EURO 2016 promises to be one of the most competitive major international tournaments in recent memory.
With no clear front-runner for the title, a host of Europe’s elite are set to battle it out for glory in France this summer.
A fresh faced France; the current holders – but World Cup falterers – Spain; an outrageously strong Germany; and an upcoming Belgium are joined by new boys on the block Albania; the Irish renaissance and a resurgent Romania in the eclectic ensemble.
As always, the tournament will be a showroom for Europe’s hottest talent, and managers will certainly be paying close attention as they look for their club’s summer recruits.
One side who cannot afford to miss out are Chelsea, who, after a dismal season, are set for a summer shake up with incoming boss Antonio Conte.
With a host of talent on show; who should the Blue’s be keeping their eye on? Here are FIVE they should look out for…
A top summer target for Juventus, Gomes has become one of the most highly sought after youngsters in Europe following his impressive season at Valenica. The Old Lady, however, are seemingly reluctant to meet his €38m release clause, so the door is left open for Chelsea to swoop in for the Portuguese midfielder’s services.
With Roma having already rejected a £23m bid from Chelsea for the Belgian superstar, whether or not the Blues pursue ‘The Ninja’ further may depend on his performance this summer. If Nainggolan shows the sort of no-nonsense, hard-tackling, grafting he has done at Roma all season, Chelsea will certainly make the 28 year old their top target.
Despite having a fantastic season on loan at Roma, Rudiger is set to return to his parent club Stuttgart this summer. Tall, strong and quick, the German defender has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League after impressing for La Maggica this campaign. Chelsea may have to battle it out with Arsenal and Liverpool for the highly rated defender’s signature.
Chelsea’s attacking midfielders Oscar and Pedro have both been extensively linked with moves away from the Bridge in recent months following disappointing seasons in the west London. The departure of either of the pair would leave a hole in midfield, and out-of-favour Real Madrid playmaker Isco could be the man to fill it. The Blues wanted the former Malaga man back in 2013, but were beaten to him by Los Blancos.
Undoubtedly one of Europe’s top strikers this year, the former Real Sociedad forward has been electric for Atletico Madrid this season, with his 32 goals this campaign firing Diego Simeone’s side to a third place La Liga finish and a Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28th. Luring Griezmann away from the Vicente Calderon however could be a struggle, as the 25 year old allegedly close to agreeing a new deal with the club.