‘Managers on the lookout, chequebooks at the ready and contracts ready to be signed.’ It is thattime of year again – commonly known as the ‘Silly Season’ – when the rumour-mills once again leapinto action as players become linked with clubs left, right and centre, betting reaches fever-pitch asthe odds tumble and clubs up and down the country get ready to splash the cash in an attempt at either consolidating or strengthening their squads.
It is public knowledge that the money is there for Arsène Wenger to spend this summer and it’s asummer which could prove pivotal for both manager and club alike. What Arsenal require is presencein goal, although Polish Number One Wojciech SzczÄ™sny is maturing, a centre-back partner for thereturning Thomas Vermaelen and an experienced head or physically imposing character to anchor amidfield which, whilst certainly not short of creativity has, on occasions, found itself overpowered.
Possible INS: Christopher Samba (Blackburn Rovers); Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Southampton);Gervinho (LOSC Lille Métropole)
Possible OUTS: Gaël Clichy; Cesc Fàbregas; Nicklas Bendtner
After all the turmoil that ensued following the controversial appointment of the ex-Birmingham Citymanager, Alex McLeish, the Scotsman has a difficult job on his hands. He must not only contend withStewart Downing seemingly following the already departed Ashley Young (Manchester United) outof Villa Park but has to find a new Number One. Expect numerous rumours linking McLeish withsome of his former players, especially goalkeeper Ben Foster, who is rated at around £10,000,000.
Possible INS: Ben Foster (Birmingham City); Roger Johnson (Birmingham City); Wes Brown(Manchester United)
Possible OUTS: Carlos Cuéllar; Stephen Ireland; Stewart Downing
Having already lost one of their most promising prospects, defender come midfielder Phil Jones,expect Rovers to find it difficult to hang on to their club captain Christopher Samba, with Arsenalexpressing an interest in the Congolese defender. Manager Steve Kean will need to strengthen up-front with Rovers having one of the poorest goalscoring records last season. Don’t be surprised to seeRoque Santa Cruz return to make his loan move permanent.
Possible INS: Serge Aurier (Racing Club de Lens); Ivelin Popov (Litex Lovch); Roque Santa Cruz(Manchester City)
Possible OUTS: Christopher Samba; El Hadji Diouf; David Hoilett
Following the departure of Johan Elmander, Owen Coyle will be looking to bring in some firepowerto the Reebok Stadium. The loan signing in January of Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge was a stroke ofgenius. Therefore, expect Coyle to once again return for the striker as he seeks to seal a permanentdeal. The transfer fee could prove to be a stumbling block although the funds generated from theexpected sale of defender Gary Cahill could ease the problem.
Possible INS: Thiago Alcantara (FC Barcelona); Rodrigo Moreno (Benfica); Daniel Sturridge(Chelsea)
Possible OUTS: Ali Al-Habsi; Gary Cahill; Ivan KlasniÄ‡
The Andre Villas-Boas era begins at Stanford Bridge. Whilst the ex-FC Porto manager has stressedthat no major changes will be made, his focus will be firmly set upon revitalising what is becomingan ageing squad. Special attention will be paid to the midfield, with the Blues expected to step uptheir chase for Croatian midfield maestro Luka ModriÄ‡ as well as Palermo’s Javier Pastore. Up-front,Didier Drogba or Nicholas Anelka could make way for the impressive Radamel Falcao.
Possible INS: Fábio Coentrão (Benfica); Romelu Lukaku (Anderlecht); Radamel Falcao (FC Porto)
Possible OUTS: Paulo Ferreira; Yuri Zhirkov; Didier Drogba
Once again Toffees manager David Moyes has little money to spend, Nonetheless, he will be asshrewd as ever and will look to capitalize in the loan and free transfer market. If funds are to begenerated then they will have to be done so through the sale of first team players however theScotsman is said to be keen to hang onto the influential players in his team. Big money offers may putpay to that.
Possible INS: Dedryck Boyata (Manchester City); Stefan Defour (Standard Liège); Sergio Canales(Real Madrid)
Possible OUTS: John Heitinga; Leighton Baines; Yakubu Aiyegbeni
Another year and another manager at Craven Cottage. Following the unexpected departure of Mark Hughes, former Spurs manager Martin Jol makes a welcome return to the Barclays Premier League.With his Dutch, English and German connections as well as a strong scouting set-up, Jol has a wealth of experience from which to choose from. The spine of the team will remain intact however expect tosee some fresh blood injected into the team, especially in midfield and up-front.
