With the January transfer window now firmly slammed shut, clubs will have to wait until the summer to make additions and acquisitions.
The majority of the big transfer business tends to take place in the summer, as clubs are reluctant to let their players go mid-season and the best players tend to be cup-tied.
But who exactly will be summer 2013’s biggest movers and shakers? Here’s my pick of top five transfer targets this summer…
5) David Villa
It was revealed that Barcelona did in fact receive two bids for their wantaway striker – from both Arsenal and Manchester City. At 31 years old he’s not getting any younger and, after having flat-out said he wants to leave the Nou Camp in search of regular first-team football, he’ll certainly be moving this summer.
However, the Premier League clubs could face competition from Atletico Madrid who have registered their interest in the Spanish striker – perhaps to replace our Number 1 on this list.
4) Stefan Jovetic
Once again, Manchester City and Arsenal are both rumoured to be interested in signing Fiorentina’s magic man. At 23 years old, the Montenegro international is shaping up to be one of the most sought after attackers on the continent and, eventually, he’ll want to make a ‘big move’ to one of the elite clubs.
Fiorentina probably know this and they’re likely resigned to losing him this summer. They’ll want to maximize the fee however, for their prized asset whose contract runs until 2016 so whoever secures his services will likely have to splash out.
He’s valued at £26.5 million and that figure could very easily increase in the next six months.
3) Robert Lewandowski
Similarly, Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski is drawing all the plaudits this season and is steadfastly becoming a target of every top club in Europe. However, he already plays for the German champions and he has confirmed he is happy there...for now.
But I just wonder whether a move to Manchester United or Bayern Munich could very well prove too much of a temptation. If and when he moves this summer, he’ll likely break someone somewhere’s record transfer fee.
The good news for interested parties is that by the summer he’ll be entering the final year of his contract with Dortmund and with a valuation of £24.5 million, they won’t want to lose him for free.
2) Edinson Cavani
Who wouldn’t want a player that has scored 27 goals in 26 games? Well, probably anyone who doesn’t have a spare £40 million to hand. At 25 years of age Edinson Cavani has arrived – he’s entered the peak and prime years of his playing career for Napoli and I suspect will be sold to the highest bidder come the summer.
Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona are thought to be interested and, should the player request to move on, Napoli will wring their hands with anticipation.
Should a bidding war ensue; don’t be surprised if he generates upwards of £50-60 million. He’s just that good.
1) Radamel Falcao
The worst kept secret in football is Radamel Falcao's goalscoring talent The Atletico Madrid goal-machine has now scored 22 goals in 21 appearances and, like Cavani, at 26 he’ll be looking to finish out his career at an elite club.
Chelsea are the top candidates – despite having brought in Demba Ba, Fernando Torres is still miserable as ever and doesn’t look to be making any improvements in the goalscoring department.
The European champions are now out of the Champions League, the Premier League title race, the Capital One Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup. They’ll be bidding for Falcao, without a shadow of a doubt. They could even use Torres as leverage.
They will face competition from all and sundry, I’m sure, but I’d be very surprised if the Colombian wasn’t calling Stamford Bridge his home next season.
Which of these five do you expect to see in the Premier League next season?
image: © carca