There’s always one, isn’t there? We’ve come to expect it, debate it, and dread it in equal measure – every summer there is that story about that player moving to that club.
Last season it was Robin van Persie, Eden Hazard and Luka Modric but who will be the main players in the top five transfer sagas this summer?
5) Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona to Manchester United/Arsenal)
Up first, our number five this summer has been here before. Undoubtedly the most long and drawn-out transfer saga in modern football was his transfer from Arsenal to Barcelona, which played out for more than two years and ultimately ended when the Catalan’s got their heart’s desire in 2011.
However, could the former Gunners captain be involved in yet another saga this summer? He’s heavily linked with a move away from the Camp Nou and, at present, his most likely destination is a return to England.
Manchester United are the favourites to sign him but Arsenal have first right of refusal on any deal and are due a 50% share of his sell-on fee. It’s already complicated.
The only way this one will be settled is if the player himself goes public with his desire to a) stay at Barca b) return to Arsenal or c) move elsewhere. I’m giving this one a 4/10 chance of happening. I don’t think he’ll leave Barcelona just yet.
4) Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich/Manchester United)
This one started in January; perhaps even before but since the public announcement that his Dortmund teammate Mario Gotze will be playing for Champions League winners Bayern Munich next term, it looks increasingly likely the Polish striker could follow him.
It’s the Bundesliga equivalent of Van Persie to Manchester United and, speaking of which, the Red Devils are reportedly interested in Lewandowksi too. Wherever he ends up, it’s unlikely Dortmund will be able to keep hold of him this summer. My money’s on Bayern, I’m afraid. I’m giving this one a 7/10 chance.
3) Luis Suarez (Liverpool to Bayern Munich)
The Bundesliga champions are a little greedy, aren’t they? Not only do they already have probably the best team in the world but they’re reportedly after arguably the best striker in England.
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has been in fine form this term but, following his biting incident, it seems his future may lie away from Anfield. The Reds are desperate to keep him, despite his controversial antics, but if Bayern really want him, and they’re prepared to pay through the nose to get him, he might just be sold. This one get’s a 7/10 from me.
2) Wayne Rooney (Manchester United to PSG/Arsenal/Real Madrid)
It seems the decade-long love affair between the Red Devils and Wayne Rooney may have come to an end.
His behavior in recent weeks may have left his position at Old Trafford untenable and, after handing in a transfer request taking the gloss off Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement party, I suspect the club will offload him to the highest bidder before his contract runs down.
Who that highest bidder will be is yet unknown although I have a sneaking suspicion it wont be Arsenal.
This one looks like a toss-up between Ligue 1 champions super rich Paris Saint-Germain who have been whispering about him for months on end or perhaps Real Madrid who, despite coming late to the party, could be a tempting offer for the striker. I reckon it’ll be the Parisians though and I’m giving it an 8/10 chance.
1) Gareth Bale (Tottenham to Real Madrid)
Whilst Real Madrid will likely be in the market for a striker this term there really I only one player they want – they crave him so desperately, they’ve got their hearts set on him in the Spanish capital, it looks like it’ll happen eventually even if it’s held off until next summer. Gareth Bale will go to Real Madrid, eventually. I’m giving this move a 10/10.
image: © ins11thiago