Big names on the move
The Premier League is now finished for another year, with Manchester City crowned as champions for the third time in four seasons. But there is barely time to catch your breath before the annual game of musical chairs begins between the biggest clubs in the world as they try to strengthen their squads for the next campaign.
These days, players move clubs so often fans need mobile apps from their bookmakers to be able to follow them around and back them in the big games. Even the biggest English teams struggle to keep their stars as the world-class continental clubs try to lure them away.
Agüero on his way out
Perhaps the biggest move is Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero, who will be on his way to Barcelona to join his good friend, Lionel Messi. Despite City’s domestic success, their failure in the final of the Champions League may have been the final straw. That said, Barcelona themselves were eliminated in the last 16 by Paris Saint-Germain, so he will still have work to do.
“We all know Barcelona are the best club in the world,” he told the press, despite having spent the last ten years at City. In fact, Barcelona are not even the best club in Spain right now, having only finished third in La Liga behind Atlético and Real Madrid. It is thought he will be joined at the Catalan club by fellow City player Eric Garcia, along with Liverpool’s midfield star Georginio Wijnaldum.
Kane on his way in
To fill the gap, City are looking to make some high-profile purchases of their own, with Spurs’ striker Harry Kane top of their list of targets. Kane was the Golden Boot winner in the Premier League last season with 23 goals, having also claimed the title in 15/16 and 16/17 with 25 and 29 goals respectively.
“Now is not the time to sit back,” City owner Khaldoon al-Mubarak told the BBC. “We will bring quality into the squad in a couple of key positions.” Those key positions are thought to include Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos and midfielders Sergi Roberto from Barcelona and Jack Grealish from Aston Villa. Financing this spending spree, and sweetening the deal with Spurs, could mean City part ways with Raheem Sterling, Benjamin Mendy, Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus.
Liverpool and United
Other big moves on the transfer merry-go-round include rumours of a return to Manchester United by the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo. Liverpool will be looking to strengthen their squad after last season’s injury problems, with a return to Anfield for Philippe Coutinho. Meanwhile, City’s Manchester rivals United will be hoping to expand on their recent resurgence with new players such as Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho. United are also thought to be in the running to sign Kane and Grealish if City are unsuccessful.
Even managers are on the move
Inevitably, several clubs are also looking for new managers after failing to deliver last season. Of these, the biggest departure has been Carlo Ancelotti, who is leaving Everton for Real Madrid. He is joined by Roy Hodgson of Crystal Palace and Nuno Espirito Santo of Wolves, both of whom leave after over four years, and Sam Allardyce, who leaves West Brom after just 168 days in charge.
More to come
With the delayed Euro 2020 finals taking place this summer, there will be plenty of opportunities for other players to showcase their wares. No doubt there will be many more moves as the summer progresses. By the start of next season, the likes of City and Liverpool could be renewing their rivalry with significantly different line ups.