The 10 biggest Premier League transfers that could still happen
There are still just under two weeks until the transfer window closes on Monday 1 September. With the Premier League season just started, it has become clear that certain sides still need to strengthen while others could cash in on players who want out.
Brendan Rodgers may have seen Daniel Sturridge continue his stunning goalscoring form since arriving at Anfield from Chelsea, but the Liverpool manager has £75m (or £65m according to Barcelona) burning a hole in his pocket.
If Liverpool are to realise their ambitions of winning a Premier League title and competing at Europe's top table, Rodgers must know that he can't allow a world class striker to leave without finding an adequate replacement.
Sturridge is a world class goalscorer, but he is not on the same level as Barcelona's new No 9. Rodgers has admitted he is chasing a player from the top end of the market, with Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani the two players most heavily linked with a move to the club. Either of those would cost a small fortune, but are should thrive in England.
Down the road bitter rivals Manchester United are ready to spend big to cure the hangover left by the David Moyes reign. They dominate this list after Louis van Gaal lost his first match as a Premier League manager, naming a severely weakened side that included two debutants.
Arturo Vida and Angel Di Maria have been linked with a move to Old Trafford all summer and one of those two, plus some defensive reinforcements - perhaps Marcos Rojo, Mats Hummels, Mehdi Benatia or Alex Song - are needed if United are to force their way back into the top four.
Sami Khedira may yet move to London, but it is unclear whether he will wind up at Arsenal or Chelsea, while Petr Cech could find himself leaving the city after Jose Mourinho elected to make Thibaut Courtois the club's No 1.
Expect plenty of twists and turns between now and 1 September.
Here are the 10 biggest moves that could still happen:
1. Radamel Falcao - Real Madrid/Liverpool
Despite missing more than six months with injury, the Colombian striker remains one of the hottest properties in Europe. Falcao is unhappy at Monaco but is believed to prefer a move to Real Madrid over the Reds; however, with Los Blancos already having spent huge money this summer, a deal to Spain could be impossible because of Financial Fair Play.
2. Angel Di Maria - Manchester United/PSG
Di Maria is a world class player that Manchester United should break the bank to get. A £50m bid transfer would break the club record, but United are seemingly in crisis again and need something to lift the gloomy mood at Old Trafford. If the Argentine arrived it wouldn’t just lift fortunes on the pitch, but would signal to the rest of football that United are not yet a spent force
3. Sami Khedira - Arsenal/Chelsea
Will he, won’t he, will he, won’t he? Sami Khedira is clearly surplus to requirements at Real Madrid after the arrival of Toni Kroos but his wage demands and fee seem to be getting in the way of a resolution. He is a fantastic player and would be a major coup if he were to arrive at either London club, but this transfer will probably rumble on until deadline day.
4. Edinson Cavani - Liverpool
Another striker unhappy in Ligue 1, Cavani scored 25 goals for PSG last season but is reported to be unhappy playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Paris. PSG don’t want to sell, but Brendan Rodgers is looking at the top end of the market to replace Luis Suarez and could spend big on Cavani or Falcao.
5. Mehdi Benatia - Manchester United
The classy Moroccan centre-back would perfectly fit the profile as one of the back three in Louis van Gaal's system. The Roma man, believed to be available for about £30m, is very good on the ball, an excellent athlete and a fierce competitor. He is comfortable taking the ball forward and is a threat at set-pieces.
6. Arturo Vidal - Mancester United
This potential transfer seems to have been rumbling on all summer but appears unlikely. Vidal is supposedly keen on a move and a midfielder of Vidal’s quality would be an upgrade over United’s current crop, but Louis van Gaal is believed to have doubts about the Chilean’s knee.
7. Petr Cech - Real Madrid/PSG
Jose Mourinho wants Cech to stay in west London but the giant goalkeeper is too good to waste his away on the Chelsea bench. Real Madrid, Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain seem the likeliest destinations for the 32-year-old, who is still one of the very, very best in the world.
8. Mats Hummels - Manchester United
Again, this deal appeared to be dead after Jurgen Klopp said he had no intention to sell and made the World Cup hero his club captain. But rumours for the German centre-back continue to swirl and given United’s defensive woes – Tyler Blackett is not the answer – a huge bid could tempt the Bundesliga side.
9. Marco Reus - Various
One of the world’s best young players, Reus is being linked with just about every major European club. Manchester United and Liverpool appear to be leading the race in England, but Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and several other clubs would be delighted with the youngster. Reus’ cheap release clause, the cause of all the speculation, doesn’t take effect until next summer, so a big bid may tempt Dortmund to sell now.
10. Alex Song - Arsenal/Manchester United
Alex Song has never really made his mark in Spain and is now reported to be available on a year-long loan deal. He can play in either centre-midfield or at the back and his versatility would be handy for Arsene Wenger. The Gunners are lacking options at centre-back and Song can fill in if needed – he would also be an upgrade on club captain Mikel Arteta.