Transfer window: Twenty five players who could be on the move

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Paul Pogba
Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is one of the hottest properties in Europe

The transfer window is open and the Premier League's top clubs are reporting back for pre-season training - but plenty of expensive new additions will be joining them before the action kicks off in August.

Who are the top transfer targets likely to be - and who will be spending big money on them?

Paul Pogba (Juventus)

Age: 22 Position: Midfielder Potential fee: £71m

The powerful youngster Sir Alex Ferguson let slip away from Manchester United has become the European market's hottest property this summer as he has been linked with every top club.

Archive: Man Utd disrespected me - Pogba speaking in 2014

Manchester City lead the race in the Premier League, while in recent weeks Barcelona have distanced themselves after making a reported bid in the region of £70m, and the trail to Real Madrid has cooled.

Even City are reported to be reluctant to meet the demands of a deal which could soar past £100m when Pogba's wages are factored in.

Whether this remains the case - Chelsea and Manchester United have also been watching developments - in such a fluid market remains to be seen but there is little doubt he is one of the summer's most coveted prizes.

William Carvalho, Paul Pogba, Kevin de Bruyne and Christian Benteke
William Carvalho, Paul Pogba, Kevin de Bruyne and Christian Benteke are all targets for Premier League clubs

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)

Age: 20 Position: Forward Potential fee: £50m

There is always a saga every summer and this is it - and seemingly with only one conclusion.

England forward Sterling has been involved in a long contract stand-off with Liverpool and has made it clear he will not be signing and wishes to leave.

Liverpool's early position of insisting they would not sell appears to have shifted and they will now sanction a sale at the right price.

Manchester City have had two offers rejected but a third is expected soon and that may well be the bid to break the deadlock and take Sterling to Etihad Stadium.

Virgil van Dijk (Celtic)

Age: 24 Position: Defender Potential fee: £8m

The Dutch defender has made a name for himself at Celtic after a move from Groningen two years ago - but now wants to move on to enhance his chances of stepping up to the Netherlands national team.

Elegant but untested in the Premier League, Sunderland, Norwich City, Southampton and Everton have all been suggested as possible destinations this summer.

Kevin de Bruyne (Wolfsburg)

Age: 24 Position: Midfielder Potential fee: £50m

The young Belgium midfielder has a fine range of passing and creative skills but his career at Chelsea was hampered by injury and a lack of opportunity. Now, though, he is one of the most prized players in Europe after excelling at Wolfsburg.

Manchester City once more lead the chase as they attempt to reshape their squad but competition has emerged in the shape of fellow financial superpower Paris St-Germain.

Whoever signs De Bruyne will get a player who has come a long way since those formative days at Stamford Bridge.

Kevin de Bruyne
De Bruyne scored 15 goals and provided 25 assists for Wolfsburg last season

Glen Johnson (ex-Liverpool)

Age: 30 Position: Defender Fee: Free

Johnson is searching for a club after leaving Liverpool. Was playing for England at the World Cup in Brazil only a year ago and would bring experience and attacking endeavour.

Has been linked with moves abroad but West Ham United and Stoke City look a good fit if he decides to stay on in the Premier League.

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Age: 29 Position: Defender Potential fee: £40m

Ramos seemed as attached to the Bernabeu as he usually is to the back of an opponent's shirt - but that link looks to have weakened amid a contract deadlock.

He has two years left on his deal and Manchester United are pursuing a serious interest, their negotiating position helped by Real's desire to sign their Spain keeper David de Gea.

United have had a bid of £28.6m rejected, with Real expecting more than double that amount. Is Ramos using United as a bargaining chip in those contract talks? It has been done before but if they pull it off a genuine defensive superstar will arrive in the Premier League - and life will become a whole lot more uncomfortable for strikers.

Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, David De Gea and Sergio Ramos
Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, David De Gea and Sergio Ramos have generated huge speculation this summer

N'Golo Kante (Caen)

Age: 24 Position: Midfielder Potential fee: £6m

A very promising young defensive midfielder. Reportedly wants a move to Marseille but they are reluctant to match Caen's asking price. Has been watched by Premier League clubs, including Leicester City.

