Saturday 25 October 2014

Football's top 50 transfer window targets this summer

Garry Doyle

Published 28/07/2014 | 02:30

Thomas Muller and Sami Khedira - World Cup winners with Germany - are two of the most sought-after players in this summer transfer window. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images
Thomas Muller and Sami Khedira - World Cup winners with Germany - are two of the most sought-after players in this summer transfer window. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images
Chelsea's Eden Hazard has told Jose Mourinho he will be staying at the club, but that hasn't put PSG or Barcelona off the Belgian midfielder's trail. Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Eden Hazard has told Jose Mourinho he will be staying at the club, but that hasn't put PSG or Barcelona off the Belgian midfielder's trail. Photo: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Arturo Vidal could be the answer to all of Manchester United's problems in midfield - but if they want the Juventus maestro they may have to fight off competition from Spanish football's big two, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Arturo Vidal could be the answer to all of Manchester United's problems in midfield - but if they want the Juventus maestro they may have to fight off competition from Spanish football's big two, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Photo: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

It has supposedly been the worst recession since the Great Depression, a time for austerity and common sense. Yet if ever we needed a reminder that football sets its own rules then this summer has provided it.

Already we have seen Barcelona spend £75m on Luis Suarez, Paris Saint-Germain fork out (waste) £40m on David Luiz, Chelsea give £32m to Atletico Madrid for Diego Costa and another £30m to Barcelona for Cesc Fabregas.

Manchester United have spent £56m on two players and even Arsene Wenger, a managerial scrooge, has raided the club's piggy bank to find the £35m Barcelona were asking for Alexis Sanchez. And there is more to come.

While over £400m has changed hands in Europe already this season, the world's biggest clubs are continuing to flex their financial muscle. So expect Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal to be the busiest shoppers in August.

Here, Garry Doyle examines what has been happening behind the scenes in the transfer market and predicts how events are likely to unfold before the window closes at 11pm on September 1.

1 THOMAS MUELLER

Age: 24

Club: Bayern Munich

Wanted by: Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Barcelona

Price tag: £45m

Winner of the golden boot at the 2010 World Cup, Mueller played even better in Brazil, scoring five goals in Germany's seven matches. And yet there remains a possibility of him leaving Bayern, not least because Pep Guardiola's rotational policy caused disharmony among the Bayern squad last year. If he asks to leave, United and Louis Van Gaal will most likely get him. "He (Van Gaal) is a genius technician," Mueller said five years ago. "He makes players improve all the time."

2 EDEN HAZARD

Age: 23

Club: Chelsea

Wanted by: Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain

Price tag: £55m

Hazard has told Chelsea he is going nowhere, but that has not stopped PSG or Barca from making noises. In a seller's market, both clubs will have to dig deep into their pockets to persuade Jose Mourinho to let him go.

3 MARIO BALOTELLI

Age: 23

Club: AC Milan

Wanted by: Liverpool, Arsenal, Monaco, Tottenham

Price tag: £25m

AC Milan delivered a clear message that they wanted Balotelli to stay at the San Siro when they brought him on their pre-season tour to America. But after scoring 18 goals in all competitions last season, he has his admirers, chief among them Brendan Rodgers.

4 SAMI KHEDIRA

Age: 27

Club: Real Madrid

Wanted by: Chelsea and Arsenal

Price tag: £25m

While Jose Mourinho planned to hijack Arsenal's bid for the Real Madrid midfielder, who played an important part in Germany's World Cup-winning tournament, Khedira has proved hard to catch. He is prepared to haggle to get the best deal.

5 SERGIO AGUERO

Age: 25

Club: Manchester City

Wanted by: Real Madrid

Price tag: £50m

After losing out to City when he left Atletico, Real are planning a second bid for the Argentinean. Manchester City, in response, are prepared to offer the striker a £52m deal to stay at the club.

6 FALCAO

Age: 28. Club: Monaco

Wanted by: Real Madrid

Price tag: £45m

The Colombian missed the World Cup through injury, but impressed for Monaco last season, scoring nine times in 17 games. He claimed last week that he 'believed in the Monaco project'. Time – and a sizeable offer from the Bernabeu – will tell.

