Caution: Hazardous transfer window in operation

The summer transfer window has been dominated by big-name players either arriving in Spain or departing from its capital. Eden Hazard will arrive in Madrid and that means that Welsh international Gareth Bale may need to find a ticket out. The Mail & Guardian takes a look at how the transfer market is unfolding across Europe’s top leagues.

Spain

After a disastrous season for one of the greatest teams in world football, Real Madrid have showed the greatest early intent in this transfer window, confirming the signings of Eden Hazard from Chelsea for £88-million and Serbian forward Luca Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt for £53.2-million. Los Blancos are still desperately trying to rid themselves of Welsh winger Gareth Bale who has never risen to the status of star player among the galacticos.

Barcelona have already completed the signing of Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax for €86-million and are the favourites to secure French forward Antoinne Griezmann’s signature as he looks for a move away from rivals Atletico Madrid.

Atletico will also lose their captain, Diego Godin after he confirmed that he will leave the club in the summer.

England

Teams from the English Premier League will look to strengthen their sides if they want to continue the European success they encountered in the 2018-2019 season.

Champions Manchester City have already lost their long-standing captain Vincent Kompany who opted to move back to Belgium and serve Anderlecht as a player-coach. Whether they’ll enter the fray for the much sought after Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt or the equally attractive Harry Maguire is still to be seen.

Champions League winners Liverpool have been quiet in the transfer window, perhaps still recovering from their Champions’ League triumph. Already out the door is striker Daniel Sturridge and defender Alberto Moreno, to be followed shortly by Croatian defender Dejan Lovren who is set to join AC Milan.

The long-anticipated move of Eden Hazard to Real has finally materialised with Pensioners fan nemesis Maurizio Sarri poised to take up the helm at Juventus. With only a slim hope of overturning a transfer ban, Chelsea will be grateful for the bit of earlier business that brings former Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic their way.

Arsenal have also been quiet this transfer window, but have been strongly linked to Belgian winger Yannick Ferreira Carrasco.

After not spending a single pound last summer, Tottenham Hotspur will look to strengthen their squad before the new season begins in August. The Lilywhites seemed to have won the race to retain Christian Eriksen after strong interest from Real Madrid and have reportedly put in a first offer for Lyon midfield strongman Tanguy Ndombele.

New signings look bleak for Manchester United as they were only good enough to make the Europa League. The Red Devils have signed Daniel James from Swansea, but will have to battle Man City for the signature of £60m-ratedHarry Maguire.

Around the world

Juventus lead headlines in Italy as they look to shock the world and bring Manchester United star Paul Pogba back to Turin for a second spell. The Old Lady sold the Frenchman to the Red Devils for a fee of £89-million back in 2016.

In Germany, Bayern Munich are looking to offer Leroy Sane an escape route out of Manchester City. The German winger was out of favour in the second half of The Citizens’ record breaking campaign and is reportedly eager to secure more game time. The saga looked to have been extinguished until Sane himself failed to rule anything out when asked by reporters. “I’m going on holiday now,” he said. “Everything else will be seen. That’s it with the questions about Bayern Munich.”

Borussia Dortmund completed the signing of the younger Hazard brother, Thorgan, who notched up 10 goals and 10 assists for Borussia Monchengladbach in the 18-19 season.

A shock reported by the media out of France was that French sensation Kylian Mbappe may be interested in a move away from Paris Saint Germain after he hinted as much in the French Cup final. There is likely no club that could ever hope to afford him, however, so don’t hold your breath.

Rumours are also swirling around Neymar’s future at the club after he experienced his worst season in Europe to date. The Brazilian is believed to only be interested in a move back to Barcelona but it remains to be seen if the feelings are mutual.

Ajax Amsterdam will try their best to hang on to the stars that guided them to the cusp of European success in 2019, but have already lost Frenkie de Jong to Barca. Teenage captain Matthijs de Ligt is also set to depart the club, but has not yet made a decision. PSG looks the most likely destination after the club reportedly offered him a £340 000-a-week contract. The top Premier League clubs and the Catalans are also sniffing around. Teammate Donny van de Beek on the other hand finds him locked in a transfer battle between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

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Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham is a features writer at the Mail & Guardian

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