While the excitement of the soccer season in Europe and other countries across the globe is winding down, the summer transfer window is heating up. We’ve already seen Karim Benzema reportedly make the move to the Saudi Pro League, and Messi is confirmed to be leaving PSG this summer. Although Benzema refuted that he’s made a decision, there’s a solid chance his 14-year run at Real Madrid has come to an end. For most fans, the transfer window brings new hope and excitement for their team to compete next year, and this summer will be no exception. Here are some of the biggest names rumored to be on the move this summer, and our predictions for them.
Lionel Messi → Al Hilal
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Rumors of Messi’s transfer from PSG began as soon as he lifted the World Cup trophy. Now that his coach has confirmed he’s leaving this summer, it’s only a matter of time before he announces his next move. He remains linked with a move to MLS team Miami FC, a return to Barcelona and a very lucrative move to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal (the city rivals of Ronaldo’s current team, Al Nassr). The most likely move is to the Saudi League, with the sheer amount of money they’re offering being the driving force. However, if Barcelona can somehow sort out their financial situation with La Liga and actually make a viable move for the 36-year-old, I don’t think anyone doubts he would love to reunite with his former teammate Xavi at Barcelona.
Cristiano Ronaldo → European Club
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Ronaldo just declared he was staying in the Saudi Pro League with Al Nassr, however as we all know, CR7 is always obsessed with his brand, and the summer lasts a long time. Come August, he could be feeling the itch to return to Europe, whether or not it’s for a superclub. An all-time great, CR7 controls his destiny no matter what, so don’t be surprised if transfer rumors continue to swirl even after his latest statement.
Neymar → European Superclub
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Another mainstay in the headlines across Europe, Neymar is reportedly open to a move this summer. PSG’s ‘Big 3’ era is coming to a close, with Messi officially leaving Paris this summer, and Mbappé continuously being linked with a move to Real Madrid. Rumors of Neymar’s transfer swirled recently after Chelsea’s owner Todd Boley met with PSG’s president Nasser Al-Khelaifi earlier this year, and it’s no secret that the Chelsea owner is still craving a huge transfer this summer. It seems unlikely he makes the jump to Stamford Bridge, with his former manager Mauricio Pochettino taking over the club, with whom he clashed at times, and no Champions League soccer being played there either next season. That being said, he controls his future in the short term, and if the right European club came knocking, it seems that he would push for the move.
Kylian Mbappé → Real Madrid
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While Real Madrid failed to court Mbappé last summer, their desire to sign the 24-year-old French attacker remains at an all-time high. It’s no surprise, Madrid are famous for their Galácticos signings, and with another disappointing Champions League campaign for PSG this year, as well as Messi leaving and rumors of Neymar departing the club, this summer could be the best time for Mbappé to make the jump to Los Blancos. The likelihood of this move will certainly pick up as the summer goes on, especially now that Benzema has left Madrid, so Mbappé will undoubtedly be watching the moves PSG does or doesn’t make in the transfer window to help make his decision.
Victor Osimhen → PSG
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Arguably the best player across Europe last season, torching Serie A defenses for 28 goals, Victor Osimhen essentially played his way into this summer’s transfer rumors. Any of the superclubs looking to retool this offseason will certainly make a pass at Osimhen. Already linked with Manchester United, PSG and Bayern Munich, this is probably the best time for the 24-year-old Nigerian forward to make a move. Soccer can be a fickle sport, and players should always capitalize on their recent performance to secure a big move to a top club. While Napoli’s future is clearly bright if he stays, there’s never a true guarantee he can make a similar jump in future offseasons. Where Osimhen lands will probably depend on some of the other big names in Europe, such as Mbappé leaving PSG or landing with a team that misses out on Harry Kane.
Jude Bellingham → Real Madrid
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Another of Europe’s brightest stars is highly coveted this summer, with Jude Bellingham being heavily linked to Real Madrid. They say the deal is all but done, so Bellingham’s move will certainly set off the crazy spending the transfer window can promise. Bellingham will join a superclub with plenty of talent in the midfield already, but his arrival will essentially ensure Real Madrid remain highly competitive for years to come (especially if they sign Mbappé too). The pressure will be on Barcelona to keep pace given their financial restrictions.
Declan Rice → Top EPL Team
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A young star in the EPL, Rice has been linked with a move away from West Ham for a couple summers now. After a failed move to Chelsea last summer, the Blues are reportedly back again seeking a move for Rice this summer. However, Rice’s future depends heavily on other teams’ and their off-season moves. If Chelsea lose Mason Mount, they will lose any chance at signing Rice. Arsenal, similarly, could jump Chelsea if they are the ones to sign Mason Mount this summer, however Mount is highly-sought after as well. Then there’s Manchester United who are always looking to upgrade their squad and could try for Rice as well. On top of that, Rice’s value could also be tied to other transfers such as Jude Bellingham, with the market price potentially being set by however much Real Madrid pay for Bellingham. Rice has been linked with Man City and Bayern too, so the rumor mill will definitely be swirling around the young midfielder all summer long.
Harry Kane → European Superclub
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One of the world’s top strikers, Harry Kane is at a turning point in his career. At 29 years old, turning 30 this offseason, he only has one year left on his deal with Tottenham Hotspur, and if he’s going to compete further for major European championships, he needs to move clubs. Manchester United are reportedly looking to make a bid sooner rather than later, and obviously that would help him compete right away, with the Spurs missing out on a place in the Champions League next season. Kane could choose to defer until next summer, letting other moves play out first and potentially go elsewhere in Europe, but he’d be tempting fate by trying to remain healthy and in form going into next summer.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic → Liverpool
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A name some will be familiar with when he first broke through in Serie A back in 2016-17, Milinkovic-Savic was previously evaluated at around €100 by his club Lazio. Now with one year left on his deal, the big clubs are reportedly circling around the 28-year-old Serbian midfielder. Arsenal, Juventus, Liverpool and Inter have all been linked to Milinkovic-Savic. Can a once highly-sought after player shake up a top table team?
James Maddison → Top EPL Team
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With Leicester failing to survive in the English Premier League this season, an exodus of players will naturally follow. One notable player from the Foxes, James Maddison, will certainly need to find a new home, with top clubs already having interest in the 26-year-old midfielder. Just entering his prime, signing Maddison could be a huge addition to one of the top teams in England or abroad in Europe, with his excellent passing and free-kick shooting fitting well with any top team. Also keep an eye on Maddison’s teammate Youri Tielemans, another highly rated midfielder entering his prime who is out of contract this summer and looking for a new team.