7 MATS HUMMELS

Age: 25

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Wanted by: Barcelona, Manchester United

Price tag: £25m

Viewed as a replacement for Nemanja Vidic, Hummels featured prominently for Germany in Brazil and was also a key figure in Dortmund's run to the 2013 Champions League final. Barcelona were also interested until they moved their attentions to Valencia's Jeremy Mathieu.

8 ARTURO VIDAL

Age: 26

Club: Juventus

Wanted by: Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid

Price tag: £30m

One of many players on Manchester United's shopping list, Vidal has been told by Juventus that he is going nowhere. And with three years left on his contract, van Gaal would have to break the bank to get the Chilean, who scored 11 goals in 32 games for Juve last season. "Vidal is a Juventus player and we have never put him up for sale.

"We want to keep him. He has expressed many times how happy he is to remain in Turin" Juventus club administrator Giuseppe Marotta said.

9 ISCO

Age: 22

Club: Real Madrid

Wanted by: Liverpool, Manchester City

Price tag: £30m

Manuel Pellegrini managed Isco at their former club, Malaga, and all things being equal, would sign him in a heartbeat. However, City are restricted by UEFA's transfer cap.

10 ROSS BARKLEY

Age: 20

Club: Everton

Wanted by: Manchester City, Chelsea

Price tag: £30m

Despite maturing nicely under Roberto Martinez, Barkley could be on the move with City the hungriest to secure his signature, partially because of his nationality, but also because Pellegrini believes he has the potential to become a world star.

11 KARIM BENZEMA

Age: 26

Club: Real Madrid

Wanted by: Arsenal, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain.

Price tag: £30m

Finally came of age in this summer's World Cup, when he scored three times for France, Benzema's departure from Madrid could be a side-effect of James Rodriguez's arrival at the club. Arsenal have bid for him before and will do so again.

12 EDINSON CAVANI

Age: 27

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Wanted by: Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool.

Price tag: £60m

Uninspiring in the World Cup, where he scored just once, Cavani has admitted his future at PSG is up in the air after a season when he was unhappy playing in a wide position.

13 ANGEL DI MARIA

Age: 26

Club: Real Madrid

Wanted by: Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United.

Price tag: £25m

Real Madrid are prepared to sell their Argentine midfielder and Di Maria is not willing to put up much of a fight to stay, especially as he knows how interested three of the Premier League's big hitters are in signing him.

14 DANI ALVES

Age: 31

Club: Barcelona

Wanted by: Paris Saint-Germain

Price tag: £15m

After trying to buy him last year, PSG are likely to return to the market place and bid for the 31-year-old who has just a year left on his contract.

15 PAUL POGBA

Age: 21

Club: Juventus

Wanted by: Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Barcelona.

Price tag: £50m

Pogba's career has turned around in Turin and all of a sudden he is a hot property, wanted by the leading clubs in France, Spain and England. Juve will put up a fight, and a hefty price tag in order to keep him.

16 TOM CLEVERLEY

Age: 24

Club: Manchester United

Wanted by: Everton

Price tag: £15m

While Manchester United plan to hold further talks with Cleverley next month about extending his stay at Old Trafford, Everton are continuing to monitor developments.

17 JAN VERTONGHEN

Age: 27

Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Wanted by: Barcelona

Price tag: £23m

Tottenham's chairman Daniel Levy is prepared to offer his defender a new five-year contract, worth £75,000-per-week in order to persuade the Belgian to ignore Bareclona's reported interest and stay at White Hart Lane.

18 ROMELU LUKAKU

Age: 21

Club: Chelsea

Wanted by: Atletico Madrid, Everton, Tottenham, Wolfsborg, Juventus.

Price tag: £20m

Everton are desperate to get Lukaku back to Goodison Park, even if it is only for another year on loan, while Juventus have also asked for a loan deal. Chelsea, however, want to cash in.

19 ZAKARIA BAKKALI

Age: 18

Club: PSV Eindhoven

Wanted by: Liverpool, Tottenham, Valencia Price tag: £10m

Bakkali fell out of favour at PSV late last season, and is now unwilling to fully commit himself to the club, according to Dutch publication Sport Magazine. Liverpool hope he commits to them.

