The Championship season has reached its climax, with Burnley and Sheffield United earning automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Luton Town and Coventry City will slug it out for the final spot in the top flight, with the winner of the mouth-watering clash set for a massive windfall.
Several top players have impressed in the English second tier, and their performances could yet earn them a move to the Premier League.
Some have already agreed big transfers ahead of the summer. Brighton & Hove Albion have announced the signing of Watford forward Joao Pedro for a club record £30 million.
Blackburn Rovers attacker Ben Brereton Diaz has also reportedly agreed a pre-contract to sign for Villarreal on a free transfer this summer.
The Championship is notorious for breeding special talents, and a few are available for the right price if top-flight clubs need cut-price reinforcements.
Here are five of the Championship’s top stars that could earn a Premier League move this summer.
Iliman Ndiaye – Sheffield United
Having already helped United secure promotion, Iliman Ndiaye is destined to ply his trade in the Premier League next season. But he may have outgrown the Blades with several top teams circling.
The Senegal international fired Paul Heckingbottom’s side to the top flight with 14 goals and 11 assists, leading his teammates in both categories.
Ndiaye lit up the Championship with his agility, dribbling skills and eye for goal, and the Blades will have their hands full trying to keep him at Bramall Lane with his contract expiring in 2024.
Everton, West Ham United and Newcastle United have already registered interest in the forward, while Serie A giants AC Milan are also circling with interest.
Ismaila Sarr – Watford
It is surprising how Watford have held on to Ismaila Sarr for this long. However, he could move on to bigger things this summer, with his contract set to expire in 2024.
The 25-year-old has been one of the standout performers for the Hornets in an otherwise underwhelming campaign racking up ten goals and seven assists this term.
Sarr has plenty of Premier League experience and could follow Pedro out of Vicarage Road, having been previously linked with Liverpool, Manchester United, Leeds United, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.
Alex Scott – Bristol City
Bristol City midfielder Alex Scott has been touted as the next big thing to come out of the Championship, with the teenager turning the heads of several top-flight clubs.
The 19-year-old is tactically flexible, capable of operating in several roles in the middle of the park, and boasts the physical, mental and technical qualities to perform at the highest level.
Scott is currently away on international duty representing England at the under-20 World Cup, but Bristol should be braced for offers when he returns.
The youngster has reportedly caught the eye of Liverpool, West Ham, Newcastle and Wolverhampton Wanderers, but there could be a few more potential suitors later this summer.
Sander Berge – Sheffield United
Sander Berge is another Blades star that could seal a big-money move away from Bramall Lane this summer after enjoying an impressive campaign.
The 25-year-old played a pivotal role for them this season, scoring six goals in 37 league appearances, while his five-assist haul is only bettered by Ndiaye’s ten.
Berge has suffered his fair share of injury problems but has been repeatedly linked with a move away from the club. His performances this season will only attract more suitors.
With his contract expiring in 2024, Sheffield may be forced into doing business with the Norwegian midfielder linked with Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle and Chelsea.
Max Aarons – Norwich City
Max Aarons has been a staple at Norwich City since coming through the club’s youth ranks. But he may have outgrown the Canaries, with sporting director Stuart Webber admitting as much.
His contract runs out in 2024, and Norwich will be open to offers for the energetic 23-year-old this summer to avoid losing him on a free transfer at the end of next season.
The English right-back would not be short of interest if he was transfer listed with Bayern Munch, Barcelona, Man United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal previously linked.
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