In football, it is never too early for speculation. In fact it is half the fun. And despite the transfer window remaining closed for quite some time yet, you can be sure managers have drawn-up their wish lists for the summer.
Here are five players who could very easily be facing their current club next season:
When will young English players learn? As good as you think you are, you won’t be the one who succeeds where so many others have failed at the Etihad. In fact, after a similar experience at Chelsea – where Sinclair was loaned to six different clubs and made an average of one appearance for the Blues for each of his five years there – you would have thought he would have steered clear of Roberto Mancini’s side.
Having excelled at Swansea, Sinclair was finally showing what he could do as the fulcrum. And then he left for a team full of them.
Sinclair should have learnt from Adam Johnson – Mancini doesn’t do wingers. But plenty of Premier League sides do. A likely target for a host of clubs including Southampton, Aston Villa and possibly even Swansea, the 24-year-old must surely have learnt by now that football is to be played, not watched from the side-lines.
Everton fans will say otherwise; and they may be right. But speculation persists that the Belgian midfielder may be moving to pastures new next season. Should he do so, the queue for his services will be a long one.
In the early part of this season, Fellaini was immense, and despite failing to maintain that form over an entire campaign, his combination of goal-scoring, creativity and combativeness make him many manager’s dream purchase.
Adored at Goodison Park, the one thing David Moyes’ side cannot offer is Champions League football. And it may be this that ultimately turns the player’s head and his heart.
The truth is, there aren’t many clubs in the Premier League who wouldn’t benefit from signing Fellaini. The talk is of Chelsea, although don’t be surprised if Manchester City come in should Yaya Toure move on.
Not technically a Premier League player – yet – Vydra’s outstanding goal-scoring form this season has propelled Watford to the brink of the top flight. Should they continue on the same trajectory, they could just snatch the second automatic promotion place ahead of Crystal Palace and Hull City. But even that may not be enough to keep the prolific Czech striker.
Currently on loan from Udinese, Vydra’s future may be out of Watford’s hands, as his exploits this season will have been noticed by sides both here and abroad desperate for a natural finisher. In the end, it may come down to money versus loyalty; and Hornets fans will hope Vydra is a fan of the latter.
Only last week it was reported that Watford manager Gianfranco Zola was still trying to secure a permanent deal for the player. Negotiations will have got a whole trickier since the goals started flying in.
Vydra’s time at Vicarage Road may be bitter-sweet. Don’t be surprised to see him help them to the top flight this season, and face them in it the next.
The 28-year-old Dane has all the attributes to be a top class goalkeeper. Everything, that is, except the belief of his manager. At times during his spell at Old Trafford, it seemed he had finally won the battle with David De Gea to be Manchester United’s number one. But a hapless showing against Reading last year sealed his fate and he has rarely been seen since.
Whether United keep the faith with De Gea or sign rumoured target Asmir Begovic, Lindegaard’s future seems to lie elsewhere.
Much like Ben Foster and Tim Howard before him, signing for another Premier League side could give him the regular football his talent deserves. West Ham or Fulham seem the most likely destinations with their own ‘keepers approaching the twilight of their careers.
Swansea have had an amazing season. In many ways, they are the success story. So why would their captain and talisman leave when next season he could lead them into Europe?
The truth is he probably won’t. And yet there will be offers. And it may simply come down to how much is on the table.
Williams will be 29 when next season kicks off. Which means if a big offer comes, it will come soon. And with Arsenal struggling for a consistent back-line and Liverpool in need of a replacement for Jamie Carragher, there will be few ahead of the Welshman in their thinking.
Comments from Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers yesterday that he would be seeking a defensive leader won’t have eased worries at the Liberty Stadium that at least one offer will eventually arrive.
Perhaps the least likely to happen, this would also be arguably the best signing of the five. Williams could be a top club’s final piece. But in becoming that, he would leave one huge hole behind.
Can you see any or all of these players moving on in the summer? And which clubs need them the most?