With only an unedifying scrap to secure Premier League survival, a phoney top-three war, and the FA Cup final to go before English football shuts its doors for the summer, the upcoming opening of the transfer window is set to dominate web pages over the next three months.
Manchester United have already done an enviable bit of business in capturing Dutch goal-machine Memphis Depay from PSV for a fee of around £25m-£31m, depending on who you believe, and after spending more than four times the upper end of that estimate last summer, the Red Devils are expected to be big players again.
Rumours have swirled all season regarding a United bid for an experienced centre-half, with Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels thought to be Louis van Gaal’s top target in the position, but Valencia’s Argentine stopper Nicolas Otamendi has also been mentioned as a possible option.
Spanish motormouth Guillem Balague, fresh from spreading guff about best buddy Rafa Benitez going to Real Madrid, tweeted this:
On Otamendi. Sources close to the player say his dream is to go to the PL and United will continue trying to get him. Valencia pesimistic
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) May 18, 2015
In other transfer news, Liverpool have reportedly received a boost in their hunt for a Luis Suarez replacement 12 months too late, with the Liverpool Echo among a number of publications claiming that French sharpshooter Alexandre Lacazette isn’t happy at current club Lyon.
This rumour seems to have come about due to Lacazette answering the question ‘Will you be leaving Lyon this summer’ with the words ‘I don’t know’, before proclaiming his pride at being named Ligue 1 Player of the Year.
The 23-year-old has bagged 31 all-competition goals in 38 Les Gones games this season. Paris Saint-Germain are also thought to be in the hunt, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the lure of continued regular football, which Lacazette surely wouldn’t get in the French capital, could see him rock up at Anfield.
And finally, it seems even a whopping £8m-plus-per-year deal won’t be enough for Manchester City to keep their top professional Englishman, James Milner, on the books beyond the summer.
Having started less than half of the deposed champions’ Premier League fixtures this term, the former Aston Villa, Newcastle and Leeds bruiser will leave the Etihad when his contract finishes in a few weeks time, according to the Star, with Arsenal thought to be at the head of the queue for his services.
Liverpool are also keen and could offer him a regular place in midfield, while Roma have been mentioned as a left-field alternative.