20 MARCO REUS

Age: 24

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Wanted by: Barcelona, Manchester United

Price tag: £30m

An ankle injury ruled the German out of the World Cup, but his summer has been spent reading about Manchester United and Barcelona's interest. Dortmund are reluctant to sell. They may not have a choice, though.

21 JAY RODRIGUEZ

Age: 24

Club: Southampton

Wanted by: Liverpool, Tottenham

Price tag: £20m

While Southampton have offered Jay Rodriguez a new five-year contract to fend off interest from Liverpool and Tottenham, the Merseysiders and Londoners are refusing to go away quietly.

22 MICAH RICHARDS

Age: 26

Club: Manchester City

Wanted by: Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle.

Price tag: £8m

Richards, capped 13 times by England, only started two league games under Manuel Pellegrini last season and wants out. Brendan Rodgers would like to take the defender to Anfield but also wants to do so at a favourable price.

23 KOKE

Age: 22

Club: Atletico Madrid

Wanted by: Barcelona, Chelsea

Price tag: £35m

With Cesc Fabregas back in London, a vacancy exists in the Barcelona squad and Koke, an outstanding performer in Atletico's league-winning team last season, could be on his way to the Nou Camp.

24 JULIAN DRAXLER

Age: 20

Club: Schalke

Wanted by: Arsenal, Bayern Munich

Price tag: £30m

Arsenal came close to signing Draxler in January before the deal hit a brick wall. They are prepared to return to Schalke with an improved offer but Bayern are also interested.

25 JAVI MARTINEZ

Age: 25

Club: Bayern Munich

Wanted by: Arsenal, Barcelona, Liverpool Price tag: €25m

Arsene Wenger desperately wants a new central midfielder and Martinez – after failing to find regular football under Pep Guardiola – could be persuaded to swap life in Bavaria for London.

26 DEJAN LOVREN

Age: 25

Club: Southampton

Wanted by: Liverpool

Price tag: £24m

Lovren's move to Anfield this week is almost certain to go through. It is now a question of when not if.

27 IKER MUNIAIN

Age: 21

Club: Athletic Bilbao

Wanted by: Liverpool

Price tag: £20m

Liverpool want the 'Spanish Messi' but do not want to pay the winger's £36m release clause.

28 FRASER FORSTER

Age: 26

Club: Celtic

Wanted by: Southampton, Atletico Madrid, Benfica

Price tag: £6m

Southampton have already bid for the Celtic goalkeeper, but face competition from Madrid and Benfica. The English international will leave Glasgow this summer. But it is not clear where he will end up.

29 LARS BENDER

Age: 25

Club: Bayer Leverkusen

Wanted by: Arsenal

Price tag: £25m

Arsenal have a lengthy shopping list this summer and Bender is near the top of it. A versatile player, who can also fill in at right back.

30 KEVIN DOYLE

Age: 30

Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wanted by: Burnley

Price tag: £2m

The Irish international does have his admirers, but none of them are prepared to pay his £40,000-per-week wages. Doyle, therefore, will have to take a pay cut to move his career forward again.

31 MICHAEL DAWSON

Age: 30

Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Wanted by: Hull City, QPR, West Ham United, Crystal Palace.

Price tag: £4m

Hull's bid for Dawson was not accepted by Tottenham. However the Spurs captain is likely to move this summer, if not to Humberside then almost certainly to another London-based Premier League club.

32 MEHDI BENATIA

Age: 27

Club: Roma

Wanted by: Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea.

Price tag: £15m

After joining Roma from Udinese last summer, the defender performed heroically. Accordingly he is now a wanted man.

33 JORDY CLASIE

Age: 22

Club: Feyenoord

Wanted by: AC Milan, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham.

Price tag: £15m

At 22, Clasie knows it is time he left Holland's small pool to attend finishing school in one of Europe's bigger leagues.

34 PEDRO

Age: 26

Club: Barcelona

Wanted by: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United.

Price tag: £20m

Hugely popular at Barcelona when Pep Guardiola was in charge, but his star has dipped a little in the last 12 months. Not enough, though, to stop England's big payers knocking on his door.

35 BERNARD

Age: 21

Club: Shakhtar Donetsk

Wanted by: Arsenal, Tottenham

Price tag: £30m

The Brazilian helped Atletico Mineiro win the 2012 Copa Libertadores in 2012 and nearly moved to Arsenal a year later. Instead he joined Shakhtar. Arsenal, however, are ready to launch another bid.

