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Kakà has yet to leave an impression on La Liga. The 100 million dollar man may be on the way out of the Bernabeu, with a clamorous return to AC Milan a possibility. A swap with Roma for Daniele De Rossi has also been bruited about. Ancelotti is also rumored to be interested in reuniting with his former pupil at Stamford Bridge. Kakà will not be a cheap sell however, and it will take real power of will and wallet to attract the Brazilian.

Javier Pastore

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    MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 20:  Javier Pastore  of Palermo celebrates after scoring the equalizing goal during the TIM Cup semifinal match between AC Milan and US Citta di Palermo at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 20, 2011 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Tullio M.
    Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

    "El Flaco" is the latest prodigy hailing out of Argentina and with the requisite flair befitting the continent, Pastore has been delighting Palermo fans over the past two seasons with his trickery and easy on the eye technique. The goals don't hurt either. Pastore's highlight reel has Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Roma and Juventus all been linked with the Argentine, but Maurizio Zamparini has slapped a 60 million euro price tag to ward off anything but the most seriously moneyed of clubs.

Nuri Sahin

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    SEVILLE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 15:  Nuri Sahin of Borussia Dortmund looks on prior the UEFA Europa League group J match between Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on December 15, 2010 in Seville, Spain. The match ended 2-2.  (Photo
    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Borussia Dortmund mathematically won the Bundesliga this weekend with time to spare, but the pieces of their successful campaign have already been picked apart by the rumor mill. The neo-champions celebrated by signing İlkay Gündoğan, which many see as the preemptive replacement for Nuri Sahin. Sahin, 22, connects the dots in the regista position with eight assists and six goals notched this season. Arsenal want the Turk to take over Fabregas' soon to be vacant place, while Liverpool, Inter, Real Madrid and Chelsea are also knocking on the door. The fee circles at the basement-bargain price of 10 million pounds, a pittance compared to the others on this list.

Nani

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    NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Nani of Manchester United reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park on April 19, 2011 in Newcastle, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Ima
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Nani leads the Premier League in assists (and dives) but the theatric winger may not be a Red Devil come September, for reasons unclear. Real Madrid, Inter and AC Milan have all sounded out the possibility of signing the 24 year old. The cost will be elevated, but a like-for-like swap is also a possibility.

Daniele De Rossi

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    BOLOGNA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 23:  Daniele De Rossi captain of Roma in action during the Serie A match between Bologna FC and AS Roma at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on February 23, 2011 in Bologna, Italy.  (Photo by Roberto Serra/Getty Images)
    Roberto Serra/Getty Images

    The American takeover of Roma implies a clearing-sale to make room for the Roma of the future, and DiBenedetto may want to cash in on the giallorossi's most prized asset. While the World Cup and much of this season has seen an under-par De Rossi, he remains a player of quality, capable of moving anywhere on the pitch. The De Rossi-Kaka switch has made the most noise, but the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea have also pinged. It should take around 25 million euro to prise the Roman from his club of birth.

Samir Nasri

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    BOLTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24:  Samir Nasri of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal at the Reebok Stadium on April 24, 2011 in Bolton, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

     Samir Nasri has yet to sign his Arsenal contract as he hopes to earn the tidy sum of 100k pounds a week, a number which likely left Arsene Wenger paroxysmal with rage. Nasri, who was just nominated for PFA Player of the Year for his contribution to the North London club, has attracted the interest of the usual suspects-Real Madrid, Internazionale, Barcelona. Besides an abnormally large pay-roll, Nasri will cost upwards of 30 million pounds, so only a few clubs will be able to afford him.

Yann M'Vila

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    PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 09:  Yann M'Vila of France lines up prior to the International friendly match between France and Brazil at Stade de France on February 9, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Just because he's not famous, doesn't mean he's cheap. M'Vila has been laying down bone breaking law at Rennes this season, and his holding chops have garnered the attentions of Arsenal, LIverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United. At 20, he has time to develop into "the new Viera", as he has been named. M'Vila costs in the area of 20 million pounds.

Ganso

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 10: Paulo Henrique Ganso #10 of Brazil runs upfield in the first half of a friendly match against the U.S. at the New Meadowlands on August 10, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    AC MIlan or Inter. The derby extends beyond the scudetto this summer as the cross-town rivals butt heads over the second jewel of Santos. Milan seem to be a step ahead, and it's rumored a deal will be announced at the end of this week as to Ganso's future. Regardless, 30 million pounds looks to be the starting price.

Cesc Fabregas

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal applauds the fans during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on April 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Ten guesses what this involved. Will this be the sumer that the Fabregas saga. Finally. Ends. Seriously. Will he go to Barcelona for around 40 million, or will Inter stomp on the party just to boost the price? Who knows, and at this point, who cares. Just for the love of pete, enough.

Wesley Sneijder

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    MILAN, ITALY - APRIL 23:  Wesley Sneijder of FC Inter Milan during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 23, 2011 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Wesley Sneijder has been the orchestrator of Inter's CL win and the Netherland's World Cup run- now the diminuitive Dutchman is considered one of the best in the world in his role. Cue the transfer queue.  35 Million pounds and up will be the cost, as much of Inter's transfer rumors are based around the fee they'll get for selling the dutchman. Right now Manchester United is in front, but they will need to splash serious payola to get him.

Gareth Bale

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Gareth Bale of Spurs in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on April 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Surprise.. The PFA's Player of Year has had a season to redefine "breakout", scoring some memorably goals, including a hat-trick against Inter Milan that sealed his status as the "it" player of the year. Bale's performances and youth has enticed dozens of clubs (and fantasy football players) to get in line for the Welshman. A rule of thumb- if you've heard of the team, it's likely they've "bid" for Bale. Literally. Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, Manchester United, Liverpool, Inter, AC MIlan, Juventus- the list goes on. Far and away the most expensive, should he be sold, Bale will cost around 45-50 million pounds.

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