With the World Cup on the horizon, it could be that a number of high-profile transfers are concluded earlier than normal. Here are five that seem rather likely to happen...
5. Mario Mandzukic to Chelsea
Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o all underperformed in the 2013/14 season for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho will be looking to improve his strikeforce for the upcoming season. One of the main targets on his radar is Mario Mandzukic. The Bayern Munich striker scored 18 goals from 30 appearances, which contributed to Bayern’s successful season.
If Chelsea are able to re-call Romelu Lukaku from loan and sign Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid, the Blues would have an extremely formidable forward line in comparison to last season. Seeing as Pep Guardiola left the Croatian striker out of the squad to face Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup final, many people believe that Mandzukic is set to depart.
But Chelsea aren’t the only people in the race to sign the Bayern forward with both Arsenal and now Manchester United said to be in contention to lure the forward to their club. The estimated figure is unknown.
4. Adam Lallana to Liverpool
Having two attacking players come in at first and second on the top goalscorers list, you wouldn’t think that Liverpool need to improve their strikeforce any more. Several rumours surround Liverpool’s transfer window, whether it be Emre Can in or Daniel Agger out, Liverpool are set to make some key changes this window. One of which is Adam Lallana.
The Southampton winger had an excellent season for Saints, and Liverpool believe it is time for him to move on to better things and join the likes of Suarez, Sturridge, Sterling, Gerrard, Coutinho etc.
Lallana played every game this season for Southampton and managed to score nine times. The 26-year-old has been at Southampton for 14 years, when he joined the youth academy, before making his way into the first-team in 2006. It would be a big loss for the Saints but Liverpool are reportedly ready to offer £25 million which is quite a large sum.
3. Karim Benzema to Arsenal
With the UEFA Champions League final rapidly approaching, Arsenal are taking interest in one of Real Madrid’s most well known strikers in Karim Benzema. Real Madrid had a tight race with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid this season for the Liga title with Atletico pipping both the Catalans and Los Blancos in the end.
The Frenchman had made 35 appearances for Real Madrid and he scored 17 goals - nothing like his best return. This works out as one goal every 155 minutes over the course of the campaign. Arsenal have been previously linked with Benzema but it truly seems that after winning the FA Cup there are taking a greater interest. He would potentially work better with his fellow countryman Olivier Giroud up front.
2. Luke Shaw to Manchester United
Having been added to the England squad, it remains to be seen where Luke Shaw will commence the next Premier League season. Many rumours have linked him to a transfer to Manchester United after the World Cup has ended.
With Shaw being surprised at his inclusion to the England national squad, the decision regarding his future has been put on hold. The 18-year-old has had an interesting season for Southampton, making 35 out of a possible 38 appearances and contributing to 14 clean sheets.
After the axing of David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal will be looking to bolster his squad and seeing as Rio Ferdinand has decided to leave the Red Devils, Van Gaal’s backline is looking slightly weaker than that of the 2013/14 season. Van Gaal will be handed a large sum of money for the transfer window, £30 million of which appears to be reserved for Shaw.
1. Diego Costa to Chelsea
With Atletico Madrid beating the London club to progress into the Champions League final, Diego Costa’s talent will be on show when they face Real Madrid in the final in Lisbon. Costa has been linked with a move to Chelsea for quite some time. After being injured in the match against Barcelona which decided who won the title, Costa was seen crying on the bench, hinting that maybe, it was his last game for Los Rojiblancos.
Reports are claiming that Chelsea have already reached an agreement with Costa and Atletico over the striker’s future, with the figure said to be around £30-35 million.