With Erling Haaland’s move to Manchester City becoming official, his transfer is set to be the first big domino to fall in what is expected to be a busy summer. Many of the top talents in the world could potentially move and they’ll have no shortage of suitors. One summer after we saw Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi make moves this next crop could be just as exciting. Here are the names to watch, who is expected to be interested, the best fit and a prediction for what happens to the rest of the European soccer’s biggest stars.
The next big thing, the player who is set to become the new “Messi or Ronaldo,” he’s the hottest name in the summer transfer market. That’s because of a combination of things though. First, he’s just an elite talent and will only get better with multiple Ballon d’Ors possibly in his future but also his contract expires this summer, making him a free agent. PSG are at risk of losing him and potentially getting nothing in return if he does not re-sign. The Real Madrid rumors have long been there, and while there has been buzz he could stay in Paris, he has the chance to join fellow countryman Karim Benzema for a team that might just win the Champions League.
Teams expected to show interest: Real Madrid, Liverpool
Best fit: Real Madrid
Prediction: Signs five-year contract with Real Madrid
The Polish superstar striker’s contract does not expire until June 30 of 2023, but there has been plenty of buzz about him potentially joining Barcelona. Why? Who knows, really. Perhaps he wants to test himself in a new league, and it would be intriguing to see him in, say, Spain or England. Perhaps he wants to sign a contract extension and his current team isn’t playing ball, but Bayern are still built to win the UCL again, and without Lewandowski, they just are not nearly as strong contenders. He could go anywhere and produce a 30-goal season, but in the end, I think he stays.
Teams expected to show interest: FC Barcelona, Manchester United
Best fit: Bayern Munich
Prediction: Remains at Bayern Munich
The Egyptian, like Lewandowski, has a deal until 2023, but so far he and Liverpool have not reached a deal over a contract extension. One would expect him to stay with the Reds. After all, he’s got an incredible relationship with Jurgen Klopp, Sadio Mane and others. But could he be tempted by some of the other top clubs in the world? He has taken his career to new heights at Anfield, and it just feels like it’s nearly impossible that Liverpool will let him go.
Teams expected to show interest: PSG, Real Madrid, Barcelona
Best fit: Liverpool
Prediction: Re-signs with Liverpool
Ah, Pogba. When he’s not at Manchester United, he’s something else. But like many with the Red Devils, his quality just goes down due to a lack of chemistry, like much of the team that just under performs. Pogba is 29, his contract expires this summer, and he has more or less wasted the last six years of his career at United, though his bank account surely says differently. A World Cup winner, he could be craving some club stability. Rumors have circulated lately about potentially moving to Man City, but it certainly feels like a move back to Juventus or heading home to France and joining PSG makes a ton of sense. When he is on and focused, he can change a team’s season for the better, but he has to find a place where there is immediate chemistry and minutes to be had.
Teams expected to show interest: PSG, Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester City
Best fit: Juventus
Prediction: Joins PSG on a free transfer
One of the most intriguing players on the market, Dybala’s contract is set to expire this summer, meaning he’s likely to leave Juve on a free transfer. There will be no shortage of clubs looking to sign the tiny, talented Argentine, and it certainly feels like Inter Milan are the favorites. With Inter vice president Javier Zanetti looking to bring him east of Turin, he could be a key piece to join Lautaro Martinez in attack. Could you imagine if Inter can get Lukaku back and put Dybala and Martinez on either side? He needs more consistent minutes, especially if he wants to make the World Cup with Argentina later this year. Inter may be the best place to do that, but expect Tottenham to also pursue him heavily.
Teams expected to show interest: Man United, Tottenham, Inter Milan, PSG
Best fit: Inter Milan
Prediction: Signs a four-year contract with Inter Milan