Antoine Griezmann is set to become this summer’s first big transfer deal, but could his move to Barcelona cause a domino effect in the market?
The Premier League transfer window opened at 00.01 on Thursday morning, and will close at 5pm on Thursday, August 8 before the start of the new Premier League season.
Here, we run through the biggest potential movers, and how many could link in with each other…
Griezmann has told Atletico Madrid he will leave the club this summer, and it looks like Barcelona will finally get their man.
According to Sky sources, the Spanish champions are set to pay the £108m release clause for the Frenchman, who has scored 133 goals in 256 appearances for Atletico over five years.
Expect a huge unveiling, and even bigger weight on his shoulders as Barca look for European success again after four years of underachieving in the Champions League.
Matthijs de Ligt
One man who could follow Griezmann to Barcelona is 19-year-old Ajax skipper De Ligt.
De Ligt’s team-mate Frenkie De Jong has already agreed on a move to the Nou Camp, and Mundo Deportivo reported this week that negotiations have progressed well with De Ligt and Barca, though a deal is yet to be agreed.
Asked about his future this week, De Ligt said: There have been conversations, but there is still no agreement.
A move seems probable for the wonder kid, who already has 115 appearances for Ajax under his belt, and a price tag of around £60m has been touted.
Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar said last week De Ligt will go to England or Spain this summer, and Liverpool and Manchester United had been briefly linked, but the pull of Barca should be too much.
The domino effect of a Griezmann arrival, plus the money spent on De Ligt, could prompt Coutinho’s departure from Barca. But this one is a tad more complicated.
Signed for £146m just a year-and-a-half ago, the Brazilian has failed to live up to his price tag, and Spanish publication Sport believe that if Barca were to sell him, they’d want to recoup over half of that initial price (£86m).
But which clubs will take the gamble, and have the money? Manchester United have been linked with the 26-year-old in various Spanish publications, but would likely need to sell first.
What about a return to Anfield? Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson says Liverpool should make a bold move for Coutinho, and insists Jurgen Klopp would utilise him far better than Barcelona have.
I would take him back in a heartbeat, but it would have to be now, he told Sky Sports News. He’s suffered at Barcelona. We’ve seen him playing out wide on the left, but he’s not Neymar.
He’s not a left-winger and that’s where he’s playing at Barcelona; they don’t love him like Liverpool loved him.
But Coutinho’s agent has insisted this week Griezmann’s arrival does not mean the end for Coutinho at Barcelona.
Meanwhile Spanish radio station Cadena SER say Chelsea will go in for Coutinho if they lose Eden Hazard and their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for their transfer ban is overturned. Talking of Hazard…
One of the longest-running transfer sagas could be decided early this summer, with no major tournament disruption and a personal decision already made, according to Hazard himself, even with the Europa League final still to come.
Real Madrid are confident of signing the Belgian, according to Sky sources, with just a year left to run on his Stamford Bridge deal.
If Hazard has told Chelsea he wants to stay, will the club attempt to cash in anyway? And if he’s told them he wants to go, will they fight to keep their best player with a transfer ban looming?
It is unlikely anything will be decided before the May 29 final in Baku, and Real still may need to make room for Hazard in their front line…
Enter, Gareth Bale. His six years at Real Madrid seem to have gone in a flash, but it hasn’t all gone according to plan for the Welshman.
Bought as Real’s centre-piece, Bale has shown flashes of brilliance and single-handedly won them the Champions League last season, but as he approaches 30, his future may lie elsewhere.
Zinedine Zidane dropped Bale from his squad for Sunday’s defeat to Real Sociedad, and AS report there has been a complete breakdown in the relationship between player and manager. Bale’s agent, however, says Bale wants to stay at the Bernabeu.
Bale is under contract until 2022, so won’t come cheap. Tottenham could take Bale in a £10m loan, according to The Sun, but they’d have to pay around £250,000 of his wages. If Christian Eriksen was to leave Spurs, that may be viable, but otherwise a return seems unlikely.
Manchester United and Bayern Munich have also been linked, while Le Parisien reported this week that PSG would go for Real trio Bale, Toni Kroos and Isco.
Less realistic than Hazard, but Real Madrid could be a destination for Paul Pogba this summer if he decides his time at Old Trafford is up, and particularly if United land Bale.
A topsy-turvy season ended on a sour note on Sunday; an argument with a Manchester United fan and heavy criticism of his recent performances may prompt Pogba to seek out a move to Spain.
However, L’Equipe reported this week that Pogba’s wage demands do not fit in with Real Madrid’s wage structure, and Barca are unlikely to move for the World Cup winner.
He still has two years left on his current contract and United have the option to extend it by an extra year.
David de Gea
If United are to rebuild, money will be spent. Cashing in on Pogba is one option, but so too is David de Gea, the main character in perhaps the longest-running transfer saga in the club’s history.
His current United deal runs out in 2020, but the Daily Mirror reported in March that De Gea’s wage demands are too much for the club.
Real’s No 1 Thibaut Courtois has only been at the club a year following his £35m move from Chelsea, but hasn’t impressed, and an interest has been retained in 28-year-old De Gea, according to several Spanish publications.
Best of the rest
Premier League champions Manchester City will need a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, and Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele looks a perfect fit. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed in April that City are interested in signing midfielder Ndombele, but admitted his preference would be to sell to Juventus.
According to A Bola, City are also confident in signing Joao Felix, and may sell Gabriel Jesus to make room for the 19-year-old Benfica attacking midfielder.
Beyond De Ligt and De Jong, Ajax’s other Champions League heroes are likely to receive interest, and midfielder Donny van de Beek has been linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in Bild.
And staying in Germany, Timo Werner has been heavily linked with Bayern Munich, who could also move for Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi again if he returns early enough from injury.
Eden Hazard’s brother Thorgan is a No 1 target for Dortmund, according to Kicker, while Leverkusen’s 19-year-old midfielder Kai Havertz could be Bayern-bound.