36 IKER CASILLAS

Age: 32

Club: Real Madrid

Wanted by: Arsenal, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain

Price tag: £12m

After making only one appearance in La Liga last year, and having bombed during the World Cup, it is clear Casillas is no longer the keeper he once was. Real have copped on to that fact, too, and are ready to release him.

37 RON VLAAR

Age: 29

Club: Aston Villa

Wanted by: Southampton

Price tag: £8m

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has delivered a blunt hands-off warning to clubs coveting his captain but with just 12 months left on his contract, the Dutchman is in a position to either earn a pay-rise or else a transfer.

38 GUILLERMO OCHOA

Age: 28

Club: Ajaccio

Wanted by: Arsenal

Price tag: free transfer

The Mexican goalkeeper – superb during the World Cup - is out of contract at French side Ajaccio. Arsenal expressed an interest and now Barcelona have entered the frame.

39 DAVID FORDE

Age: 34

Club: Millwall

Wanted by: Celtic

Price tag: £1m

Forde may well have signed a new deal with Millwall last month but if Celtic call, he will answer.

40 DIVOCK ORIGI

Age: 19

Club: Lille

Wanted by: Liverpool

Price tag: £10m

After impressing for Belgium at the World Cup, Origi has attracted a £10m bid from Liverpool. "The deal isn't done yet," said his father, Mike Origi. It soon will be.

41 ELIAQUIM MANGALA

Age: 23

Club: Porto

Wanted by: Chelsea, Manchester City

Price tag: £30m

Mangala has emerged as one of the most sought after centre-backs in Europe. Young, powerful and quick, City will see him as the ideal candidate to play alongside Vincent Kompany.

42 RICHIE TOWELL

Age: 23

Club: Dundalk

Wanted by: Wigan, Burnley, Ipswich Town

Price tag: €350,000

The League of Ireland's best player is almost certainly in his final season in Ireland with three English clubs showing definite interest. The question is whether he will move in August or next January.

43 LUIS MURIEL

Age: 23

Club: Udinese

Wanted by: Liverpool, Fiorentina, Roma

Price tag: £18m

The Colombian won the Serie A Young Player of the Year award in 2012, but has lost form since and did not make his country's World Cup squad. "Several offers have come in and I hope something will materialise," said Muriel.

44 WILLIAM CARVALHO

Age: 22

Club: Sporting Lisbon

Wanted by: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United.

Price tag: £30m

The defensive midfielder has been linked with Manchester United, but Arsenal made an enquiry last week.

45 XHERDAN SHAQIRI

Age: 22

Club: Bayern Munich

Wanted by: Liverpool, Juventus

Price tag: £15m

While Liverpool were interested in the Swiss star, who scored a hat-trick against Honduras in the World Cup, Juventus have emerged as the new favourites to sign him.

46 ANTOINE GRIEZMANN

Age: 23

Club: Real Sociedad

Wanted by: Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain

Price tag: £15m

One of France's surprise packages at the World Cup, Griezmann was part of a dynamic attacking trio at Sociedad last season. Tottenham launched a move for the winger last week.

47 YEVHEN KONOPLYANKA

Age: 24

Club: Dnipro

Wanted by: West Ham, Liverpool, Manchester United

Price tag: £20m

The Ukrainian was close to completing a deadline day move to Liverpool in January, before it collapsed at the 11th hour. West Ham bid for him last week.

48 ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

Age: 22

Club: Lyon

Wanted by: Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle

Price tag: £15m

One of a number of young players who starred at Lyon last season, Lacazette turned down Newcastle last week. Arsenal or Liverpool might have more luck if they launch a move.

49 JAVIER HERNANDEZ

Age: 25 Club: Manchester United

Wanted by: Atletico Madrid, Tottenham, Inter Milan

Price tag: £15m

The Mexican striker managed only nine goals last season but has interested Atletico who need a striker after selling Diego Costa. Inter Milan have also been linked to the Manchester United striker.

50 CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Age: 26. Club: Tottenham

Wanted by: Liverpool

Price tag: £20m

A move seems unlikely but the Dane will want to be playing Champions League football.

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