Next destination: where will David de Gea, Eden Hazard and Aaron Ramsey be plying their trade nextThe transfer window is moving ever nearer and the transfer rumour mill will soon be in full swing. With some top Premier League talents coming towards the end of their contracts, it is not difficult to imagine some huge moves taking place in either this window or the next.
The transfer window is moving ever nearer and the transfer rumour mill will soon be in full swing. With some top Premier League talents coming towards the end of their contracts, it is not difficult to imagine some huge moves taking place in either this window or the next.
However, a lot of futures could depend on the reopened Uefa investigation into PSG's finances, with the French giants perhaps unwilling to splash out on some more big names for fear of antagonising authorities. With Manchester City also the subject of a Uefa inquiry, the transfer merry-go-round may not rotate as quickly as normal but there will still be plenty of footballers happy to jump on board.
With Chelsea and Manchester United’s best players perhaps on the verge of moves and Europe’s top clubs reportedly scrambling to sign an out-of-contract Arsenal midfielder, there is plenty of upside at looking at the future destinations of some of world football’s brightest talents.
Although Hazard’s contract does not run out until 2020, there have been persistent rumours linking him with a move.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said that this week there is a new deal ready to sign and it’s not hard to imagine there is a salivating salary on offer should the Belgian put pen to paper.
Real Madrid have been heavily linked with the forward since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer and at the age of 27, Hazard may feel now is the right time to ply his trade at one of the world’s biggest clubs.
Should he refuse Chelsea’s offer, the club will surely have no choice but to cash in their biggest asset in either this transfer window or the next, and there are probably only three clubs in Europe he could realistically go to. Of those, the Spanish giants are the perfect fit.
Eden Hazard next club
Real Madrid 4/6
David De Gea
Manchester United have activated an option to extend the goalkeeper’s contract for another year to prevent De Gea from signing a pre-contract agreement with any foreign club in January.
The Spaniard is now contracted to Manchester United until 2020 but still holds some bargaining power, given that the club is unlikely to want him to leave for free in 18 months.
At 28, De Gea still has nearly a decade of his career left, and he may wait to see who the next Manchester United manager is before making a final decision on his future.
Should he choose to leave, there will be no shortage of takers for his services. PSG looks ideal as they will be seeking a long-term replacement for Gianluigi Buffon with replacement Alphonse Areola looking limited, while the goalkeeping department looks the weakest area of Juventus’s team. Should De Gea wish to return to Spain, his destination looks limited to Barcelona, with Atletico Madrid unlikely to accept his wage demands unless their current stopper Jan Oblak is sold and Real Madrid off the table after Thibaut Courtois signed last summer.
David de Gea next club
Atletico Madrid 4/1
One player who will be available to negotiate with foreign teams in January is Aaron Ramsey, with Arsenal seemingly unwilling to offer the midfielder a new contract.
At the age of 27, Ramsey is entering his peak years and a number of top European clubs will be interested in obtaining his signature, with Bayern Munich odds-on favourite to be his next team.
Being a free agent, Ramsey will be expecting a bumper salary but Bayern’s budget may prevent them striking a deal for the goalscoring midfielder. Robert Lewandowski is Bayern’s highest-paid player on £200,000, they may be unwilling to bring Ramsey in on a higher wage.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that Bayern stars Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are aged 35 and 34 respectively and in the final year of their contracts, so the German side may be looking to spend big on wingers rather than midfielders, where they already have, Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez and Leon Goretzka.
With that in mind, it could pay to look elsewhere. Ivan Gazidis has made the move from Arsenal to AC Milan, so is fully aware of the qualities of Ramsey and has reportedly been tasked with creating an Arsenal model.
But it could be worth chancing that Ramsey stays in England and moves north to join Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho’s side are not blessed with too much depth in forward-thinking central midfielders with Fred proving a disappointing signing. With doubts over Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez’s future, a goalscoring midfielder is exactly what Manchester United need and they have the paying power to meet Ramsey’s demands.