Possible INS: Thomas Hitzelsperger (Unattached); Mounir El Hamadaoui (Ajax); Robbie Keane(Tottenham Hotspur)
Possible OUTS: Jonathan Greening; Zoltan Gera; Andy Johnson
It looks like being a summer of change on Merseyside as Kenny Dalglish begins moulding hisown team. The focus is on home grown players as already demonstrated by the hefty £20,000,000purchase of England U-21 midfielder Jordan Henderson from Sunderland. The arrival of wingerStewart Downing will give the Reds much needed width down the flanks whilst Blackpool’s CharlieAdam will provide further creativity in the midfield. The development of Luis Suárez-Andy Carrollpartnership up-front is eagerly anticipated.
Possible INS: Gaël Clichy (Arsenal); Charlie Adam (Blackpool); Stewart Downing (Aston Villa)
Possible OUTS: Paul Konchesky; Joe Cole; Milan JovanoviÄ‡
They may have all the money in the world however Roberto Mancini will not be making significant changes to his squad. The main body of the Italian’s team is in place however doubts still remainover the defence as well as the future of the influential striker and club captain Carlos Tévez. TheArgentine has expressed a desire to return to his homeland as well as stating that he would neverreturn to Manchester – not even on holiday.
Possible INS: Luka ModriÄ‡ (Tottenham Hotspur); Marek Hamsik (Napoli); Alexis Sanchez (Udinese)
Possible OUTS: Jérome Boateng; Emmanuel Adebayor; Craig Bellamy
Despite winning the Barclays Premier League Title and reaching the Champions League Final,major changes needed to be made at Old Trafford. Promising Spanish U-21 goalkeeper David deGea will have big boots to fill following the retirement of Edwin Van der Sar and a replacement formidfielder Paul Scholes remains a priority for Sir Alex Ferguson. Attention will turn either to ModriÄ‡or somewhat surprisingly Samir Nasri who has a year left on his current contract.
Possible INS: David de Gea (Atlético Madrid); Samir Nasri (Arsenal); Edinson Cavani (Napoli)
Possible OUTS: Wes Brown; John O’Shea; Darron Gibson
It’s been far from the expected summer of consolidation at St James’Park with the shock departureof club captain Kevin Nolan to West Ham United. Alan Pardew is resigned to losing left-back JoséEnrique and midfielder Joey Barton however the club have signined three French-speaking players:midfielders Yohan Cabaye (LOSC Lille Métropole)and Sylvain Marveaux (Stade Rennais) as wellas striker Demba Ba (West Ham United). Rumours are that they’ve began filming on the FrenchConnection III.
Possible INS: Neil Taylor (Swansea City); Charles N’Zogbia (Wigan Athletic); Tranquilo Barnetta(Bayer Leverkusen)
Possible OUTS: José Enrique; Alan Smith; Nile Ranger
Canaries manager Paul Lambert has made it clear from the outset that this summer he intends to bringin English players, preferably with Barclays Premier League experience, to the club. So far Lamberthas secured the signings of predominately lower league players: striker James Vaughan (Everton) whospent the second half of last season on loan at Crystal Palace; Millwall’s top goalscorer last season,striker Steve Morrison and winger Elliott Bennett (Brighton & Hove Albion).
Possible INS: Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur); Bradley Johnson (Leeds United); AnthonyPilkington (Huddersfield Town)
Possible OUTS: Steven Smith; Owain Tudor Jones; Oli Johnson
Queens Park Rangers
They may have been a cut above the rest at the top of the Npower Championship, however managerNeil Warnock is well aware of the transition and gap to the Barclays Premier League. Warnock willcertainly have money to spend, given the financial muscle of the board, whose members includeIndian Steel Magnate Lakshmi Mittal. You feel that keeping hold of the mercurial midfield maestroAdel Taarabt will be key to Rangers hopes of staying up next season.
Possible INS: Marco Materazzi (Internazionale); Sulley Muntari (Internazionale); Jay Bothroyd(Unattached)
Possible OUTS: Adel Taarabt; Leon Clarke; Rowan Vine
Tony Pulis will be hoping that the business he does in the summer can propel the Potters to the nextlevel. With Europa League football lying ahead next season, Pulis will be acutely aware of the need toincrease the size of his squad. Like Norwich City’s Lambert, the Stoke manager is looking at Englishbased players and has recently been heavily linked with the Birmingham city centre-back partnershipof Scott Dann and Roger Johnson.
