Not only will the transfer rumour mill be working overtime this summer, but there is something else going on in June.
Not so far away, across the Channel, the hosts France welcome 24 teams, all battling to win EURO 2016. However, it is not just a chance to enjoy more football and plug the gap between one season and another, but for players to showcase and earn big money transfers.
Most clubs from the major leagues will be looking for that one player to stand out, and the Premier League will be no different. Many have found their way to big clubs during and after the competition, as they do during a World Cup tournament.
Manchester United will be just another team looking to find that gem or gems and if Louis van Gaal goes, as is expected – unless you are LVG and you think you’re coated in Teflon – the next manager will be clearing out the old and making way for the new.
It’s only mid-April and already the names of potential players walking through the Old Trafford gates is hotting up. Here are FIVE potential possibilities that would do no harm to the Red Devils’ cause.
Aligned with Man United, the Swede needs no introduction and wouldn’t expect one, as his talking is done on the pitch. The most successful Swedish export is a winner wherever he goes and has claimed titles in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and France, but not in his native Sweden. 112 caps and 62 goals for his country and the second highest goalscorer in the qualifiers behind Robert Lewandowski, he is, despite his age and his wages, worth the risk.
He can be arrogant and he has his controversies behind him, but as an out and out goal-scorer, there aren’t many to match him. He is currently Ligue 1’s top scorer with 32 goals, but others are also interested in him for a solitary season, before he goes to the MLS. Word is he may even stay at PSG.
Bartra’s future at Barcelona looks shaky at best and he could be one of a number leaving the Nou Camp this summer. Reports here suggest that Manchester United are interested in securing his services for around £12m, but Barca may demand a buy-back clause in any deal to sell their academy product. – as has been their tradition in recent years. With Pep Guardiola going to Man City, United could be in for competition, as the incoming City boss handed Bartra his Barca debut, although his interest is unclear. The 25 year old Spanish international is struggling to keep his first -team place and strengthening the defence must surely be one of United’s priorities.
The 22-year-old French central defender appears to be surplus to requirements at Real and that’s put Man United on alert. Varane has has long been regarded as one of the top young centre-backs in Europe, with his skill on the ball and athleticism both commendable. However, he’s unlikely to come cheap!
According to CalcioMercato, Mourinho has been promised by his agent Jorge Mendes, who also represents Gomes, that he has priority over the midfielder this summer. Gomes only joined the Spanish club last summer having impressed on loan from Benfica the season before, but he is also on Juventus’ radar for the summer. The Italian giants are very keen on the Portuguese youngster, but the chance to play in the Premier League may hold great appeal for Gomes.
The talented Atletico Madrid attacking winger isn’t far off being a genuine world-class footballer, and the France international would, by moving to Manchester United, shine against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League.
In his previous two full seasons with Real Sociedad and Atletico, Griezmann has scored 45 goals – at the start of this season he has six in nine appearances. Blessed with searing pace, a lethal left foot, surprisingly good aerial ability and football intelligence, Griezmann would be worth every penny that Atletico Madrid demand for his signature.