As the 2012/2013 season draws to an eventual close, club lawyers and players agent would go on overdrive trying to outsmart each other and secure the juiciest of contracts for their players (and themselves of course). For most managers, the time to shop for next season’s players and dreams have begun in earnest, and for the smart manager, the wise advice is that of, “the early bird gets the juicier worms.” Here is a shortlist of the most desirable and hottest players in the game right now, their possible evaluations and likely destinations in no particular order.
Part one of this article can be found via : Top Players To Watch Out For In The 2013/2014 Summer Transfer Window Part 1 and the part 2 via : Top Players To Watch Out For In The 2013/2014 Summer Transfer Window Part 2
Xabi Alonso Madrid (Chelsea/Liverpool/Manchester United)
With him dropping the hint that his Santiago Bernabeu days might be over and being open to a Premier League return, Chelsea could consider making an offer for his services alongside acquiring The Special One. But should The Blues of London fail to make it to the Champions’ League and Liverpool (almost his first choice) already missing in the scheme of things as far as the UCL is concerned, then partnering with Michael Carrick at Old Trafford is not a bad option. It seems the most logical action especially if the Glazers can make a £15m offer and £100k a week.
Luis Suarez: Liverpool FC – Forward/Striker (Bayern Munich/Juventus/Barcelona/Real Madrid)
They don’t come more prolific (and erratic) than the very troubled Uruguayan. With the ability to play anywhere in the attack and the knack for penetrating the tightest of defenses, Suarez is an asset to any manager that can control him. If anyone can keep him on a short leash, Suarez can rip into any defense in Europe…with his boots and maybe his teeth. If Bayern’s Guardiola wants him, and maybe he can tame him and the Bavarian club can serve him with enough passes that can make him an even more lethal striker. Barca’s need for a top striker might be answered with his services, playing with Messi would no doubt make him sharper. The same he would gain playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu if the Portuguese stays on this summer. And if Juventus want him more than the others, and can manage to quash the 10-match ban he got from the English F.A then the Juventus Stadium won’t be a bad option with the Serie A already home to characters like Cassano, Balotelli and other characters, Suarez would feel very much at home. He won’t come cheap though. If Liverpool’s evaluation of £18m-£27m doesn’t dangle on his head like the Sword of Damocles, then he’s up for any club’s taking.
Marouane Fellaini: Everton FC – Midfielder (Chelsea/Manchester United)
The tall, combative midfielder has both attacking and defensive abilities. And this season, he has added goal-scoring to his repertoire of skills. He has successfully played his way out of Everton and the big stage now awaits him. He’s likely to remain in England with Chelsea or Manchester United the most likely destination. But if playing time is his concern, then United should be the obvious choice as Carrick is in dire need of a younger combative partner. £20m-£25m should wrap this one up.
Mat Hummels: Borussia Dortmund – Defender (Barcelona/Real Madrid/Manchester United)
Hummels has come a long way since graduating from the Bayern academy. A consistent performer since joining Borussia and a member of the German national side, he offers quickness and the strength of a bear. Barcelona needs him the most as Carlos Puyol isn’t the young and strong man he used to be. Sandro, Barca President, shouldn’t hesitate to pull out his cheque book and if he doesn’t, then Madrid’s Perez should take advantage. Sir Alex Ferguson needs to deal with his aging defense and the 24 year-old Hummels would be a great addition. Winners don’t come cheap though, a £20m+ evaluation should be expected from Borussia.
Neymar: Santos FC – Forward/Striker (Real Madrid/Barcelona)
Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior has been expected to make his move to Europe two seasons ago. The football world has been following this fantastic player since he was a prodigy. He’s 21 now and fully grown and has cemented his spot in the Selecao as they host the World Cup in 2014, the only desirable thing left is to take his game to the biggest stage of them of all, the European Champions’ League. That’s where the best of the best do battle and that’s where he must test his mettle. Nothing will do his already fantastic career more good than filing out in Europe like his well and less known Brazilian teammates. Real Madrid and Barcelona are watching and expecting the cross-over to take place to their stadiums. Neymar’s transfer will attract a huge fee that only these two are willing to match. Playing for Madrid means playing against Messi, the best player in the world right now; for Barcelona means they might be on a fast-track return to club football dominance anytime soon. Europe and the world are awaiting one of the most anticipated and coveted transfers of all time. Santos asking for £60m might not be asking for too much.
Juup Heynckes Bayern Munich – Coach (Real Madrid/Barcelona/Chelsea/PSG/Inter and AC Milan)
When Bayern Munich appointed Pep Guardiola little did we know they have set free a man with so much tactical and technical ability for the third time in their history. The 67 year-old decided to leave Bayern with a bang and this happens to be to the joy of several of the biggest clubs in the world. A former Champions League winner with Madrid in 1997/1998, he’s broken records on his 3rd stint as Bayern manager and may have chosen the perfect time to replace his worn out feathers and talons, and like the proverbial Phoenix, Heynckes has risen from the ashes of several seasons of disappointment. In fact, the world watched in disbelief as the Heynckes-tutored Bayern Munich wiped the floor with FC Barcelona, home and away in the UCL semis. The German tactician would not be allowed to take his retirement just yet as Real Madrid, Barca, Chelsea, PSG, Inter and AC Milan might be in jostling for his prized signature. As Sir Alex Ferguson has demonstrated that, “age is nothing but a number.” He just may still have a Champions’ League title left in him regardless of what happens in Wembley on the night of May 25th, 2013. And which top club wouldn’t want to be beneficiary of that?
The biggest match winners, the biggest players are out there with their ‘come and get me’ plea. The next few weeks will determine the flavor of the kind of football to expect next season, let the suit-and-tie wearing, briefcase-carrying and fountain-pen using gladiators get ready to rip into each other to fulfill fans fantasies.
That’s my take, what do you think?
Written By Olumide Ogungbemi (1027)