N'golo Kante
Kante is 5ft 6ins tall but, despite his lack of height, has imposed himself in France

David De Gea (Manchester United)

Age: 24 Position: Goalkeeper Potential fee: £35m

Van Gaal hints De Gea could leave

De Gea's development at Manchester United makes him one of the top goalkeepers in the world alongside Germany's Manuel Neuer - and a natural target for Real Madrid, who saw him come to prominence with rivals Atletico.

After a shaky Premier League start, where his slight frame struggled with the physical demands, De Gea adapted magnificently to produce a series of brilliant performances at United last season that may just have earned them enough points for Champions League qualification - and a return to his homeland.

Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia)

Age: 27 Position: Defender Potential fee: £35m

United had a strong interest in this old-fashioned Argentina centre-back in January and this is a deal they may well revisit should they run into a brick wall with Ramos. Powerful and outstanding in the air, he was a central figure as Valencia finished fourth in La Liga last season.

He would now like to try his luck elsewhere and Manchester City may also cast an eye in his direction.

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)

Age: 24 Position: Forward Potential fee: £32.5m

Benteke's emergence as a powerful force in Villa's surge to Premier League safety re-established his reputation as a huge attacking threat after a serious Achilles injury.

It also alerted Liverpool, who he scored against in Villa's FA Cup semi-final victory, as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to reshape his side.

Spurs and Chelsea have also had a look at a striker who can be unstoppable but also inconsistent - and will such an obvious target man require Liverpool to change their passing style and get crosses into the box?

The current problem is the £32.5m release clause in Benteke's contract at Villa. Villa will not lower it and Liverpool will not pay it. Time will tell if either club blinks.

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Age: 27 Position: Forward Potential fee: £30m

A powerful striker who has flourished at the Bernabeu as a workhorse, albeit a highly talented one too, among the "Galacticos" like Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Can hold the ball up, score goals and use his physical strength to trouble defenders. He is perfect Premier League material - hence the reported interest from Arsenal and a link with his French compatriot Arsene Wenger at Emirates Stadium.

Karim Benzema
'Benzema would only leave if Real Madrid told him he was surplus to requirements' - Benzema's agent

Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)

Age: 24 Position: Forward Potential fee: £28m

Scored 27 goals in 33 games last season as Lyon finished second behind Paris St-Germain in France - and speculation has mounted about his future after his failure to agree a new contract.

There is now talk in France that he may submit a transfer request to force a move, which would alert Liverpool as they ponder whether to pay Christian Benteke's £32.5m release clause. Arsenal, Bayern Munich and PSG could also take a look.

William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon)

Age: 23 Position: Midfielder Potential fee: £25m

The powerful youngster seems to be a perfect fit for the physical and technical rigours of the Premier League - and in particular for the requirements of Arsenal.

Carvalho impressed hugely in the recent European Under-21 Championship, where he was named player of the tournament, and has already won full Portugal recognition. New Sporting coach Jorge Jesus insists he will not be sold but that is unlikely to stop suitors making their interest known.

Wenger is notoriously cautious in the market but this is one player who surely fits his bill. Real Madrid are also monitoring his position.

William Carvalho
Uefa technical observers were impressed by Carvalho's dominant display against Emre Can in the 5-0 semi-final defeat of Germany

Alex Sandro (Porto)

Age: 24 Position: Defender Potential fee: £21m

A powerful Brazilian left-back who has been watched by Manchester City and attracted attention from Juventus. He has a £35m buyout clause but should come cheaper with only a year left on his contract. One to watch.

Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Age: 21 Position: Forward Potential fee: £40m

Manchester United's interest in one of the stars of last season came out of the blue as it emerged they were willing to pay £40m for a striker who brought composure, style and lethal finishing to Spurs last season.

Louis van Gaal would move at the slightest sign of encouragement from Spurs - but do not expect him to get any for a youngster who has become the symbol of his club's future. He has a new five-year deal in his pocket and has publicly declared his happiness at Spurs. A long shot.