Possible INS: Scott Dann (Birmingham City); Nile Ranger (Newcastle United); Carlton Cole (WestHam United)
Possible OUTS: Thomas Sorensen; Tom Soares; Diego Arismendi
Following the departure of Darren Bent in January and now most recently Jordan Henderson, managerSteve Bruce should in theory have around £40,000,000 to reinvest in his team. His focus will liein finding replacements for them with Darron Gibson a strong contender to fill Henderson’s bootswhilst, if reports are to be believed, the club have launched a £13,000,000 bid for Ipswich Townwonderkid Connor Wickham. Signing Danny Welbeck again on loan could be a possibility.
Possible INS: Darron Gibson (Manchester United); Connor Wickham (Ipswich Town); Peter Crouch(Tottenham Hotspur)
Possible OUTS: Anton Ferdinand; Marcos Angeleri; Asamoah Gyan
Brendan Rodgers worked wonders in his first season in charge of the Swans to guide them backinto the highest echelon of English football for the first time since 1983. His team playing a brandof attractive, free-flowing football akin to that of Blackpool, so perhaps we should expect a fewunexpected surprises next season. Signing Spanish midfielder Marcos Senna would represent a majorcoup for the club however reports suggests that he pursuing another season at Villarreal.
Possible INS: Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea); Marcos Senna (Unattached); Max Gradel (Leeds United)
Possible OUTS: Neil Taylor; Ashley Williams; Gorka Pintado
Harry Redknapp’s admitted that he’s been told by chairman Daniel Levy that he’ll have to sellplayers before he can buy. Honduran Wilson Palacios, Croatian Niko KranjÄ‰ar and Mexican GiovanniSantos, have expressed their frustration at not being included in the first team set-up and all threehave been linked with moves away from White Hart Lane. Spurs remain favourites to capture WestHam United’s influential midfielder Scott Parker, having already signed Aston Villa goalkeeper BradFriedel.
Possible INS: Scott Parker (West Ham United); Jack Rodwell (Everton); Leando Damiao(Internacional)
Possible OUTS: Wilson Palacios; Niko KranjÄ‰ar; Robbie Keane
West Bromwich Albion
The quiet revolution which occurred towards the end of last season following the installationof Roy Hodgson as manager will hope to gather momentum this summer. Hodgson’s wealth ofEuropean experience will stand him in good stead and he’ll hope to receive a further boost with keystriker Peter Odemwingie’s staying at The Hawthorns. Blackpool’s David Vaughan looks set to join whilst goalkeeper Scott Carson’s imminent departure has paved the way for a return for Tomasz Kuszczak.
Possible INS: Tomasz Kuszczak (Manchester United); Zoltan Gera (Fulham); David Vaughan(Unattached)
Possible OUTS: Scott Carson; Gabriel Tamas; Marek Äˆech
Roberto Martinez’s decision to turn down Aston Villa’s overtures was a reminder that loyalty stillremains in football – a loyalty which has further strengthened his relationship with ChairmanDave Whelan. Whilst the club appear resigned to losing the tricky French winger CharlesN’Zogbia, keeping Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega is absolutely crucial – his loss wouldnot doubt create a destabilising effect on the team. Ali Al-Habsi’s loan move will soon becomepermanent once a transfer fee is agreed.
Possible INS: Ali Al-Habsi (Bolton Wanderers); Stephen Crainey (Blackpool); Craig Mackail-Smith(Peterborough United)
Possible OUTS: James McCarthy; Charles N’Zogbia; Hugo Rodallega
After flirting dangerously closely with relegation last season, Mick McCarthy will hope that thissummer’s signings make a greater impact than the ones he made last season. The permanentsigning of Jamie O’Hara, who played an instrumental role in the second half of last season on loanfrom Tottenham Hotspur, will come as a welcome boost. Ultimately though, the real problem whichmust be rectified is in defence which was undoubtedly the team’s Achilles Heel last season.
Possible INS: Richard Dunne (Aston Villa); Johnny Evans (Manchester United); Matt Mills(Reading)
Possible OUTS: Carl Ikeme; Greg Halford; Stefan Maierhofer