The European soccer offseason has been one of a lot of uncertainty. Too many rumors and not too many actual transfers. Below I’ve decided to list some of the biggest names that have been thrown out there, the latest rumor I’ve heard about them and where I think they are going end up.
Player: Gonzalo Higuain
Latest Rumor: Arsenal has made an offer of 23-27 million euros for the Argentinian player and are awaiting a response from Real Madrid.
My Prediction: Arsenal
Why: I believe this is one of the easiest rumors to judge because the Arsenal saga has been going on for a while now. Higuain doesn’t seem to have a place at Real Madrid going forward and with Juventus signing Carlos Tevez and dropping out of the race, I think he’ll end up at Arsenal.
Player: Thiago Alcantara
Latest Rumor: Thiago seems to be very close to signing with Manchester United. They would offer him about three times what he makes now and offer more playing time than he would get at Barcelona.
My Prediction: Manchester United
Why: A deal with Man U does not seem too far off. It is disappointing as a Barcelona fan to potentially see him go because I think he is pretty much ready to take over the midfield. If not now then certainly when Xavi retires. My ideal scenario was to re-sign him and loan him out for the time being, but in my opinion, he will understandably switch clubs to Manchester.
Player: Edinson Cavani
Latest Rumor: After weeks of speculation linking him to Real Madrid and Chelsea, PSG seems to have joined the race and might be willing to pay the 63 million euro buyout clause in Cavani’s contract.
My Prediction: Real Madrid
Why: I personally don’t see where Cavani would fit on PSG when they already have a center forward of somewhat similar characteristics in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Real Madrid would absolutely take Cavani over Benzema and I think they’ll make that last push to acquire him. Quite unsure about this one though, a lot of speculation surrounding him.
Player: Thiago Silva
Latest Rumor: More than a latest rumor it’s really and ongoing one; Barcelona is still in pursuit of the center back they have wanted and needed from day 1. He has since admitted that he would love to play for Barcelona but is still happy at PSG.
My Prediction: Barcelona
Why: This is a tough one for me to make because I have wanted Thiago Silva on the team since before last season started. This might be more of a hopeful prediction but I know Barcelona is going to sign a center back this offseason, and so it might not be such a long shot that their pursuit will payoff.
Player: Gareth Bale
Latest Rumor: The Gareth Bale front hasn’t been as hectic as it initially was. Real Madrid seemed very close to signing him, reportedly offering as much as 60 million euros at one point, but Tottenham has refused to let him go.
My Prediction: Tottenham
Why: Similar to the Thiago Silva situation, his current team seems dead set on retaining him for next season. Unlike Silva’s case though, Madrid doesn’t really need Bale, he pretty much plays the same position as Cristiano Ronaldo. Madrid landed Isco, who is a very solid signing for them and so I don’t believe their pursuit for Bale will be as insistent as it was initially.
Player: Luis Suarez
Latest Rumor: Chelsea has emerged as the front runner to land a Luis Suarez that has made it known time and time again that he doesn’t want to stay at Liverpool. The amount is reportedly 40 million euros and he seems to be closer than ever to signing with Chelsea since Cavani is going to either Madrid or PSG.
My Prediction: Chelsea
Why: If the reports are as confident as they say they are, there really isn’t anything stopping Suarez from teaming up with his buddy Ivanovic at Chelsea.
Player: Wayne Rooney
Latest Rumor: Barcelona would be interested to potentially offer David Villa and 25 million euros for him. Recently, Arsenal was said to be interested as well.
My Prediction: Arsenal
Why: Rooney is unhappy at Manchester partly because he has lost his role as main protagonist to Van Persie and because it just seems to be time for a change of scenery. Although I don’t know how he would fit into Barcelona unless they modified their 4-3-3 formation, I would love for Barcelona to get him. Great players will find a way to fit or at least produce for a season and leave. Unfortunately, I don’t see him playing for Barcelona and see him potentially going to Arsenal and play up top with Higuain.
I am intrigued as to how many of these I may get correct. With all the uncertainty surrounding most of these signings and teams emerging as potential landing spots everyday, it really is a crapshoot.
Let me know where you think these players will land. Really cannot wait for the 2013-2014 season gets going around the world.