With the Premier League season drawing to a close and Euro 2012 set to be quickly upon us, minds are already turning to this summer’s transfer window and the potential moves that could take place.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has already completed his first piece of business with Lukas Podolski set to join the club, but other teams don’t appear to be far behind with reported negotiations already taking place in a number of cases.
With press speculation starting to move into overdrive, GMF decided it was time to pick five of the biggest targets reportedly on the radar this summer, and assess their potential Premier League credentials…
The French international midfielder has been on the English radar for some time, and initial reports yesterday claimed that Arsenal had agreed a deal ‘in principle’ to sign the player.
However, The Evening Standard now claims the Gunners have distanced themselves from the claims, suggesting that the Rennes star may not be on the move to north London after all.
At 21, the 18-cap international has plenty of time on his side, making his professional debut at the Route de Lorient in 2009 and then with Les Bleus the following year.
A touch-tackling midfielder who protects the defence, M’Vila fits perfectly in the 4-2-3-1 formation preferred by most of the top clubs at the present time, and also has a keen eye for a decisive pass.
A talented Belgian international who appears to be wanted by every club under the sun, but recent quotes suggest his most likely destination is going to be either Manchester City or Manchester United.
The Lille playmaker is another youngster at just 21-years-old, but has already shown his vast potential on a number of occasions at Lille and appears ready to make the step-up in class.
After helping Los Dogues to the Ligue 1 title last season, Hazard got a taste of Champions League football this term alongside Joe Cole, and is also part of a promising young crop of players that could produce a golden era for Belgian football.
Able to play both on the wing and in an attacking central midfield role, Hazard possesses speed both on-and-off the ball, the ability to play a killer pass and a fine eye for goal.
The Montpellier striker has been linked with moves to both Liverpool and Arsenal in recent weeks, although confirmation that Bayern Munich have also been in contact with his agent is no surprise.
With 21 goals in 34 games thus far, the forward has helped propel La Paillade to the top of the table and a probable title under the guidance of Rene Girard. His form has also led to international recognition with Les Bleus.
At 25, Giroud learnt his trade at Grenoble before moving to Tours and then the Stade de la Mosson, where he has really found top-form to alert Arsene Wenger and Kenny Dalglish.
A tall and powerful striker, Giroud is able to get physical with defenders when required, is capable of winning headers and holding the ball up, and can also link-up play with a decent touch for a ‘big man’.
Another player to have been heavily linked with a move to England in the past, both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are keen to add the Ajax defender for a fee in the region of £8 million this summer.
The 25-year-old has spent his senior career at the Amsterdam Arena, making his debut in 2006 and appearing over 200 times in all competitions for the Godenzonen. He is currently their captain.
Having seen the likes of Thomas Vermaelen and Luis Suarez leave for English shores, Vertonghen now appears ready to leave the Eredivisie and test his skills at a higher-level.
Powerful in the air, committed in the challenge and composed on the ball, the 36-cap Belgian international has all the attributes to succeed in England.
Already proven in the Premier League, the American international has been one of the players of the year after a quite stunning season at Fulham under manager Martin Jol.
Dempsey hit double figures for the first time last season in England (12), and then followed that up with 17 goals thus far to help secure the Cottagers’ position as a mid-table team in the top flight.
Capable of playing as either a winger, attacking midfielder or forward, Dempsey has speed and acceleration on his side, but is also capable of producing a final ball when required – either in the shape of a cross or pass.
With a keen eye for goal, the 29-year-old could add any of the top clubs an extra attacking dimension, and again it’s Arsenal and Liverpool who appear keenest to add his services.