The Premier League came to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday, and while the dust is yet to settle on the 2019/20 campaign, attentions have already turned from action on the pitch to developments off it.
Just hours after the final Premier League ball was leathered in anger, the summer transfer window opened, kicking off what’s certain to be an intense scramble for squad reinforcements, replacements and additions.
This year, the summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5, and while the impact on football’s finances from the global pandemic promises to be hard felt, many major market moves are still anticipated before the new season starts.
Below, we take a look at some of the big names who could swap clubs during the transfer window…
Find out if any of the transfer targets below feature in FST’s alternative Premier League team of the 2019/20 season here!
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)
Value: £50m to £80m
Possible destinations: Manchester United, Manchester City
Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish’s superb strike at West Ham earned his team a Premier League status-saving point on Sunday, though one of the most important goals he’s ever scored could also turn out to be his last for his boyhood club.
The 24-year-old, who notched eight goals and six assists in total during his hugely influential campaign, has long been linked with moves to some of the division’s biggest hitters, though Villa’s reluctance to part with Grealish and their strong financial position under billionaire owners could scupper the attacking midfielder’s lofty aspirations.
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be a keen admirer of Grealish’s unique skill-set, though the Norwegian could choose to spend the chunk of money Aston Villa are demanding for their prized asset elsewhere.
Declan Rice (West Ham)
Value: £40 to £60m
Possible destinations: Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City
Recently crowned Hammer of the Year Declan Rice was an ever present for West Ham in 2019/20, patrolling the base of the Irons’ midfield with authority in his 38 Premier League starts last term.
Now an established England regular, the 21-year-old could feel the time is right to make a vertical jump at club level, and a summer move could beckon for the ex-Chelsea academy starlet.
A switch back to the Blues has been muted for Rice, who also has suitors in Manchester, though Frank Lampard’s transfer warchest looks light following the signings of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and the impending deal for Kai Havertz.
Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)
Value: £25 to £35m
Possible destinations: Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal
Dutch international defender Nathan Ake has performed manfully for the relegated Cherries this season in what was an overwhelmingly dismal campaign for Eddie Howe’s men.
With half a decade of top-flight experience behind him, the naturally left-footed defender should prove a smart acquisition for any club that picks him up – though the latest gossip suggests a move to Man City is well advanced.
Ake, who spent six years on Chelsea’s books between 2011 and 2017, scored 11 times in 121 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth during his time at the Vitality Stadium.
Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)
Value: £50 to £70m
Possible destinations: Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Liverpool
Brazilian schemer Philippe Coutinho’s career has been on a steep downward trajectory since his move from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2018, though the attacking midfielder could be back plying his trade in the Premier League next season.
Bayern Munich, who acquired Coutinho on loan from Barca for the 2019/20 season, aren’t expected to activate their purchase option for the 28-year-old this year, and with the La Liga giants struggling for cash, the Brazil international could be available for a cut-price fee.
North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal are thought to be weighing up a move for the creative number 10, though a rumoured move back to Merseyside seems an unlikely outcome.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Value: £30 to £50m
Possible destinations: Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG
With just a year to run on his current deal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is facing a crossroads moment in his Arsenal career this summer.
The prolific attacker, who turned 31 last month, won’t want to spend his twilight professional years fighting against the breeze with an Arsenal team that have struggled to compete, and the chance to grab one last big pay day and a shot at some silverware could appeal.
Aubameyang’s 68 goals in 108 Premier League appearances for the Gunners is a remarkable return for an attacker in an inconsistent them, and any of the continent’s heavyweights that pull the trigger on a deal for the Gabon international will be landing a top-class player at a bargain price.
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Value: £50 to £70m
Possible destinations: Everton, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur
Having seen possible moves away from Crystal Palace collapse in each of the last two summers, 2020 could finally be the year Wilfried Zaha gets to test his silky skills at a higher level.
The Ivorian winger has outgrown the Eagles after a six-year stay at Selhurst Park, and at 27, Zaha is thought to be keen to spend his peak years competing for trophies with a club further up the league.
Everton, Arsenal and Spurs have all been named as possible destinations for Zaha, who finished with his lowest Premier League goals and assists totals for four years this season, though Palace might have to reduce their demands for their star player to facilitate a move.
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
Value: £80 to £100m
Possible destinations: Manchester United, Chelsea, PSG
Jadon Sancho’s protracted move to Manchester United is already shaping up to be the summer’s most high-profile transfer saga, though the latest rumours simmering to the surface suggest a deal is being thrashed out behind the scenes between United and Dortmund for the winger.
Sancho has made an enormous splash in Germany since his decision to swap Man City for Borussia Dortmund and first team football in 2017, and after an incredibly productive 2019/20 campaign that saw the 20-year-old notch 17 goals and 16 assists in 25 Bundesliga starts, a transfer back to England beckons.
The innovative wide attacker’s move to Old Trafford would see him join an exciting and youthful frontline at United that includes Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and his England teammate Marcus Rashford, and Sancho’s arrival would be seen as a major coup for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his rebuild of the club.