Kane, Sancho & Lukaku Among Transfers to Look Out for This Summer
An important weapon for clubs will be the free transfer, given that some big names are yet to sign their deals.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has had its effect on almost all walks of life, including the frenzied and edgy world of football transfers, the summer window this year promises to be fascinating as always.
While for the financial losses for clubs is well documented and is majorly the concern for most, some others face the prospect of punishments from UEFA for the attempted coup that was the European Super League.
While that is one kettle of fish there is also the small matter of Lionel Messi’s future with FC Barcelona. Add to that thoughts of Sergio Ramos leaving Real Madrid and Harry Kane bidding farewell to his beloved Tottenham Hotspur, and the football fan has quite a cocktail to digest, along with the Euros and the Olympics!
Last summer, it was the English clubs who were responsible for a whopping 43 percent of global transfer activity. The Championship, the tier below the Premier League, was the sixth-biggest spending league in Europe in 2020-21, outstripping the Portuguese, Dutch and Russian first divisions, according to a UEFA report.
The EPL was by far the biggest spenders in 2020-21 with more than 1.8 billion Euros traded, 600m more than in the next in line, Italy’s top-flight, Serie A.
Going into 2021’s summer, among the factors that would affect clubs, is the absence of fans through the majority of the season. The UEFA report puts it at a loss of 4 billion Euros across the continent and expects transfer fees to be reduced for the better health of the game.
An important weapon for clubs this time will be the free transfer, given that there are some very big names who are yet to sign the dotted line.
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Mr Real Madrid himself, the talismanic defender has led from the front for a fair few seasons now, coming up with important goals and performances at the drop of a hat.
Ramos has been as central to Real’s success as Cristiano Ronaldo, but all has not been well between Ramos and the club recently, with the former not in the biggest hurry to sign a new deal.
Madrid’s previous transfer window activity was uncharacteristically low, and they might have to spring into action to keep hold of Ramos, who has been at the club since 2005.
A winner of four UEFA Champions League titles, five Ligas, Ramos is no stranger to a card either having been dismissed a club-record 26 times in all competitions for Madrid.
Has Ramos stalled earlier to get a better deal, yes! Much like the dark arts on the field that help him win tricky situations, the defender is not alien to playing hard to get!
Possible destinations: PSG
Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
The mess at the Nou Camp is well documented – Messi has been at the club since he was 13 and was determined to leave last summer, but stopped short of going to court or leaving as Barca fans breathed a sigh of relief.
The Blaugrana number 10 was the top scorer in La Liga for the fifth season in a row and the eight in total. Messi scored 30 goals in 35 matches while Barca finished third. In all, he’s won 35 titles with Barca and scored 672 goals from 778 games since making his debut in 2003.
As of 26 May, Messi has not signed the dotted line at the Nou Camp and can leave at the end of his contract on a free transfer if he so chooses to.
While the talk of a reunion with Sergio Aguero raises hopes of Messi staying in Spain, a possible move to Man City to join hands with Pep Guardiola cannot be ruled out. Or even to Paris, to join old pal Neymar.
A lot depends on Joan Laporta and the administration, who are on very thin ice with Messi.
Possible destinations: PSG and Man City
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
While Ramos and Messi might well remain where they are, England’s Harry Kane has made it clear that he is hungry to win trophies and leaving his beloved Tottenham is definitely on his mind.
The Spurs will not want to let him go of course but with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and even possibly Real Madrid interested, it will be difficult to keep hold on to an unhappy Kane.
The England striker won the Golden Boot this year with 23 goals in the Premier League and is one of the most clinical finishers in the game. At the Euros, he will be looking to keep the scoring form going, which will do no harm to his prospects of a good move away from London.
Kane in his time at Spurs has scored 228 goals in all competitions from 331 games.
Possible destinations: Man City, Man Utd and Real Madrid.
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
Whether Man United and Paul Pogba part ways or not, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made English forward Jadon Sancho his top target. The talk was similar last year but with Ed Woodward stepping away at the end of the season, Man United fans have renewed hope about Sancho.
United did their best to sign him last summer but were unwilling to pay the £108m asking price.
He will be available for a cheaper price this time though which could accelerate a deal, especially if he impresses at Euro 2020.
He’s played the Scottie Pippen role to Erling Haaland at Dortmund but there is no doubt that Sancho adds unparalleled attacking talent to any side.
Will he suddenly go against the run of play and back to Man City? Unlikely given the Pep-roulette in attack.
Possible destination: Man United and Man City
Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
One of the standout performers for the Rossoneri in their return to form in recent years, the lack of attention in the transfer window for him in recent years has been surprising.
At 22, Gianluigi Donnarumma promises plenty of years top class goal keeping and is managed by the well-known football agent Mino Raiola.
The Milan keeper will be moving on from the club as confirmed by the club director Paolo Maldini.
Donnarumma broke into the Milan first team before his 17th birthday in 2015 and quickly cemented his spot. He made 251 appearances for the club in all competitions, keeping 88 clean sheets, and played a key role in helping the club finish second in Serie A this season.
Donnarumma undoubtedly has the talent to shine at the big stage and has gone from strength to strength at Milan and would be a great addition to any team.
Possible destination: Man United and Man City
Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan)
After a troubled stint in England with Man United, the Belgian striker really turned on the style in Italy with eventual champions Inter Milan.
One of the reasons for his purple patch was the manager Antonio Conte, who forced the striker into a lifestyle change, which in turn helped improve his fitness and game by a few notches.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Lukaku has lost weight and got back in peak shape with expert guidance from the nutritionist Matteo Pincella
Pincella, who started started out in rugby, also works for the Italian national team and has been a key part of Conte's staff in various positions since 2012.
He devised a diet plan that has seen Lukaku be at his absolute peak of performance on the pitch.
Given the turnaround in form, Lukaku’s faith towards Inter will be tested immensely as the manager is all set to depart.
Inter might lose key players because of the decision and Lukaku could be one of those heading out.
Possible destinations: Chelsea
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