The summer of 2017 could prove to be the most intriguing one for football fans, with all the big teams in Europe trying to get their transfer business done as early as possible, in view of the big season ahead. Some teams have stepped into the market trying to regain their past glories, while others are just aiming to maintain their recent successes. Some of them are in their rebuilding stage, trying to catch up with the ones who feel that a couple of additions would be enough to put them in good stead. With that being said, let’s take a look at the five of the biggest transfers that might happen this season.
5) Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea
Chelsea look certain to sign a centre forward this summer, with Romelu Lukaku being the most likely candidate. A return to his former club looks imminent for the Belgian, who was shipped off to Everton in 2014 when José Mourinho was in charge.
This move could mean the end of Diego Costa’s Chelsea days, with manager Antonio Conte already informing him that he wasn’t in his plans for next season. But a £100m buyout clause could still scupper the move for the 24-year-old, who is being valued at £60m by the Blues.
4) David De Gea to Real Madrid
Real Madrid are in the lookout for a long term replacement for Keylor Navas in goal, with De Gea’s name doing the rounds yet again. This move was all but certain to take place in 2015, with a deal being agreed between Manchester United and Real Madrid, only for the delayed paper works to put an end to it.
But this time around United are demanding a mammoth £100m for the 26-year-old shot stopper, with Madrid given the option of having the Spaniard for just £45m, provided Alvaro Morata goes the other way. Madrid might wait for another year in committing to this deal, after recent reports in Italy suggest that 18-year-old Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has refused a contract extension which would make him available next summer, as a free agent.
3) Alexis Sánchez to Manchester City
The fact that Arsenal are not part of next season’s Champions League could play a huge role in Alexis Sánchez deciding his future at the club. So far, it seems to be a two-horse race for his signature, with Man City and Bayern Munich competing for the 28-year-old Chilean who scored 30 goals in the last campaign.
But City are said to be in the driver’s seat for bringing him to the Etihad, as the Bavarians appear to be caught in two minds over his staggering wage demands. As Pep Guardiola continues his overhaul of an aging squad, Sánchez’s addition could prove vital for them in next season’s title race.
2) James Rodríguez to Manchester United
The 25-year-old Colombian has been left largely frustrated with the lack of game time under Zinedine Zidane this season. Manchester United look to be the favourites in capturing the Golden Boot winner at the last World Cup. But United could be left in a dilemma, as Adidas are demanding that James be handed over the number 10 shirt, if the deal actually goes through.
This could mean that Wayne Rooney would have a crucial role in deciding whether the Colombian does play for the Red Devils or not, come next season. Real Madrid have put a price tag of more than £50m for the creative midfielder, with Chelsea, PSG and Arsenal also among the interested parties.
1) Kylian Mbappé to Real Madrid
The race is on for landing the 18-year-old French sensation, who racked up 26 goals in just 44 appearances last season, with Real Madrid and Monaco holding talks for a potential world record transfer worth around €135m. Madrid would be able to fund the move for Mbappé, through impending exits of James Rodríguez and Alvaro Morata ahead of next season.
Arsenal and Arsène Wenger are believed to be strong admirers of the Frenchman, but are highly likely to lose out to the Los Blancos who looks to have the advantage due to their recent triumphs. Real would be aware of the fact that any delay in finalising the deal would see the youngster heading somewhere else, as a host of other clubs are interested in attaining his signature.