Europe’s transfer window opens July 1st and this should be an exciting season. Most of the world’s biggest clubs need comprehensive upgrades. There are number of hot young things entering the meat market. Money should be flying around. Here are five players who should be moving to some of the top clubs this summer and could shift the balance of power, or at least help some club catch up to Barcelona.
Alexis Sanchez (Udinese) Sanchez is a tenacious dribbler and a howling dervish down the wing. At 22 the Chilean is just tapping his potential and he’s already among the game’s elite. His Italian club thought they might keep him for another season by qualifying for the Champions League, but, with Barcelona, Man United, Man City, Inter Milan and Juventus submitting bids, it’s time for the team from tiny Udine to cash out. Man U would be a great fit, but joining Barcelona would be too tempting to reject. [Prediction: Barcelona]
Neymar (Santos) The 19-year-old is the next big thing from Brazil. Even if he ends up at the Robinho end of that spectrum, that should mean a hefty transfer fee, potentially around $64 million. Negotiations have purportedly cooled with Chelsea since Real Madrid showed interest. The Bernabeu seems the logical place for soccer’s next flashy superstar to end up. Neymar tamed his mohawk this summer, so you know he means business. [Prediction: Real Madrid]
Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid) He’s an awesome talent, who was considered in the same breath as his Argentine compatriot Messi, before the latter blossomed. He’s 23. He’s been one of the best forwards in La Liga without the support structure of a Barcelona or Real Madrid. The 23-year-old announced it was time to leave Atletico and he’s available for whoever’s willing to meet his $64m asking price. I think that comes down to Real Madrid and Man City. I’m not sure Real signs both Neymar and Aguero to play the same position, a position where they already have Ronaldo, Kaka, Ozil and Di Maria. [Prediction: Manchester City]
Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan) As we’ve seen with the U.S. in the Gold Cup, having a midfielder who can pull strings and distribute is kind of a big deal. Man U, Man City and Chelsea all need that exact type of player. Sneijder, the football idol, more than fills that role. He is in his prime at 27. He has won the Champions League and played in a World Cup Final. He has accomplished all he can at Inter. He’s too perfect and immediate of a replacement for Scholes for Ferguson to ignore. He’s a guy who appreciates the prestige of playing at an elite club. If United has the money, the Dutchman will be moving to the prestigious side of Manchester. [Prediction: Man United]
Javier Pastore (Palermo) Yet another young, supremely gifted Argentine (look out in 2014). Pastore ettled in during his second season in Italy and gave a monster performance. He said he is happy at Palermo, but ownership has resigned to losing him. Though, since they bought him for $27m it may take close to $70m to pry him. Manchester City, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona have rumored interest. I’m not sure Inter can afford him. I think he goes to whatever club does not sign one of the aforementioned four. [Prediction: Chelsea]
[Photo via Getty]