These lots have proven to be title winners and are available for the right offer this summer. There are queues for some; not so much for others.
10) Phil Jones
The 30-year-old is one of just two Premier League winners to remain at Manchester United after last winning the title in 2012/13. David De Gea is the other but there’s no chance of the Spanish stopper being sold.
But Jones is available and reports suggest some Premier League clubs are interested including Leeds, Fulham and Southampton. The former England defender’s wages could be a stumbling block; His £75,000-a-week salary makes a loan switch the most likely exit for Jones after over a decade at Old Trafford.
The versatile defender could be a great addition to someone. His injury record remains a major concern but a change of scene could do Jones very well. Admittedly, he won’t live up to Sir Alex Ferguson’s prediction that he could become one of United’s greatest players. But he also doesn’t deserve the clown label that’s been pinned on him, because he pulls funny faces and tosses his head where others wouldn’t.
9) Gabriel Jesus
Whichever club signs Jesus, their fans will be excited to see the Brazilian in attack next season. Those who miss it may point out that the No9 has struggled to get a game in a squad lacking other centre-forwards.
Neither stance would be wrong, but the prospect of capturing the four-time Premier League winners does seem very excited by Arsenal fans.
The Gunners have already turned down an offer with City reportedly asking for £50million. Which seems a bit steep for a player a year from free agency. Another title winner on the move, Sadio Mane, is leaving for a fee that could rise to £35million. Despite his significantly younger age, is Jesus really worth more than the Bayern newcomer?
8) Robert Lewandowski
Bayern pounced on Liverpool with Lewandowski in a similar situation to Mane and Jesus – the Polish striker is also a year away from the end of his contract. And with Bayern tightening their belts on contracts, Lewandowski has received the message that staying where he is won’t get what he wants.
What he wants now is a move to Barcelona. Which is understandable. Despite their financial woes, Barca maintain a considerable influence when it comes to attracting the biggest names in the world. Whether they can afford it is another matter.
Bayern want £43m for Lewandowskiwhich, despite his contract situation, seems a fair price to pay for a 10-time Bundesliga winner who has consistently proven himself to be Europe’s deadliest striker.
Circus performs at the pub as Manchester United continue to erode its credibility
7) Frenkie de Jong
Barca could fund Lewandowski’s move by selling De Jong to Manchester United. Which they will certainly do once the Red Devils start forming and behaving like a big club again.
De Jong, whose only title medal commemorates the 2018/19 Eredivisie triumph with Ajax, seems to have got the message that Barca would prefer to see him from behind as the midfielder is worth more to them in the transfer market than up the place.
Erik ten Hag, who has tried so hard to convince De Jong that Old Trafford is no longer the place where talent dies under his watch, will be furious if United continue their stance on Barca’s demands.
6) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
United have also been linked with a move for Oxlade-Chamberlain but the prospect of the former England midfielder climbing the M62 as the first player to move between Liverpool and the Red Devils since Phil Chisnell seems extremely unlikely.
According to that Liverpool-Echo, the odds of Oxlade-Chamberlain going anywhere are slim. The 28-year-old is a year away from free agency but there is talk Jurgen Klopp would rather keep him for another year as Liverpool are reluctant to buy another midfielder this summer.
But that attitude would certainly change if someone at Anfield showed up with a reasonable offer for a player who made just nine Premier League starts last season.
5) Marco Asensio
Would Liverpool change that midfield plan given the chance of Klopp finally getting his hands on Asensio?
Liverpool have been linked with the right midfielder since 2018 when this was reported Real Madrid turned down a gigantic offerwhich was so out of character for the Reds that it was hard to believe.
But Klopp’s interest apparently remains, although Liverpool appear well-stocked in many areas. Milan are also snooping as long as Asensio continues to reject Real’s contract extension offers.
4) Raheem Sterling
There was talk of Sterling replacing Asensio at Real. That would have done for a more interesting prospect as the England winger swapping out City Blue for Chelsea’s darker hue.
Sterling has spoken of his desire to test himself abroad but now appears content to return to London as Chelsea are confident of agreeing a deal with City despite their initial offer being turned down.
The England star is said to be doing his homework and asking his Chelsea contacts what life is like at this Stamford Bridge. When he gets there, at least he doesn’t have to serve this guy…
3) Romelu Lukaku
The Belgian striker appears to be ending his Chelsea nightmare by returning to Italy in what looks like the deal of the century for Inter Milan.
After withdrawing £97.5m from Chelsea for Lukaku a year ago, the Italians are ready to pay around £8.5m to loan the centre-forward, a Serie A title winner in his previous tenure at the San Siro. before bringing him back to Stamford Bridge on his 30th birthday, which until recently was thought to be the moment footballers become obsolete.
Lukaku already has this status at Chelsea – Thomas Tuchel obviously does not trust the striker. However, Inter expect him to tear up Serie A again after his 23-goal and 24-goal campaigns between 2019 and 2021.
2) Sven Botmann
The Lille defender is another player set to join Milan this summer despite efforts from Newcastle.
Both the Toon and Rossoneri wanted Botman in January but Lille opted to stick with the centre-back who won the 2020/21 Ligue 1 title ahead of Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG. Milan have apparently been working with Lille since the winter to agree a deal, only for Newcastle to fulfill all the terms offered so far.
Botman is said to prefer the thought of a move to Milan over Tyneside, but the 22-year-old will join the club that make the most attractive offer to Lille. A bidding war is all the more likely. Milan have put a few euros aside but not many clubs can match Newcastle these days.
It’s somewhat surprising that Newcastle haven’t been linked with Neymar yet. The title winner in Brazil, Spain and France is one of the few players not mentioned as a magpie target…
According to the very reliable nufc dot com we have up to 88 different players for May and June. pic.twitter.com/5ujDIeYhgB
– Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) 20. June 2022
Has anyone actually been linked to Neymar? Apparently PSG are open to offers for the Brazilian star as they need to find a way to pretend Kylian Mbappe’s new deal is profitable. But so far there have been very few, if any, interested parties.
Neymar spoke at the weekend about the misfortune of being a professional footballer and not being able to celebrate birthdays after a defeat. Which never seemed to stop him when it came to his sister’s. He is also reportedly close to announcing his retirement from duty in Brazil.
The dubious commitment does not deter every club. There will be a manager somewhere who assumes he can be the one to put a smile on Neymar’s face again. It almost certainly won’t be Christophe Galtier.