As the summer weather finally arrives the traditional circus that is the transfer window has started, signalling the usual rollercoaster of hope, expectation, despair and disappointment that rolls around every year.
Much like the actual football season, only condensed into a shorter time-frame. The papers are full of gossip, some of which we expect to see come into fruition within a matter of days, whilst some could only ever become reality in some parallel universe.
So to try to make sense of it all let’s take a look at four goalkeepers that are expected to move this summer, their potential destinations, and the likelihood of the transfer ever taking place.
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David de Gea
At only 24 years of age, the Spaniard is already making his name as one of the best in the world for his position. The new Spain number No.1, many consider him to be Manchester United’s biggest star, responsible for keeping them in the race for the top four last season.
The January arrival of the legendary Victor Valdes has only served to strengthen his exit rumours. But, aside from some rather fanciful rumours of a swap deal involving Sergio Ramos, in all likelihood De Gea will be lining up alongside Messrs. Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid next season.
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Born in Madrid, with his girlfriend still living in the city, and desperate to win the Champions League, this one is a no-brainer. United look to be holding out for up to £40 million, a rather extortionate amount for the position in question.
Los Blancos look happy to pay closer to £20 million however. Either way, this one gets a 10/10 for likelihood, with the Red Devils’ asking price leaving the value for money at a respectable 8/10.
Three time golden glove winner Cech could walk into pretty much any team in Europe. Except Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. With 23-year-old Thibaut Courtois, one of Europe’s hottest prospects between the sticks, Cech has resigned himself to leaving the club he has served so well for over a decade in order to enjoy the peak of his career actually on a pitch.
Rumours flew about a move to Manchester United to replace the probably outgoing De Gea, but with Roman Abramovich giving Cech permission to choose his next club, it looks as though the Czech international’s next destination will be in London.
This makes sense from a personal, family perspective and also as a career move. Rivals Arsenal have struggled to replace Invincible Jens Lehmann who left in 2008, and neither Wojciech Szczesny nor David Ospina seem to have convinced manager Arsene Wenger that they are of the required standard to challenge for the coveted league title.
As the addition of Cech could be the missing ingredient needed to turn the Gunners from contenders to champions, with the player in his prime, this could well be the transfer coup of the summer at less than £15 million. Likelihood: 8/10, value for money 10/10.
At 28 years of age, with a rapidly growing reputation, it was only a matter of time before the likes of the big-spending Manchester clubs were linked with the Frenchman.
With de Gea’s probable exit, United seems the most likely destination, but due to Daniel Levy’s famous unwillingness to sell to rival clubs, and reputation for forcing managers to overspend, this rumour falls short on the probability test.
With a long contract yet to wind down, don’t expect to see Lloris as a Red Devil any time soon. Likelihood 3/10, value 5/10.
Last season was a tough one for the Real Madrid legend, losing his club and national team places to younger models.
But at aged 34, the Galactico still has much to give. Seeing as Keylor Navas joined Madrid only last summer for €10 million from Levante, with De Gea seemingly on his way to the number one jersey, it may be time for the captain and longest-serving player to look for pastures new.
However, the destinations most often quoted are Arsenal, in the event that Arsene Wenger misses out on Petr Cech, or Spurs, in the event that United buy Hugo Lloris as De Gea’s replacement.
Likelihood 2/10 either way, but for a player with such immense experience value for money is up at 8/10.
That’s all for now folk, tune in next time to talk about defenders.
United fans: is Valdes good enough to be number 1 or should van Gaal make a move for Lloris?