With the European Under-21 Championships and the Copa America not far from their conclusions, football’s sun (or rain) soaked fallow period is approaching.
The month or so in which not so much as a ball is kicked in anger is a time ripe with the potential to define the trajectory of the season ahead.
It’s a prospect that’s got news.bwin.com blue-sky thinking about the ideal July-August scenarios for the Premier League’s brightest and best.
First up for the perfect world treatment are Manchester United…
Hugo Lloris replaces David de Gea with a decent amount of change left over
The Spaniard has put his Altrincham mansion on the market, so there’s little point in keeping him on for a year against his will and passing up a handsome profit.
Cash in now, while a cheaper, equally gifted, replacement is available and move on.
Nicolas Otamendi, not Sergio Ramos, comes in to bolster the backline
The 29-year-old Real Madrid man has a creaking trophy cabinet but remains a walking red card to rival Nemanja Vidic against Fernando Torres back in the day at all times.
Otamendi was one of the best defenders in Europe last term, as well as being cheaper, younger and hungrier.
Robin van Persie makes a big money move to Turkey
The Dutchman’s best years appear to be behind him after a 2014/15 in which he failed to set pulses racing in a red jersey.
Shipping him out to a relative footballing backwater whose clubs are not averse to shelling out for over the hill big names is the ideal scenario.
Morgan Schneiderlin chooses Old Trafford
A ready-made successor to Michael Carrick exists and he plays for Southampton.
Manchester City and Arsenal fail to make any major signings
United finished two wins from third spot and a whisker more than three from second in the Premier League last term.
A continuation of City’s ham-fisted recent summer dealing history and an end to Arsenal’s recent spate of signing world-class players should see the gap closed.
Luke Shaw comes through a full pre-season unscathed
The immensely expensive young left-back’s first season in Manchester was marred by regular spells in the treatment room.
In between he showed signs of being exactly the kind of gem he ought to have been for his transfer fee, suggesting that a bright future lies in wait if he can stay fit.