In the last part of this series, we look at more top players from across Europe who might end up playing for a new club come start of next season
The transfer window is officially open for Europe. There are a lot of players being linked to various clubs and the following are the most sought after superstars. This edition features the likes of Mario Gotze, Marquinhos, Marco Verratti and Lucas Moura. All of them are being linked with a move to some of England’s biggest clubs.
#4: Mario Gotze
Current Club: Bayern Munich
Expected Transfer Fee: £20-30M
Mario Gotze has been heavily linked with Liverpool ever since the appointment of former boss Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. The German international was given his club debut in Borussia Dortmund by Klopp and was seen as the manager’s protege at BVB. Now that Klopp has settled down at the Merseyside club, he is looking to freshen up the squad.
The Sun reported that Liverpool were looking to close the deal to sign Gotze from his current club Bayern Munich. Reports have now come in that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is looking to sign the star midfielder. According to Fox Sports, the Frenchman is looking to partner new signing Granit Xhaka with the German.
The fee being reported in Liverpool’s case is £20M whereas Fox Sports have reported a £27M offer from Arsenal. The most likely figure for Gotze is to be somewhere between £20-30M.
Most likely destination at the end of the window: Liverpool
Mario Gotze has been restricted to just 14 league appearances for the Bundesliga club and a move seems imminent. Even though the interest from Arsenal seems real, Gotze is most likely to join his former boss at Anfield. He has already played under the Liverpool manager and Klopp knows how to use the German on the pitch. Gotze’s ability to perform when needed is a quality the former Dortmund boss would be looking to add to the squad. The midfielder also has a history of success in every side, club and country, and would bring with him a trophy-winning pedigree. The manager is no stranger to Mario’s technical prowess which would be helpful in his bid to make Liverpool genuine title contenders in his first full season at the club.
The move looks likely to happen as both parties seem equally interested in the deal. Mario Gotze would get some much needed regular first-team football and would be back under the guidance of his former mentor at Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp.
Current Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Expected Transfer Fee: £40M mark
Barcelona aren’t the only admirers though as he is heavily sought after by a host of Premier League clubs. Le 10 Sport had claimed back in October that Chelsea was interested in bringing the Brazilian to Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window.
Earlier, at the business end of the last season, Manchester United had reportedly told PSG in April, that they wanted Marquinhos at Old Trafford, according to the Metro. Metro then ran a story in the same month stating that there were rumors of Arsenal being interested in a move for the 22-year old.
Chelsea reportedly had two bids rejected for Marquinhos in previous windows with the second bid being £30M. Manchester United were linked with a bid around the £40M mark, which seems to be around the figure PSG is reportedly holding out for.
Most likely Destination at the end of the window: Paris Saint-Germain
Marquinhos’s wish of moving to Barcelona received a huge setback after the Catalan side signed Samuel Umtiti from Olympique Lyonnais. Manchester United has gone ahead and signed Eric Bailly from La Liga to partner Chris Smalling at the heart of the defense. Arsenal and Chelsea seem the only other interested parties.
Marquinhos has gone on to make 75 league appearances for the Ligue 1 Champions, with most of them coming in broken spells. He has found it hard to break into the side with his Brazilian counterparts Thiago Silva and David Luiz forging a solid partnership. Arsenal’s reported interest seems very bleak and Chelsea seems to be the only club with real interest remaining in the race for his signature. He has the ability to play wide as a full-back which will be helpful if the new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is to deploy the traditional 3-men at the back.
However, there is no reported bid from any club and it looks likely that Marquinhos will remain at the Ligue 1 club and look to break into the first team.
#13: Marco Verratti
Current Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Suitor(s): Premier League (Manchester United, Chelsea)
Expected Transfer Fee: £60M
Marco Verratti has become one of the hottest properties in world football after his move to Paris Saint Germain from Italian side Pescara. The 23-year-old was rumored to be the subject of a w0rld record-equalling €100M bid by Premier League giants Manchester United. Corriere Dello Sport ran a story that the new Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho was keen to bring the Italian to Old Trafford and prepared to spend upto €100M to secure his signature.
