News of City’s offer came 24 hours after chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak spoke of “an aggressive market” and the former Premier League champions are bound to face plenty of competition from their rivals at home and abroad in the coming months.
Some deals will go smoothly, others could rumble on. We assess the summer’s biggest transfer sagas and what direction they might take.
Raheem Sterling - Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid
City’s opening offer is £25m plus £5m in add-ons but Liverpool want double that and are prepared to keep Sterling, pictured, at Anfield for another year. There is still a feeling the England star wants to return to London so Chelsea and Arsenal will be keeping a close eye on developments. It’s 50-50 if Sterling goes. This one could run and run.
Madrid want David de Gea and he wants to go home to Madrid - that’s the long and the short of it. Real would like the deal concluded before they go on their pre-season tour but United want £30m to let De Gea leave Old Trafford. This has gone on long enough, though, so expect it to be sorted out sooner rather than later.
Paul Pogba - Man City, PSG, Barcelona
Juventus are holding out for £55m for the former Manchester United midfielder and his agent, Mino Raiola, has admitted that Pogba will move on if the right offer comes in.
The player is said to favour Barcelona and with the Spanish club under a transfer embargo until January, this saga could run until then.
Monaco have dropped their asking price to £25m after the Colombia striker’s less-than-impressive season at Manchester United, but Chelsea would prefer to pay £6m for a season’s loan. José Mourinho has spoken of his desire to bring out the best in Falcao and the player would like his future sorted out before the start of the Copa America, so there shouldn’t be too many delays.
Theo Walcott - Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, Man United
Walcott has only a year left on his contract at the Emirates and that has inevitably alerted a number of Premier League rivals. Manchester City, in particular, are keen to increase the number of English players in their squad but they will not be the only bidders if Arsenal cannot convince Walcott to sign a new deal and feel they have no option but to sell for around £20m. The power lies with the player, so this one has the legs to go on for a while.
Harry Kane - Man United
Kane is on United’s radar after his spectacular first full season in the Premier League and promotion to the full England squad but persuading Daniel Levy to part with his crown jewel is another matter, even with an offer of £50m. The striker signed a new five-and-a-half-year deal in February and is unlikely to be leaving anytime soon.
Gozalo Higuain - Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid
Higuain is set to follow Rafael Benitez out of Napoli and could link up with fellow Argentine Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, especially if he is joined there by Carlos Tevez. The Italians will want to recoup the £35m they paid Real two years ago, however, and that could open the door to United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Another auction that could stretch well into August.
Morgan Schneiderlin - Man United, Arsenal, Tottenham
The Southampton midfielder wants to stay in England and play for a Champions League club which in theory narrows down the options, although Tottenham’s former Southampton boss, Mauricio Pochettino, may fancy his chances. United have yet to firm up their interest and are known to be considering higher profile options like Bastian Schweinsteiger so Schneiderlin may have to be patient.
Christian Benteke - Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United, Roma
Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has made no secret of the £32.5m release clause in Benteke’s contract and the big Belgium striker will leave the club if he refuses to sign a new deal. Liverpool are desperate for a striker and have made Benteke their No1 target.
Karim Benzema - Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City
Benzema’s agent says he wants to retire at Real Madrid but the Frenchman may have a change of heart when he realises the implication of new coach Rafael Benitez’s plan to play Cristiano Ronaldo at centre-forward. There would be no shortage of takers for Benzema, who would cost around £30m, although he has already been mentioned as a possible makeweight in De Gea’s move from United to Real. This is another slow burner.
Original source: Premier League bidders vie for stars