As another exciting and dramatic Premier League season draws to a close, all eyes will be drawn to what will be an interesting spectacle in the Summer Transfer window. Yes, the football on the pitch will be over, but the action off it continues. Feast your eyes on what is likely to be the most captivating Summer window yet with clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, and the La Liga heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona sure to spend bucket loads of cash.
With Chelsea and Tottenham running away with the Premier League in a two-horse race, both Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will be slightly disappointed they have not been able to match the performances of both London clubs. Expect both coaches to pull out big cheques this summer to strengthen their squads for the new season.
Arsenal on the other hand, are facing an uncertain summer as the future of Arsene Wenger continues to be in question, will he still be at the helm this summer? Reports have long since emerged that the Frenchman will sign a two-year extension to his current deal.
And what about in La Liga? Barcelona themselves will be facing a hectic transfer window as they will not only be looking to strengthen their squad but will also be on the hunt for a new man at the helm to replace Luis Enrique. Will Real Madrid be looking for another Galactico? Eden Hazard maybe? Kylian Mbappe?
There are a lot of questions, debates and uncertainty that will need to be answered as we enter into the summer transfer window. Nonetheless, it will be an enthralling summer filled with transfer surprises and of course, a number of mega-buck deals.
But which of these major signings can we expect? Lets take a look at Part 1 of the expected major signings to happen this summer:
Antoine Griezmann – Manchester United
A transfer saga we are tired of seeing on the back pages of the newspaper, our social media platforms, or Sky Sports News but its a potential transfer that is sure to light up the Barclays Premier League if Manchester United succeed in getting this deal over the line. Lets face it, Antoine Griezmann has grown into one of the biggest stars in World Football. Once considered too small a player to make it on the biggest stage during his early stages at Real Sociedad.
The French superstar has defied his early critics with some outstanding performances for Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone. It is now 3 successive seasons Griezmann has surpassed 20 goals in all competitions. The current season hasn’t been as good a season as we would have expected from Atletico, but they are on course to compete in the Champions League again next season by fighting for 3rd spot in La Liga with Sevilla.
Antoine Griezmann just maybe the calibre of signing United need right now, with the uncertain future of Zlatan Ibrahimovic after his significant injury. Jose Mourinho is in desperate need of a top quality striker and Griezmann fits the bill. United’s record in front of goal this season has been nothing short of dismal plus with Ibrahimovic out, they only have Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney to call upon… Mourinho is in serious need of Griezmann’s services. If that is to happen, Champions League football must be secured for next season.
Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea/Manchester United
Reports in The Sun Newspaper are stating that Romelu Lukaku could turn his back on a potential deal to rejoin Chelsea due to his worry about fitting into Antonio Contes style of play. It is believed the Belgian forward is torn between going back to Stamford Bridge and the prospect of moving to Manchester United.
Lukaku, who is on course to finish the Premier league season with the Golden Boot with 24 goals to his name, desperately wants to play Champions League football next season. While that luxury may not yet be certain at Old Trafford, the prospect of joining Chelsea might be Lukaku’s only real option.
Chelsea’s sporting director, Michael Emenalo will be behind the move if Lukaku is to return to Stamford Bridge and with Diego Costa surely on his way to China, Conte will be looking for an ideal replacement; however, the £100million asking price Everton have slapped on the Belgian may hinder Chelsea’s chances of making a move for the Belgian and they may be forced to turn their attention elsewhere, with Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid likely to become available in the summer. Wherever Romelu Lukaku will end up this summer, lets just hope he makes the right move for his career.
James Rodriguez – Manchester United/Chelsea/Juventus
According to Sky Sports La Liga expert, Guillem Balague, Manchester United are clear favourites to sign Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez. The Columbian superstar and United manager Jose Mourinho both share the same agent – Jorge Mendes. It is believed that James is being touted to many of the top clubs in Europe but he sees United as the ideal club for the next stage of his career.
According to Colombian Radio Station RCN, James Rodriguez has agreed a deal in principle with Manchester United. It is also believed, James and his agent Jorge Mendes, have met with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to discuss the players discontent with his situation at the Bernabeu.
Rodriguez is frustrated at the lack of game time being handed to him by Zidane, despite that, he reached double figures in terms of goals for the season in Madrid’s 4-0 victory over Granada a couple of weeks ago – a testament to his qualities which first came to light at the 2014 World Cup, which was the reason Real Madrid invested so heavily on him straight after the tournament.
James is one of Europe’s most coveted talents and he obviously feels he won’t be able to reach his potential on the bench at Real Madrid, and of course he is right. The Columbian is just too good to be languishing on the sidelines, but how will he fit into the starting XI at United or Chelsea? Another question that will have to be answered in this transfer window.
Alvaro Morata – Chelsea/Arsenal/Manchester United
Another player on the cusp of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu. Another forward too good to be languishing on the bench. Alvaro Morata is in desperate need of a change of scenery; observing from the bench at Real Madrid just won’t do him any good. Morata has notched an impressive 21 goals this season, 15 La Liga goals in 11 starts, an astonishing return despite being no.2 to Karim Benzema – a testament to the quality he adds to the team as Real Madrid continue to battle for trophies both on the European and domestic front.
According to Sky Sports La Liga expert Guillem Balague, Alvaro Morata wants to see what happens with the situation at Chelsea regarding the potential sale of Diego Costa – there is a choice to be made between Morata and Lukaku, the first one preferred by Conte and the second preferred by the club. There is a debate as to who would suit Chelsea more, it is believed that Morata would be the better option tactically. His movement, understanding of the coach and his intelligence leading the line may swing Chelsea towards the signing of the Spanish international.
There haven’t been many reports about links with Arsenal but why doesn’t Wenger go for the young forward? Arsenal are in desperate need of a top-quality forward and Morata certainly fits the bill. Wenger would be wise to move for him too.
Virgil Van Dijk – Man City/Liverpool/Chelsea
Southampton manager Claude Puel is adamant Virgil Van Dijk will be staying at Southampton beyond this summer. Clearly the French coach does not know his board well, over the past 6 years Southampton have accepted big money offers for star players like; Sadio Mane, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren who have all been sold (mostly to Liverpool) and that won’t change this summer in terms of the future of Van Dijk.
Strong, agile and solid. All you need in a top class defender, plus his great ability on the ball which is a huge asset to the way Southampton play, no wonder they have sorely missed his presence at the back for the second half of the season.
Expect clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool to submit high bids for the Dutch international who is valued at an incredible £50million pounds. Southampton will gladly accept that kind of offer with open arms.
Written by Anthony Onifade
Follow Anthony on twitter @antzhumbleent
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