However United are not the only club interested the 23-year-old Italian playmaker. Earlier in January, Chelsea was reported to be interested in Verratti, according to Metro. BarcaBlaugranes.com ran a story in April on the basis of reports from Italian publication La Repubblica that Barcelona had submitted a bid for the playmaker in an effort to bring him to the Nou Camp.
There have been rumors linking the Catalan club to Verratti in the past with their legendary playmaker Xavi reportedly coming out and saying that the Italian would be a perfect signing for the club, according to ESPN.
This is a player whose transfer fee is hard to gauge. United were reportedly in with an offer of around £80M. PSG was reported to slap a £60M fee on the Italian’s signature upon Chelsea’s interest in the 23-year old. Barcelona was reported to make a €60M Euro offer in April. His true worth may lie around the £60M mark as PSG are unlikely to settle for a lower fee.
Most likely Destination at the end of transfer window: Paris Saint-Germain
Marco Verratti has been a mainstay at the heart of Paris Saint-Germain’s midfield ever since he joined from Pescara. He has gone on to make more than 100 league appearances for the European powerhouse. The playmaker’s importance in PSG is underlined by the reportedly huge price that the Ligue 1 Champions have slapped on the Italian in a bid to stave off interest from other clubs.
The interest from Barcelona has cooled down since the report and there have been no advances from United either. Chelsea may be an ideal place for Verratti with Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge. But there have been no recent reports to suggest the Italian national manager is interested in bringing the playmaker to London.
PSG do seem to want to keep Verratti for the long haul and with no real interest being reported in the recent weeks, it looks likely that he is set to stay in Paris for now.
#19: Lucas Moura
Current Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Suitor(s): Premier League (Manchester United, Liverpool)
Expected Transfer Fee: £30M
Lucas Moura reportedly rejected a move to Manchester United before signing for Paris Saint-Germain in 2013. The PSG winger, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, revealed that his love for the city of Paris persuaded him to sign for the Ligue 1 champions. Liverpool has been rumored to be interested in the Brazilian speedster, according to reports from SkySports.
Liverpool are not the only outfit interested as they face competition from their Premier League arch-rivals Manchester United. Express ran a story back in May that Lucas Moura was growing unhappy at Paris Saint-Germain and that his agent had held talks with the Red Devils over the possibility of a move to Old Trafford. According to Metro, the 23-year-old had earlier himself stated that he dreams of playing in the Barclays Premier League.
Paris Saint-Germain had shelved out €40M to bring him to Paris from Sao Paulo. A figure is yet to be quoted by any of the media outlets as they report interest from the two Premier League outfits. It is still tenable that PSG wouldn’t be ready to hear offers below their initial outlay. It would certainly take a bid of £30M or upwards to convince the Ligue 1 champions to let go of the Brazilian.
Most likely destination at the end of the transfer window: Paris Saint-Germain
Lucas Moura finds himself behind Angel Di Maria in the pecking order at Paris and has been restricted to 111 appearances for the French club.
The interest from Liverpool is good but Lucas Moura doesn’t seem to suit Klopp’s system. The Brazilian is an out-and-out winger who likes to hug the touchlines and dribble past defenders with his pace and trickery. Klopp, though, likes his wingers to track back most of the time to leave little space for the opposition. The German manager also wants his wingers to be dynamic in their ability to switch positions seamlessly on the pitch from time to time. Liverpool would have to change their system in order to accommodate Moura.
Manchester United are long time admirers of the 23-year old but the rumors linking the Old Trafford outfit with a move for the speedster seems to have cooled down following the appointment of Jose Mourinho. Even after feeling frozen out at the French Champions, the Brazilian has been continuing to give a good account of his abilities.
Moura has kept on growing at the French club and looks like he may have to stay at PSG and hope to establish himself as a regular for the Ligue 1 Champions.
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