After a stunning 2007-08 season, Aguero toiled for periods last term. Nevertheless the Argentine is one of the best young forwards in the world, and it is only a matter of time until he leaves Atletico for one of Europe’s real giants. For a long time, Inter were the favourites to snap him up, but Chelsea are now ahead in the queue, and are rumoured to have tabled a bid in excess of €50m.
Xabi Alonso (Liverpool)
Possible Destination: Real Madrid
Despite being the best player in the Premier League last season, Xabi Alonso and Rafa Benitez simply do not get on and, having tried to offload the midfielder in the summer of 2008, the Liverpool gaffer is unlikely to fail this time around. Real Madrid are well-known admirers, and the Spanish media expects Alonso to sign for the Blancos within the next few weeks.
Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal)
Possible Destination: Milan, Man City
After very nearly leaving the club in the summer of 2008, Adebayor played almost the whole of the 2008-09 season as if he wished he had departed. The former Monaco man has compared Milan to American signer/actress Beyonce, although in recent weeks the Rossoneri seem to have directed their attention to Edin Dzeko. Nevertheless, with Wolfsburg currently refusing to sell, Adebayor is still a very possible purchase. Manchester City are also willing to throw millions at the striker, and following Adebayor’s recent comments that he mainly plays football for money, this transfer cannot be ruled out either.
Gael Clichy (Arsenal)
Possible Destination: Real Madrid, Milan
Despite a disappointing 2008-09 campaign, much like Adebayor, few will doubt the ability and potential of Clichy. Real Madrid are on the lookout for a top-class left back, and Clichy is currently top of their shortlist. Milan are also long-term admirers, and they have money to spend following the sale of Kaka. The presence of former Gunner Mathieu Flamini may also be a tipping point.
Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
Possible Destination: Real Madrid, Barca, Chelsea, Man Utd, Inter, Milan
Undoubtedly one of Europe’s best players, speculation is rife that Ribery wants to quit Bayern. The English press believe that Sir Alex Ferguson wants the Frenchman to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, while the Spanish media are adamant that his next destination will be Real Madrid or Barcelona. The two Milanese clubs are less likely options.
Karim Benzema (Lyon)
Possible Destination: Barcelona, Man Utd, Inter, Milan
It is perhaps more likely at this stage that Benzema will leave Lyon after the 2010 World Cup, but with all the money flying around Europe, a big bid could certainly see the youngster move a year earlier than planned. Benzema could prove to be the replacement of Eto’o at Barca, Ronaldo at United, Ibrahimovic at Inter, or Kaka at Milan. Watch this space.
Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg)
Possible Destination: Milan, Inter, Chelsea, Manchester City
The revelation of European football this calendar year, Dzeko was undoubtedly the best player in the Bundesliga last season, and he looks like a real star of the future. It is no secret that Milan wants Dzeko, and that Dzeko wants Milan – a pre-contract is already believed to have been signed. All that is stopping the transfer being completed is Wolfsburg’s refusal to sell. Given player power today, it will be difficult for the Germans to hold off Milan. Inter, Chelsea, and Manchester City are all waiting in the wings should Milan not meet Wolfsburg’s asking price.