Grealish is confirmed by City, Messi is a free agent now! 10 biggest transfers that can still happen this summer.
The summer of expected and unexpected transfers is not yet over. Manchester City announced the signing of Jack Grealish for a record for an English player. And as the world was getting their heads around the expected record-breaking transfer, Spain delivered a piece of rather unexpected news. Barcelona officially announced that Lionel Messi will no longer be part of the Catalan club. And thus, the football world erupted.
Official and confirmed. Jack Grealish joins Manchester City on a permanent deal from Aston Villa. Number 10 for Jack. 🔵🏴 #MCFC
Grealish says: “Man City are the best team in the country with a manager considered to be the best in the world – it’s a dream come true”. pic.twitter.com/wy4qjG4bBv
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 5, 2021
Where does the G.O.A.T go next? Every team in world football wants him, few can afford him and even few will have his attention. And so, the transfer saga for one of the most coveted players in the world begins. However, he isn’t the only star, albeit he is the biggest, ready to move. FootTheBall takes a look at ten of the biggest transfers that can still happen this summer.
1. LIONEL MESSI
Although it seemed like Messi would stay at Barcelona, it is now understood that the club legend would be bidding goodbye. After nearly two decades at the legendary Catalan club, Lionel Messi will finally move on. Leaving behind memories worth a lifetime, winning a record number of club and individual awards, Messi is the greatest player to ever play in the Camp Nou.
Messi shaped Barcelona, and Barcelona shaped Messi. A player of his legendary stature is almost unattainable and remained so for years on end. But now, as a free agent, at least some clubs will have a shot attaining the unattainable. PSG is already being rumoured to rope in the Argentinian legend.
While Manchester City and Chelsea are also being linked. There’s no reason to run by his numbers and to check which team he would fit. If Messi doesn’t fit a team’s plan, change the plan! This is the most realistic shot any team will get, the best opportunity and one not worth missing.
2. HARRY KANE
Harry Kane has tried every way possible to move away from Tottenham. He tried being a gentleman and he tried being the villain. But, as things stand, Tottenham Hotspurs are not willing to part with their best player. The English ace is reportedly adamant about playing Champions League football, something Tottenham is finding increasingly hard to achieve.
Nuno Espirito Santo again on Harry Kane tense situation: “What I believe is this issue in relation to Harry, we should discuss internally. Try to avoid any kind of public argument or discussion about it. We have to solve the situation with Kane”. ⚪️ #THFC via @jamesbenge
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 4, 2021
Having scored 23 Premier goals, Kane was among the best strikers in Europe. His performances in the European Championship are also a testament to the player’s ability. Not only is he a good finisher, but his all-round game is also impressive. Kane provided 14 assists in the league last season, showcasing his willingness to play for the team and not just for the goals.
Manchester City and United are reportedly interested in his services. However, both have spent a substantial fee on transfers this season and therefore it might be a stretch to fund another 130million euros on Kane. Yet, if the situation in Tottenham doesn’t improve, the club might be forced to sell the player this summer. A move to Man City seems most likely.
3. ROMELU LUKAKU
Another 28-year-old striker who is rumoured for a transfer this summer is Romelu Lukaku. The prolific Belgian was nothing short of amazing last season. Scoring 24 goals and assisting eleven times, he was the best player in Inter Milan. His goal haul helped the club lift the Serie A title last season. In the European Championship, Lukaku managed to score four goals as well. The same number as Harry Kane but with two matches less.
Chelsea are preparing a new bid to sign Romelu Lukaku. Proposal expected around €120/130m after opening bid turned down by Inter [€100m + Marcos Alonso involved in the deal]. 🔵 #CFC
Chelsea are also offering Lukaku a long term contract for €12m net per season as salary.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 3, 2021
Chelsea is in desperate need of a striker. Timo Werner has been good, but he hasn’t been the striker they needed. A striker without goals is often worth nothing and Chelsea hopes they will be able to rope in one of the finest goalscorers in Europe. Their chase for Erling Haaland does not seem to be materialising and so Lukaku will be the best next choice. With rumours surrounding Inter ready to sell at the right price, this transfer is one that is worth the wait.
4. PAUL POGBA
Yet another 28-year-old rumoured to be on the move is Paul Pogba. The French World Cup winner has not been as impressive for United as expected. He was definitely not the best player at United and has been the subject of criticism for a while now. But his talent is unquestionable, on his day, Paul Pogba is among the best midfielders the world has ever seen.
Solskjaer on Paul Pogba contract talks: “I hope every player thinks this is the place to be to win trophies. Paul has come back and he's fresh, and he's always such a positive boy. The talks I've had with him have all been positive”, told to @RobDawsonESPN. 🔴 #MUFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 5, 2021
His performances for France in the European Championship were phenomenal. Although France was lacklustre and departed earlier than they would have liked, Paul Pogba’s performance was magical. PSG are willing to spend a reasonable amount to bring the World Cup winner to the French capital. Paul Pogba is reportedly ready to leave and so things have gotten complicated. So, will Pogba leave this time around? We’ll simply have to wait and see.
5. ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI
Lewandowski is likely to receive a pending Ballon d’Or this year. Amazon is also preparing a documentary on the record-breaking goalscorer. And so transfer rumours for a player who has scored 41 goals in 28 games is a given. But, to be fair, of all the players on the list, this might be the most unlikely. Reports suggest that Lewandowski is committed to staying at Bayern Munich. He has assured the new coach that he is ready for the upcoming season.
However, with plenty of contract negotiations taking place in the club, there is a slim chance that Lewandowski might be let off for the appropriate price. With just one year remaining on his contract, Europe’s top goalscorer will be available for a free next summer. And Bayern Munich would be wise to cash in now if he does decide not to renegotiate his contract. A host of Premier League clubs including Manchester City and Chelsea are interested, who wouldn’t be?!
6. KYLIAN MBAPPE
Kylian Mbappe is the hottest talent in football. Twenty-seven goals in the Ligue 1 last season, 8 in the Champions League. The Frenchmen is just 22 but is the most sought-after player in world football. He did have a poor European campaign, but that can be classified as nothing more than a dip. And so, given his talent, there’s no surprise PSG are unwilling to let go of their star forward.
But, it’s complicated. Mbappe wants to leave and has been pushing for a move for quite some time. PSG are adamant he stays and are willing to do anything to keep him there. Mbappe asked PSG to prove that they are willing to push for Champions League glory. The PSG hierarchy went ahead and acquired the best players in the business including Sergio Ramos and Donnarumma to prove the point. But, with just a year left in his contract, Mbappe has the pole position.
Real Madrid has been dreaming of this opportunity. So has Mbappe. And with the possibility of Messi joining PSG, Mbappe might well be cashed in.
7. DECLAN RICE
Declan Rice is just as young as Kylian Mbappe, but his valuation by West Ham doesn’t seem to fit the bill. However, the English defensive midfielder has rejected two offers from the club to extend his contract. He does have three years left in it, and so there is no need for immediate concern. However, this does mean that the player is ready to force a move to a team playing Champions League football.
With Manchester United and Chelsea interested in his services it was expected that a deal would formalise. However, West Ham is looking for a price worth 100million euros and upwards, a fee that neither club is ready to pay. Rice hasn’t been keen on forcing a move this summer either, but should a team make an offer, the player will have his ears open.
8. BERNARDO SILVA
Bernardo Silva has made over 200 appearances for the Cityzens. His time at Manchester City has earned him three league titles among other laurels. Silva has been a trusted component of City’s engine and his work rate and talent have not taken a dip. However, the arrival of Jack Grealish might be a cause of concern. With too many names in the same position, someone would have to make room.
Silva has reportedly been eyeing a move to Spain. Spanish Champions Atletico Madrid are a strong admirer of the Portuguese international and interested in signing him. City are also likely to let go. But the transfer fee remains in question. City expect a bid of around 50m and 60 euros while Atletico is unable to meet that demand.
Barcelona were also interested in his service, but their current financial situation prevents them from making a move. If City and Atletico can come to an understanding, Silva might well pack his bags.
9. JAMES MADDISON
James Maddison’s attacking output was a pivotal reason for Leicester City’s success over the years. The 24-year-old is a rising talent in England and his performances for Leicester City have been encouraging. He’s a creative playmaker whose deftness on the ball has earned him praise. Leicester narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification last season. Arsenal has been keeping tabs on the young midfielder.
Brendan Rodgers on James Maddison rumours: “I believe he will stay. Working very hard in training. Clearly gossip and speculation at this time of year. Important member of our squad. Hopefully this year can show the real top player that he is”, @sistoney67 reports. 🔵 #LCFC #AFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 5, 2021
The Gunners are looking to rebuild the squad and Arteta is seeking creative playmakers. Maddison fits the billing and so they are ready to make an offer. Leicester, surprisingly are open for the move, if they can meet the 60m euro asking price. And even more surprisingly, Maddison is also willing to make the move, one which would cause him to lose out on European action.
10. AYMERIC LAPORTE
Aymeric Laporte has had a rather quirky year. Switching allegiances from France to Spain, the 27-year-old centre back made his debut for the Spanish national team in the European Championship. But, he has fallen down the pecking order in City behind John Stones. And thus, he has expressed his desire to move to Spain this summer.
— Aymeric Laporte (@Laporte) July 2, 2021
Laporte is eyeing a move to Madrid or Barcelona with the latter being his preferred choice. Manchester City usually does not hold on to players that don’t want to stay. And therefore, he might be on the move. A swap deal for Harry Kane (excluding 100m euros of course) is also being considered according to some reports. If he does leave, City would be demanding a fee between the 40 to 50m euro mark.