Transfer rumour mill: the big names on the move

The fact that Manchester United spent a nine-figure sum on a player they allowed to leave for only a compensation fee of $2m (£1.5m, 2.6m AUD) four years ago says plenty.

The deal for Paul Pogba, which could be worth up to $122.3m (£94m, 159m AUD) with add-ons, perhaps, does not say a great deal for Manchester United's recruitment and retention policies.

But it says that English Premier League clubs are flush with money, prepared to spend - or, as some might say, overspend - to get success and some of the marquee names in world football, having perhaps gravitated towards the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in recent times, may start to find England an attractive and lucrative destination again.

So, who else might be heading to the Premier League before the transfer window closes at the end of August?

Mauro Icardi: 23 years old, Argentine, current team - Inter Milan

The striker has a reputation for being a somewhat colourful character - he was involved in a controversial relationship with Wanda Nara, the ex-wife of his former team-mate Maxi Lopez, that led to them marrying.

But Icardi is a huge talent, said to be interesting Chelsea and Arsenal, among others.

Mauro Icardi

"Icardi is one of the finest remaining strikers that you feel is 'gettable' on the market - and there aren't many left," says Sam Tighe, Bleacher Report's European football expert.

"He is a natural, confident finisher whose only downside is off-field drama."

William Carvalho: 24 years old, Portuguese, current team - Sporting Lisbon

William Carvalho

Premier League clubs have a history of signing players after they have impressed at international tournaments, with decidedly mixed results (Karel Poborsky, anyone?)

So, what price a member of the Euro 2016-winning Portugual squad turning up in England before the summer is out?

Carvalho, the beanpole holding midfielder, has been linked with Everton and would appear to have all the attributes required to succeed in the Premier League.

"He is so relaxed on the ball that he sometimes looks more like he's taking the dog for a walk in the park," Tighe purrs. "He is a solid holding player - big, strong and physically dominant."

Radja Nainggolan: 28 years old, Belgian, current team - Roma

Radja Nainggolan

The man with the Mohawk, who scored with a thunderbolt against Wales at Euro 2016, looked destined for a move to Chelsea under new manager Antonio Conte but speculation has cooled in recent weeks, with the London club snapping up Leicester City's N'Golo Kante.

At 28, this all-action midfielder is something of a late developer, impressing with Roma during the past two seasons having previously plied his trade in the lower reaches of Serie A with Cagliari.

"Conte wants energy, explosiveness and leaders in the middle of the park and he ticks all three of those boxes," Tighe explains.

Julian Draxler: 22 years old, German, current team - Wolfsburg

Julian Draxler

A player talked about in connection with Arsenal for a few transfer windows now but, much like their attempts to win league titles in the 12 years since they were last champions, the talk has fizzled out.

The attacking midfielder, who can play off either wing, enjoyed an impressive season at Wolfsburg after losing his way at his first club Schalke. He impressed at times during Euro 2016, scoring against Slovakia in the last 16.

"He has had a nice renaissance period. He was absolutely excellent [in the Champions League] against Real Madrid, but he is so inconsistent," Tighe says. "He can be a genius but he can also be non-existent."

Carlos Bacca: 29 years old, Colombian, current team - AC Milan

Carlos Bacca

The striker impressed in his country's run to the Copa America semi-finals and is that all too rare of commodities - a natural goalscorer.

West Ham United, looking for a marquee signing as they start life in the their new stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, have been linked with a man who could thrive on the service provided by Dimitri Payet.

"He has just had a really good Copa America with Colombia. If you have the creativity behind him he will score you 15-20 goals a season," Tighe feels.

"He is a classic number nine who runs the channels but you need that creativity in midfield because he cannot create chances for himself."

Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 24 years old, German, current team - Barcelona

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Pep Guardiola likes his teams to play out from the back - and that begins with the goalkeeper. But will Joe Hart be the ball-playing number one the new Manchester City manager requires?

Some reports suggest Guardiola may go back to former club Barcelona for Ter Stegen, who is renowned for being as tidy with his feet as with his hands. With Claudio Bravo likely to start the season as first-choice at the Nou Camp, a deal could be done for the German.

"He is very much the type of keeper Pep enjoys working with," Tighe says. "Smart, great reflexes and very good with the ball at his feet."

Done deals

The Premier League's big guns, with money to burn from a record domestic TV rights deal worth in excess of $6.72bn, have already been flexing their financial muscles to bring in players from across Europe.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has made four signings at the cost of about $200m - Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly, Armenia midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and two big names, the France midfielder Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the experienced striker capped 116 times by Sweden.

At Manchester City, Guardiola has bought the Germany pair of midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and striker Leroy Sane, the son of an Olympic gymnast, for about $81m in total while Conte has splashed out $43.4m alone on Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi for Chelsea.

The promising young Netherlands striker Vincent Janssen has arrived at Tottenham Hotspur from AZ Alkmaar for $22.3m, Arsenal have spent $39.5m on the Switzerland enforcer Granit Xhaka and champions Leicester have paid CSKA Moscow $21m for the exciting Nigeria striker Ahmed Musa.

Optus hold the broadcast rights to the English Premier League in Australia.

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