Transfer Gossip XI


The summer transfer window is an exciting time for all football fans as clubs look to strengthen their squads and reduce their wage bills. 

With the likes of Neymar already ending one of the most drawn out transfer sagas in recent times, in a £50m deal to Barcelona, the coming months are set to be filled with wild rumours and idle speculation. 

Here is a composite team of 11 of the best players linked with a move away this summer.

Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovic, 25
Linked with: Arsenal, Liverpool

Last season Begovic emerged as one of the leading goalkeepers in the Premier League and whilst Stoke are keen to retain his services, chairmen Peter Coates has insisted that he could be sold for the right price. 

With Simon Mignolet edging closer to a move to Anfield, casting further doubt about the future of Pepe Reina, Arsenal remains the likeliest destination for the Bosnian, with Julio Cesar also being linked with a move to the Emirates.

Right-back: Lukasz Piszczek, 28
Linked with: Arsenal

With a reported budget of £70million going into the transfer window, Arsenal are expected to be very busy this summer, and have been linked with moves for the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and even Wayne Rooney.

Lukasz Piszczek, the Borussia Dortmund right-back who so impressed in the their run to the Champions League final last season, is also thought to be a target for Wenger as a replacement for Bacary Sagna whose contract expires in 2014.

Centre-back: David Luiz, 26
Linked with: Barcelona, PSG

Oozing confidence and exhibiting a stunning level of nonchalance, it has been widely reported that Jose Mourinho is not convinced about the Brazilian’s role in the side. 

Whilst his talent is undeniable, Luiz is not the archetypal Mourinho centre-back and the new Chelsea manager has concerns about his defensive and midfield abilities. 

If Luiz is moved on it will be a disappointment to Chelsea fans who have been wowed by a series of show-stopping displays in the last 18 months. Luiz has even been quoted as saying that he has discussed a move to PSG with his teammates whilst on international duty and an all-Brazilian centre-back partnership with Thiago Silva could be in the offing if the latter resists the advances of Barcelona.

Centre-back: Pepe, 30
Linked with: Manchester City

Manuel Pellegrini, the newly-appointed Manchester City manager, is keen to bolster his back line and sees Pepe, who he worked with during his spell at Real Madrid, as an ideal signing. 

With the likes of Raphael Varane rising to prominence at the Bernabeu it is thought that Pepe is keen on a move away from Madrid with Manchester the most likely destination.

Left-back: Leighton Baines, 28
Linked with: Manchester United

What the England national team does not lack is choice for a quality left-back. 

Over the last decade Ashley Cole has established himself as one of the finest in world football, but in recent years the gap between him and Baines has narrowed to such an extent that Baines has been named in the PFA team of the season for the last two years. 

With Moyes taking over the helm at Old Trafford he is keen to bring Baines with him as a replacement for Patrice Evra who has been linked with a return to Monaco.

Centre-midfield: Isco, 21
Linked with: Manchester City, Real Madrid

One of the most exciting prospects in Europe, Isco dazzled for Malaga in La Liga last season and was instrumental to Spain’s triumph in the UEFA U-21 Football Championship. 

With Manuel Pellegrini finally appointed as Manchester City manager, it seems likely that Isco will follow his former coach to the Etihad, especially with Real Madrid yet to fill the vacancy left by Jose Mourinho.

Left wing: Cristiano Ronaldo, 28
Linked with: Manchester United, PSG, Monaco

The 2008 Ballon d’Or winner sent shockwaves around the world with a record £80m transfer to Real Madrid back in 2009 and were it not for Lionel Messi, Ronaldo would be the dominant force in European football. Whilst Real Madrid President Florentino Perez suggested that Ronaldo had agreed a contract extension, the forward has refuted these claims giving hope to Manchester United that they can complete one of the most dramatic comeback signings of all time.

Right wing: Gareth Bale, 23
Linked with: Real Madrid, Manchester United, PSG

As Bale is perhaps the Premier League’s most exciting talent since Cristiano Ronaldo, it seems fitting that their prospective transfers are dependent on each other. 

Whilst the idea of the two teaming up at the Bernabeu is mouth-watering, it is more likely that Bale would join Madrid as Ronaldo’s replacement if and when the latter does make a move away from La Liga. 

But, if Manchester United fails to secure Ronaldo’s services, reports have suggested that they could still make a bank-busting move for Bale.

Forward: Luis Suarez, 26
Linked with: Real Madrid

A maverick, Luis Suarez’s ability on the ball is matched only by his ability to divide opinion. 

Vital to Liverpool’s hopes of breaking back into the Champions League places, Suarez has repeatedly voiced his desire to join Real Madrid but is yet to hand in an official transfer request. 

If the Uruguayan does end up leaving Merseyside it will prove to be a huge disappointment for the Anfield faithful who have shown nothing other than unwavering support for their star player.

Forward: Edinson Cavani, 26
Linked with: Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City

Along with Radamel Falcao, Cavani is one of the most feared strikers in world football and has been heavily linked with a move to both Spain and England. 

Despite having a buy-out clause of £53.8m, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid are not afraid to invest heavily in a player who has scored 103 goals in 137 games for Napoli.

Forward: Robert Lewandowski, 24
Linked with: Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea

One of the stars of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League run last season, Lewandowski netted 36 times in 48 appearances in all competitions. 

The Polish striker has made it clear that Bayern Munich is his preferred destination, but with Mario Gotze already finalising a move to the Allianz Arena, Dortmund are heavily opposed to lose another one of their prized assets to their rivals. 

A move to the Premier League is a possibility, but it is becoming increasingly likely that Lewandowski will see his contract run down to force through a move at the end of next season.


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