Big names coming and going in the EPL
Bayern Munich have made a habit of stealing Borussia Dortmund’s finest, and outgoing FCB coach Pep Guardiola could be set to follow that example by bringing BVB midfielder Ilkay Gündogan to his new club.
The German international would add steel to a City midfield that is anticipating the loss of Yaya Touré, who could be the next ageing star to leave for China.
Romelu Lukaku has had a great season for Everton, scoring 18 league goals for the Toffees that seem to have made former club Chelsea regret their decision to let him slip away. The young Belgian striker was forced out of Stamford Bridge, but seems to have proved himself to the Blues, who are now linked with a bid for their former prodigy.
Lukaku’s price may well have doubled since his loan move to Goodison Park was made permanent in 2014, but that shouldn’t bother the Blues. Nemanja Matić is a good example of a player who was sold, to Benfica in his case, before being bought back at a big financial loss. Chelsea were happy to take that hit to bring the Serbian back from Portugal, and it would be no great surprise if they did the same for the man they first bought from Anderlecht five years ago.
Over at Anfield, the presence of Jürgen Klopp has seen Liverpool linked with much exciting Bundesliga talent, but none more so than his former charge at Borussia Dortmund; Mario Götze of Bayern Munich.
The German attacker has not hit the ground running since swapping Dortmund for the Allianz Arena, as just three goals from 14 Bundesliga appearances means that the 23-year-old is considered surplus to requirements in Bavaria, and the idea is that a reunion with Klopp at Anfield would get him back to his brilliant best.
Perhaps the biggest free transfer available in the upcoming window is Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, who has left Paris Saint-Germain following the expiration of his contract at Parc des Princes.
At 34, the former Milan and Barcelona star will have to consider retirement soon, but his 50 goals in 51 appearances across all competitions for PSG this season shows that he is far from finished with finding the net.
Ibrahimović has been most heavily linked with Manchester United, where a reunion with former Inter Milan manager José Mourinho would be on the cards. He has already won titles in the Eredivisie, Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1, and could be set to end his career trying to add the Premier League to that list.
Elsewhere, the focus will be on keeping the best players at the club as much as bringing in new talent, and Arsenal will be determined not to see their titlechasing side weakened over the break.
The Gunners look to have tied down Alexis Sánchez after giving the Chilean their number seven shirt for the new season, but there are still doubts over playmaker Mesut Özil and right-back Héctor Bellerín. The former is allegedly unhappy at the collapse of their title hopes, while the latter is linked with former club Barcelona as a replacement for Dani Alves.
Elsewhere in north London, Tottenham continue their pursuit of top young talent. Harry Kane was the revelation of the 2014/15 season and Dele Alli was similarly impressive last season.
That will be persuasive in their reported pursuit of young FC Basel attacker Breel Embolo. The teenage Switzerland international is one of Europe’s most exciting talents, and could be the next youngster to make his breakthrough at White Hart Lane.
TEAMtalk Media –
BIG FISH Mario Götze could follow his former coach to Liverpool STAR Zlatan Ibrahimović might make his way to Manchester FORMIDABLE Kwanda Mngonyama
TARGET Ilkay Gündogan is Pep Guardiola’s first target EXIT Speculation is that Yaya Touré is on the verge of joining the exodus to China RETURN Romelu Lukaku’s good showing might see him recalled FLOP Mwape Musonda was sent packing IMPRESSIVE Abdul Razak proved his worth