Big-spending Monaco target more signings

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Backed by Russian billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev, AS Monaco have not been holding back in the summer transfer window. 

The French Ligue 2 champions look set to battle it out with fellow big spenders Paris Saint-Germain for the Ligue 1 title next season, with Claudio Ranieri's side under pressure to at the very least - qualify for the 2014-15 Champions League. 

Ambitious and capable of paying huge, tax-free salaries, Rybolovlev has already spent an estimated £115 million since his team's promotion back to France's top division, with more signings a priority before his side kick-off next term.

Here's a look at a potential starting XI that could emerge at the Stade Louis II stadium come next season, admittedly in a rather old-fashioned 4-4-2 formation:

Goalkeeper - Victor Valdes (Target)

The long-serving Barcelona stopper seems an inevitable arrival at Monaco, but his signing now seems unlikely to occur until next summer. 

Valdes, 31, cited the pressure of playing for the Catalans as the main reason for his desire to leave the Nou Camp when he turned down a new contract in January, but the Spaniard has since confirmed that he his willing to stay until his current deal expires. 

The veteran of over 500 games, the three times Champions League winner would provide an experienced head accustomed to playing with a team of 'big names' in front of him. 

Right-back - Bacary Sagna (Target)

Sagna, now 30, has already admitted that he could be tempted into a return to his homeland, despite ongoing talks to extend his Arsenal contract. 

The attacking full-back, who joined the Gunners from Auxerre in 2007, is eager to play for France in next year's World Cup, and the lure of Champions League football with his current club could well put him off a move to Monaco for at least another 12 months. 

He currently has 33 International Caps. PSG are also thought to be interested.

Centre-back - Ricardo Carvalho (Signed)

The vastly experienced defender put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal at the end of last month and, despite now being 35 and perhaps not as sharp as he once was, Carvalho's 15 years at the top-level of European football will be a big source of inspiration to his new side. 

A Champions League winner with Jose Mourinho's Porto back in 2004, the Portuguese has since enjoyed successful spells with both Chelsea and Real Madrid. 

He was also part of the Portugal team that reached the final of Euro 2004. With the option of a second year written into his deal, the centre-back will be eager to impress. 

Centre-back - John Terry (Target)

A move for Chelsea's club captain hinges on whether Mourinho see's the 32-year-old as part of his first-team plans. 

Terry often had to settle for a bit-part role under Rafael Benitez last term, and despite the Portuguese's well known fondness for the defender it is yet to be seen whether he'll instead opt to stick with the partnership of Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill that served the Blues so well last season. 

If Terry was to leave, he would undoubtedly be offered a big contract and attractive wage rise by Monaco, while he'd also have the opportunity to reunite with former defensive partner Carvalho. 

Liverpool's Daniel Agger is also thought to be an option for the French side, should the fail to capture the former England captain. 

LB - Patrice Evra (Target)

With incoming Manchester United boss David Moyes reportedly keen on bringing in Everton star Leighton Baines, the Frenchman's role as undisputed left-back at Old Trafford would be under serious threat. 

Rather than stay and fight for his place, Monaco could well be an attractive destination for the 32-year-old, who played for the French club between 2002 and 2006 ahead of his £5.5 million move to Old Trafford. Appearing in the 2004 Champions League final defeat to Porto. Evra, who has made over 300 United appearances in a seven year-spell at the club, could complete an experience Monaco back-line, full of Champions League and International experience.  

Central Midfield - Joao Moutinho (Signed)

Moutinho, 26, reportedly came within minutes of signing for Tottenham Hotspur and former boss Andre Villas-Boas in January, but France is now the Portuguese midfielder's destination after he signed for Monaco alongside Porto teammate James Rodriguez in a deal estimated to be worth around €70 million (€25 for Moutinho) last month

The midfielder, who began his career with Sporting Lisbon, will offer his team versatility, with his capabilities to play as either an attacking, or holding player, or out wide. 

By no means a prolific goal scorer, Mountinho's main plus points include his excellent passing ability and his box-to-box style work-rate. 

Central Midfield - Samir Nasri (Target)

The 25-year-old's future at Manchester City is in doubt after a disappointing season at the Ethiad Stadium, although his destination for next season is only likely to be decided when the Blues appoint their next manager. 

The Frenchman made his name as a teenager at Marsille before a move to Arsenal in 2008. He delighted Gunners fans with his performances alongside Cesc Fabregas before moving to City in 2011. 

However, he has arguably failed to settle in Manchester and was regularly in and out of Roberto Mancini's team. 

Often played out wide by the Italian and kept from his favoured attacking midfield role by the likes of Yaya Toure, the 2010 'French Player of the Year' would perhaps favour a move to play alongside Moutinho.  

Right-wing - James Rodriguez (Signed)

The second-half of the deal that brought Moutinho to the club, much will be expected from €45 million man Rodriguez

The 21-year-old Columbian who can play either as an attacking midfielder or as a winger scored 25 times in his 65 appearances for Porto during three years with the club. 

Ranked has the tenth most expensive signing of all time he won the LPFP Award for Breakthrough Player of 2011–12 Primeira Liga season while, in 2012, he was reportedly subject to a rejected £30 million bid from Manchester United. 

Earlier this year Rodriguez was listed 59th in 'The 100 best footballers in the world' by The Guardian. 

Left-wing - Nani (Target)

Another Portuguese target, Nani has been linked with an exit from his current club, Manchester United, for some time, with the winger making just ten Premier League appearances for Sir Alex Ferguson's side last season. It's not yet known what Moyes will make of the former Sporting Lisbon star, but he may not have a great deal of choice in the matter should Nani already have set his heart on leaving. 

Turkish side Galatasary is another possible destination.   

Striker - Radamel Falcao (Signed)

One of the most sought after striker's in the world stunned a host of footballing giants - including Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich - by signing for Monaco in a deal believed to be worth between €45 and €60 million, with an annual salary of around €14 million a year. 

A Europa League winner with both Porto and Atletico Madrid, the 27-year-old Columbian has scored 142 goals in just 177 appearances for his last two clubs, and could be set for an entertaining battle with PSG star Zlatan Ibrahimovic to determine the league's golden boot winner. 

A player that deserves to be playing Champions League football, let's hope that he has joined the club for the exciting 'project' they offer, rather than just an increased wage packet. 

Striker - Carlos Tevez (Target)

Manchester City's controversial striker may be difficult to work with at times, but his proven goalscoring record for ever club he's played for his undeniable. 

After saving West Ham United from seemingly certain relegation, the striker, now 29, joined Manchester United in 2007, scoring the first penalty of the shoot-out against Chelsea a year later at he helped the Old Trafford side win their third Champions League title. 

But he opted for a move to cross-city rivals City in 2009, returning from a self-imposed sabbatical to help the club win its first Premier League title in 44 years. May be unwilling to play second-fiddle to Falcao.   


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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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