Aaron Ramsey’s next club
Bayern Munich 5/6
AC Milan 6/1
Manchester United 7/1
Another Belgian who could be on the move, Alderweireld is out of contract this summer and has shown no intention of signing a new deal. Tottenham do have the right to activate a one-year extension but with Mauricio Pochettino dropping the defender for the North London derby, in much the same way he did with Kyle Walker in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea before the right back left for Manchester City a few weeks later, there seems little chance of the defender staying at Tottenham.
Alderweireld was reportedly close to joining Manchester United last summer and they are still on the hunt for a top-class centre half. Barcelona could be an attractive alternative, while if he wanted to stay in London, Chelsea and Arsenal are surely looking to recruit in that area.
Toby Alderweireld next club
Manchester United 6/4
What is it with Belgians and their contracts? Toby Alderweireld’s partner for club and country is also out of contract in the summer but expects Tottenham to activate a one-year extension clause to keep him at the club until the summer of 2020.
Vertonghen, 31, is coming towards the end of his career at the top level and may be happy to remain at Tottenham for the next few years.
Should he choose to move, it’s difficult to imagine him moving to one of Europe’s biggest clubs but Italy could be his ultimate destination.
AC Milan look short of defensive quality and would be the ideal fit for an ageing centre back, given the slower pace of matches in Serie A.
Jan Vertonghen next club
3/1 Manchester United
7/2 AC Milan
4/1 Atletico Madrid
Maurizio Sarri is challenging Chelsea to dispense with their policy of offering only 12-month deals to players over the age of 30.
However, as yet, nothing has been agreed and it looks likely Fabregas, 31, will be negotiating with teams abroad next month.
Reports in Spain this week suggested that Fabregas is on the verge of signing a contract with Valencia, while he is another ex-Arsenal player linked with AC Milan after Ivan Gazidis accepted the chief executive role.
Fabregas is 2/1 to join the Italian side and he is exactly the type of player who will excel in Serie A.
Cesc Fabregas next club
AC Milan 2/1
Manchester United 4/1
While Paul Pogba is under contract at Manchester United until 2021, there is still plenty of speculation surrounding his future.
Being dropped for a crucial Champions league qualifier and then being labelled “a virus” by your manager will not endear the club to its highest-paid player, while there were rumours in the summer that Pogba’s agent was trying to engineer a move away.
Pogba’s future is inextricably linked to that of Mourinho and should the Portuguese manager still be in charge of Manchester United next season, his most expensive player will probably be elsewhere.
However, it’s difficult to identify clubs who can meet his wage demands outside of PSG who are embroiled in a Uefa investigation into their finances and will probably not want to provoke sanctions by signing another £100 million player.
Barcelona are blessed in midfield with Ivan Rakitic, Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal, so will probably look to strengthen in other areas, so Pogba could be left hoping that Mourinho is the first man to move.
Paul Pogba’s next club
Arsenal are ready to let Welbeck leave on a free transfer in the summer. The forward has just undergone two operations on his injured ankle and is unlikely to play again this season. With that in mind, some clubs may be unwilling to take a chance on him until he proves his fitness but there should be plenty of interest in a proven 28-year-old England international.
Given the prices Everton make no appeal but it could be worth chancing that he ends up at Newcastle if any proposed takeover goes through and the club stay in the Premier League. Rafa Benitez will. presumably. expect an increased budget and Welbeck is exactly the type of player to fit into Benitez’s style of play as he works hard, is disciplined and is technically better than most people think.
Danny Welbeck next club
West Ham 5/1
Bets to consider
It’s worth bearing in mind that the prices quoted in this article are not dependent on when any player moves, just their final destination. Eden Hazard looks certain to make the move to Real Madrid at some point in the next year but we will not be getting rich with him priced at 4/6 to move to Spain.
Better value could be David De Gea to move to PSG at 9/4 given that Gianluigi Buffon is approaching 40 and his backup, Alphonse Areola, has looked shaky at times since he returned to the club.
The 7/1 about Aaron Ramsey moving to Manchester United also appeals. He may prefer to move abroad but the 5/6 about him joining Bayern Munich looks too short and they may not have the budget to meet his wage demands. That will not be a problem for Manchester United and their squad will surely undergo a significant overhaul in the summer.