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

Age: 28 Position: Goalkeeper Potential fee: £20m

The France goalkeeper has been outstanding for Spurs and has become a prime candidate to replace David De Gea at Manchester United when he eventually makes what seems an inevitable move to Real Madrid.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, as he would with Harry Kane, will fight United every inch of the way but should manager Louis van Gaal pursue the deal, Champions League football could be a tempting proposition for the Frenchman.

Charlie Austin (QPR)

Age: 26 Position: Forward Potential fee: £15m

Austin is much-prized after scoring 18 goals in QPR's relegation season and winning a place in the England squad. He is powerful but with a good touch and eye for goal, as he proved in a struggling side.

QPR will insist on £15m and have already rejected £12m from Leicester City. Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Chelsea have also taken an interest. Will move before the start of the season.

Charlie Austin
Charlie Austin was rejected by Reading as a teenager for being too small

Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid)

Age: 25 Position: Midfielder Potential fee: £15m

Out-of-favour Real Madrid defensive midfielder who does not appear to have much of a first-team future under new coach Rafael Benitez.

Solid, reliable and with a good pedigree at the Bernabeu, Liverpool have shown an interest in a player who has the qualities to adapt well to life in the Premier League. Other clubs in Europe will be sure to show an interest.

Pedro (Barcelona)

Age: 27 Position: Forward Potential fee: £15m

Pedro is a player of proven quality but has found himself pushed to the margins by last summer's arrival of Luis Suarez, while the subsequent signings of Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal make his future even more uncertain.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been linked with a player who could add pace and versatility to any squad.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)

Age: 30 Position: Midfielder Potential fee: £10m

Iconic figure at Bayern Munich with eight Bundesliga titles but strongly linked with Manchester United and coach Pep Guardiola is allowing him to decide his future.

He would add experience and quality to any midfield but it would still be a surprise to see a player so inexorably attached to one club wearing the shirt of another.

Bastian Schweinsteiger
Bastian Schweinsteiger watched partner Ana Ivanovic play on day one of Wimbledon

Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid)

Age: 27 Position: Defender Potential fee: £10m

Coentrao has long been linked with Manchester United and almost joined them on deadline day two years ago - but may now be an outside bet to rejoin fellow countryman Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, especially if Atletico Madrid can lure Filipe Luis back from Stamford Bridge.

Kevin Mirallas (Everton)

Age: 27 Position: Forward Potential fee: £10m

The highly gifted but somewhat inconsistent Everton forward became unsettled last season and still continues to be linked with a move away from Goodison Park.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez wants to keep the Belgian and hopes he will sign a new deal.

Tottenham have been strongly linked as a destination (particularly with Aaron Lennon keen to make a permanent move to Goodison after a successful loan spell), with Fenerbahce, Monaco and Olympiakos also in the running.

Asmir Begovic (Stoke)

Age: 28 Position: Goalkeeper Potential fee: £8m

One of the Premier League's most reliable keepers but he has been linked with a move away from the Britannia this summer, particularly as manager Mark Hughes has a highly promising understudy in England Under-21 keeper Jack Butland.

Chelsea would like Begovic as second choice behind Thibaut Courtois after Petr Cech's departure to Arsenal - but could Manchester United step in with De Gea poised to leave Old Trafford?

United will need a top-class replacement and Begovic fits the bill.

Begovic's big-game experience
Asmir Begovic, born in 1987 in Trebinje in the former Yugoslavia, has played 172 times since joining Stoke from Portsmouth in 2010. He has won 40 caps since making his international debut for Bosnia-Hercegovina in 2009.

Bernard Mensah (Guimaraes)

Age: 20 Position: Midfielder Potential fee: £7.5m

Fine attacking midfielder who has been watched by Manchester United but has also moved on to Valencia's radar. Regarded by many as being well suited to the Premier League.

Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa)

Age: 30 Position: Defender Potential fee: Free

The giant Netherlands defender is at the end of his contract at Villa Park and may be a cheap option for a top club wanting to strengthen their defensive resources. He has also hinted he wants to test himself at a higher level.

Manchester United were linked with Vlaar but whether that was simply because he did well for manager Louis van Gaal at the World Cup remains to be seen.

Additional reporting by Andy Brassell and Andy West.

For all the latest transfer rumours, see the gossip column.

For all of this month's completed deals, see our transfers page.


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