Like the Don Quixotes, War and Peaces or Harry Potters of their own particular canon, the summer’s biggest transfer sagas have been in little rush to come to a conclusion.
Instead, in common with those great tomes, numerous twists and turns in their histories have already been detailed and second-guessing their trajectories is a formidable task.
The one thing which we can be sure of is that bwin are industry-best priced about every potential avenue for all of the below players, barring the first mentioned.
David de Gea
Having looked like a matter of if, not when, for much of the summer so far the odds now suggest that Real Madrid will be forced to wait if they are to get their man – until next summer at least.
De Gea is 1/2 to remain at Old Trafford come the transfer embargo, while it’s 7/5 that Los Blancos can get the deal over the line.
However, in signing Kiko Casilla from Espanyol and handing Keylor Navas the number one shirt for next season it seems they are slowly admitting defeat, for now.
Angel Di Maria
Their goalkeeper staying put could well see United seek to balance by the books by offloading the Argentine and Paris Saint-Germain look the likeliest buyers.
Laurent Blanc’s side are 1/2 to land Di Maria before the close of summer business, however the Red Devils wish to recoup a fee close to that for which he was purchased last summer remains a substantial stumbling block.
Man United have also leapt to the front of the queue in the race to sign Pedro from Barcelona after it emerged that Chelsea will not be pursuing the Spaniard.
The Blues remain 7/4 second-favourites for his signature, despite Jose Mourinho all but ruling out signing a winger in favour of making a defender his final buy of the summer.
Instead United are even money favourites to stable him come September, with the Mirror suggesting they will acquire him as a Di Maria replacement.
Few outside of the fabled Liverpool transfer trust can really have known just how much Benteke’s move to Anfield hinged upon Raheem Sterling’s sale.
The Belgian is now just 7/100 to join the Reds before the end of the window after the BBC reported yesterday that he would be travelling to have a medical with the club ‘in the next 48 hours’.
Arguably the hottest property of the summer, even among such elevated company, it seems that the Pogba, 67/100 to remain at Juventus come September the 4th, is unlikely to be treading the boards in the Premier League next term.
Chelsea are now 20/1 to sign him after Mourinho effectively ruled them out of the race for his signature, while Man City look plenty short enough to sign him at 5/2 after blowing a financial-fair-play bothering bundle on Sterling.