Football

Top Five: Summer Transfer Targets – part iii

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With Euro 2012 around the corner, it would be easy to forget that this summer’s transfer window is now just a month away from opening.

Managerial changes are still to be made at some of English football’s biggest spenders, with Liverpool awaiting confirmation over Brendan Rodgers and Chelsea yet to appoint Roberto Di Matteo on a permanent basis.

How that affects their attitude in the market is up for debate, but with July 1st moving ever closer, plans will certainly be afoot at all clubs over who they want to move in-and-out for the 2012/13 season.

And, in our excitement, GiveMeFootball decided to look at five more players who are being coveted by the top clubs in the Premier League…
 

Hulk

The FC Porto striker has been heavily linked with a move to England in the past, most notably after Andre Villas-Boas arrived at Chelsea last summer from the Estadio do Dragao.

Third-party ownership issues could be a potential stumbling block for any interested party, but the Brazilian offers a track-record in-front of goal, scoring both domestically and in European competition since switching from Tokyo Verdy in 2008.

Whilst not as prolific as the campaign before under ‘AVB’, Hulk still notched 16 goals in 26 league games last term, and 21 in all competitions.

A powerful forward who is eager to make a mark at international level, a move to England could be the next step for the £40m rated striker, who has a release clause in his contract at €100 million.
 

Nick Powell

The Crewe Alexandra sensation is one of football’s hottest properties, with Chelsea now joining Manchester United in the race to sign the talented Englishman.

With a track record of producing serious talent, the Railwaymen appear to have done it again, with Powell showing everyone his precocious talent against Cheltenham Town in the League Two play-off final last weekend. His goal was quite simply sublime.

The 18-year-old scored 14 goals in 38 league games, flourishing in his first full season under Steve Davis, who oversaw a turn of fortunes for the club since taking charge at Gresty Road.

Capped for the Three Lions at U16, U17 and U18 level, it’s easy to see why figures of £6 million are being placed on the player’s head. With pace, power and an eye-for-goal, the future is very bright for this attacking midfielder.
 

Demba Ba

A huge hit at Newcastle since his free transfer move from West Ham United in the summer, Ba was in scintillating form at the start of the season to help the Toon push towards the top of the table.

Whilst Papiss Demba Cisse’s arrival stole some of his Senegalese compatriot’s thunder, reports of a £7 million minimum fee release clause means Ba could be up for grabs at a discount price this summer.

That clause is said to be activated today, meaning Alan Pardew has a two-month battle on his hands to hold onto the player amidst reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

Will any of the Premier League’s other top clubs take a gamble on the former Hoffenheim star, who hit 16 goals in 34 league games last term.
 

Luuk De Jong

With a move to Bayern Munich potentially on the cards for the Dutchman, English clubs will have to move fast if they want De Jong on their books next season.

Linked with a number of clubs across Europe in the past 12 months, both Liverpool and Newcastle United have seemed the keenest from the Premier League, whilst Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs have also been linked with the FC Twente hitman.

A member of the Netherlands national side for Euro 2012, De Jong scored 25 goals in 32 Eredivisie games, and 32 goals in all competitions for Steve McLaren’s runners-up in Holland.
 

Wesley Sneijder

One of football’s longest transfer sagas last summer, a move for the Dutch playmaker failed to come to fruition despite much speculation that Manchester United were close to securing a deal.

Instead, the attacking midfielder stayed put with Inter Milan, enduring a season to forget as the Nerazurri finished sixth in Serie ‘A’ – way off qualification for the Champions League.

That could again open the door to clubs in the Premier League, with champions Manchester City reportedly taking an interest in the player despite the pursuit of Sir Alex Ferguson across town.

With vision, creativity and an ability to score goals as well as create, it’s no wonder that the big two want the 27-year-old, although agreeing a fee for the former Ajax man could be the biggest stumbling block.

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