RUMOR: Barcelona to the Premier League // LIKELIHOOD: You never know // After 17 long years in the ranks at Camp Nou, could Barca’s little pass master be heading for a holiday? If the British press is to be believed, then it’s certainly a possibility. The 34-year-old seems to have the pick of the bunch, with Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all considering making a bid. The Spaniard would surely be forgiven for seeking pastures new after winning everything under the sun at Barca, so keep your eye on this one.
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Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
RUMOR: Liverpool to Real Madrid // LIKELIHOOD: This just won’t go away // Real Madrid’s relentless pursuit for a new toy looks set to continue way into the summer, and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is top of their list. The Uruguayan seems settled at Anfield after nearly leaving last summer, but playing with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale would tempt anyone. A $120 million move could sway Liverpool as well, but we don’t really see it happening.
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Angel di Maria (Real Madrid)
RUMOR: Real Madrid to Arsenal // LIKELIHOOD: Square block, round hole // With Arsenal’s long wait for a trophy finally coming to an end at the weekend, the chase is on to build on their momentum. Di Maria has been linked, but we can’t help feeling that he just doesn’t fit. Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott offer enough width in an interchangeable Arsenal attack, and di Maria’s performances late on this season may well have earned him a longer stay at the Bernabeu.
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Javier Mascherano (Barcelona)
RUMOR: Barcelona to Liverpool // LIKELIHOOD: Certainly possible // Once a cult hero at Anfield, combative midfielder Mascherano turned into the upsetter when he swapped Liverpool for Barcelona four years ago. Brendan Rodgers has identified the Reds’ defensive frailties however, and sees Mascherano as a perfect fit. In fact, so do we, and we expect the 29-year-old to return to his old stomping ground this summer.
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Bacary Sagna (Arsenal)
RUMOR: Arsenal to Man City or Man United // LIKELIHOOD: He’s surely leaving, but to where? // With Arsenal’s crowning FA Cup glory this past weekend, now could be the time for Sagna to finally leave. A faithful servant since 2007, Sagna’s contract is up in the summer and his future has been called into question. The 31-year-old has received love letters from both Manchester clubs, and had this to say to British newspaper The Sun on his own future: “Will it be my last game? I don’t know. Everyone knows I am out of contract and we have not found an agreement with Arsenal.” Doesn’t sound promising, Arsenal fans.
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Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich)
RUMOR: Bayern Munich/Chelsea swap deal // LIKELIHOOD: Great for all parties // Barca and Bayern Munich look to be the frontrunners for David Luiz’s signature if he leaves this summer, but a mooted swap deal with striker Mandzukic could swing it in the Germans’ favor. Quite frankly, this could be beautiful for everyone involved. Mandzukic was left out of Pep Guardiola’s side for the German Cup win over Dortmund, and is queuing at the Allianz exit. Luiz’s style of play is likely to fit in better outside of the Premier League, Chelsea need a potent striker and Bayern and Pep could bring out the obvious world-class talent in the Brazilian. We like the sound of this one.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesAlexander Hassenstein
Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
RUMOR: Borussia Dortmund to Man United // LIKELIHOOD: Can’t see it // With the managerial appointment out of the way, who will Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United target this summer? The Premier League giants have been linked with pretty much every Bundesliga star, including the latest one in Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels. The defensive rock would be the perfect fit to replace the outgoing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Trouble is, would he want to move? We here at FOX Soccer towers doubt it. Of all the Dortmund stars linked with a move away, Hummels looks the most likely to stick around.
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Patrice Evra (Juventus)
RUMOR: Man United to Juventus // LIKELIHOOD: Italy beckons // This season has been a bit of a heartbreaker for Man United fans, hasn’t it? David Moyes’ failure to replace Sir Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs’ retirement, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leaving. What next? Evra’s departure also seems imminent, with Inter Milan the frontrunner. Juventus has since joined the race, with Evra telling local paper, the Manchester Evening News that “I have not decided anything. We will see.” A decision will be made this week by Evra, so will he stay or will he go?
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich)
RUMOR: Bayern Munich to Liverpool // LIKELIHOOD: He fits the bill // Liverpool are gonna need to build on their stellar season if they are to finally capture that Premier League crown. Adam Lallana, Alessio Cerci and Emre Can are rumored to be amongst their targets, and all would represent good budiness. The freshest link to Anfield however, is Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri. The Swiss star certainly has the look of a Reds signing, as the dynamic attacker fits the youth bill at just 22. Bayern hardly need him with their long list of superstars, and Shaqiri’s talent is wasted on the bench, so we reckon a deal could be in the offing soon.
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Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
RUMOR: Atletico Madrid to Chelsea // LIKELIHOOD: Matter of time // Chelsea’s (well, Jose Mourinho’s) desire for a striker has been all too well-documented this season, with one striker cropping up in discussions each time. Atletico Madrid’s monstrous marksman Diego Costa is on the verge of the move, for a reported $50 milliion, according to the British press. Could Atletico’s La Liga win throw a spanner in the works, however? Maybe even a Champions League victory for Los Rojiblancos could sway his decision. Probably not, and Costa is likely to rip up Premier League defenses next season at Stamford Bridge.