The 2022/23 season is almost at its end.
And, while that means an unwanted break from club football, there is still plenty of excitement to come. The transfer window is just around the corner, and it could be a fascinating summer.
Here are five transfer sagas that are sure to dominate the headlines.
Lionel Messi’s time at Paris Saint-Germain has been fairly mixed. In 74 appearances in all competitions, he has netted 32 goals and assisted a further 35 – a brilliant return for any ordinary footballer, but below his high standards.
Despite his performances, the PSG supporters never really took to the Argentinian superstar. He has been the target of booing on multiple occasions and was recently suspended by the club following an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.
This latest episode appears to be the final nail in the coffin for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner at the Parc des Princes. His contract is up in the summer, and all reports indicate that neither party has the intention of renewing.
Messi turns 36 this summer, and he’s clearly past his prime. Nonetheless, his stellar World Cup campaign just six months ago proved that he still has plenty left to offer at the top level. It would be a shame to see him leave Europe at this point.
However, his options are somewhat limited. A romantic return to Barcelona is being explored, but the Catalan giants are restricted by their financial struggles.
Could we see a shock move from one of Europe’s other top clubs? No one else has been mentioned, but surely one or two would be tempted by the prospect of taking on one of the sport’s greatest-ever players.
Everyone knows the situation with Harry Kane. Individually, there are very few who can match the accolades of the England captain. However, his trophy cabinet doesn’t reflect his ability.
This season, his 30 league goals were not enough to take Tottenham Hotspur into Europe. A player of his quality really ought to be playing in the biggest competitions.
The upcoming transfer window could be a huge one for the striker. He has been at Spurs for well over a decade, and would probably love to win something in north London. But at this point, his patience must be running thin.
Several elite clubs will be in the market for a top-class number nine this summer. However, with Alan Shearer’s all-time Premier League record in his sights, a move abroad seems unlikely for Kane.
Tottenham have a big decision to make. They have every right to demand a huge fee for their star man. But in doing so, they run the risk of losing him on a free transfer next year. It will be interesting to see what happens.
For those who want Kane but have concerns over his age, perhaps Victor Osimhen would be the perfect alternative.
The Nigerian has not been at the top for long but has proven that he is capable of producing the goods at the highest level. This season, he has hit a league-high 25 goals in Serie A as well as five in the Champions League.
And, at just 24 years of age, he could be a world class forward for many years to come. Aside from Kylian Mbappe and Erling Braut Haaland, there isn’t a more accomplished striker under the age of 28.
Osimhen has just fired Napoli to their first league title since the days of Diego Maradona. He is well on his way to being a legend with Gli Azzurri. For these reasons, he may prefer to stay put.
But if he fancies a change of scenery, he could have several suitors. Although, any interested parties will have to stump up a nine-figure sum to prise him away from the Italian champions.
For a few years now, Declan Rice has been one of the Premier League’s top defensive midfielders. Having been linked with several moves away, he remains a West Ham United player.
However, this summer seems the right time to move on. If he can help West Ham to glory in the Europa Conference League final against Fiorentina, he would give them the perfect parting gift.
The England international has developed into something of an all-rounder. His ball-winning statistics are top-notch, he’s good with the ball at his feet and has started to add more end product to his game. There aren’t many better in his age bracket who would be available.
But again, any buyers will have to open their wallets. The Hammers are apparently demanding a £120 million fee for the midfielder.
Cast your minds back to two years ago. Chelsea have just won the Champions League. Mason Mount assisted the winner with a defence-splitting through ball for Kai Havertz, having previously scored in the quarter-final and semi-final.
The then-22-year-old was named as the Blues’ Player of the Year and seemed to be a legend in the making at Stamford Bridge.
Since then, things have gone sour for all parties involved. Chelsea have just endured their worst season for 29 years, finishing 12th despite spending over £500m.
Meanwhile, Mount has gone off the boil. And, with just a year left on his current contract, his future is in doubt.
A fresh start is needed for the midfielder, and he could get exactly that at Chelsea. Mauricio Pochettino has just been appointed to take over from next season. The Argentine may wish to keep him around.
On the other hand, last year’s transfer business has left the Blues with an over-inflated squad. A clear-out is very much needed. Mount could be one of those on the chopping block.
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