10 big-name players whose futures are still to be resolved: Bale, Rose, Zaha
While the 2018-19 season only officially ended recently with the conclusion of the AFCON, the 2019-20 campaign is already upon us, and plenty of clubs have big business still to complete as the end of the transfer window gets ever closer.
The futures of a number of big names remain up in the air as some players try to push for a move and some clubs are trying to move high earners off their books.
We’ve taken a look at 10 high-profile players who will be eager to nail down where they will be playing next term sooner rather than later.
Given Koscielny has quietly gone about his business for Arsenal for almost 10 years, it came as a shock when the news broke the defender had refused to travel to the USA amid reports he is trying to force a move back to his native France.
According to the BBC, Bordeaux, Rennes and Lyon have all shown an interest in the 33-year-old, who has just 12 months remaining on his Arsenal contract.
Unai Emery has said he wants to work with “the players that want to be here”, but the Gunners are reportedly holding out for a £9million fee for the centre-back.
Koscielny is in danger of running out of options as the trio of French sides are claimed to only be interested in his signature if he can terminate his contract at the Emirates, with Rennes president Olivier Letang already ruling out a move.
Rose has appeared to be on his way out of Tottenham ever since giving a controversial interview with The Sun two years ago, only to bounce back with a strong 2018-19 campaign that ended with an appearance in the Champions League final.
However, the left-back was left out of Spurs’ pre-season trip to Asia alongside Kieran Trippier as both players were given time to arrange moves elsewhere, with Trippier since joining Atletico Madrid in a £20million deal.
And Rose could follow in his footsteps by leaving the Premier League, with The Sun suggesting PSG are leading Juventus in the chase for the England international.
While Bale’s future remains unclear, one thing is plain for all to see: Zinedine Zidane clearly does not count Bale among his plans for next season as Real Madrid aim to bounce back from a disappointing 2018-19.
As the acrimonious end to their relationship drags on, a war of words has developed between Zidane and Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett.
Due to his extortionate wages, the Chinese Super League appears the only realistic destination for Bale, but it remains to be seen whether the Welshman is ready to make such a move.
Sticking with Real Madrid, part of the thinking behind their squad overhaul this summer was that they would be able to offload the likes of Bale and Rodriguez.
That has yet to materialise, although there is no shortage of interest in the Colombian.
After spending two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, Carlo Ancelotti wants to be reunited with the attacking midfielder in a loan move to Napoli, but Real are holding out for a permanent move.
City rivals Atletico Madrid were expected to swoop in, but this week Ancelotti offered hope Rodriguez could still make his way to Naples.
“I’m not aware of a deal with Atletico,” Ancelotti told TV Luna. “We’re still talking for James, a player that I really like. I’m very attached to James, I rate him very highly and he can certainly improve our team.
“He doesn’t need to re-announce himself, he’s a great player. But he’s not the only player we’re openly negotiating for. We’re assessing many players.”
It’s an open secret that Zaha wants to join Arsenal, the team he grew up supporting. And it’s an open secret that Arsenal want to sign Zaha but can’t afford Crystal Palace’s asking price.
Interest in Zaha does not end there, however. Recent reports have linked Bayern Munich and Everton with the winger, while Borussia Dortmund were also tipped for a summer move by The Guardian earlier this year.
Icardi’s time at Inter has increasingly resembled an extremely Italian soap opera, culminating with being stripped of the captaincy and spending over a month exiled from the first team last season.
The striker was not part of Inter’s squad for their pre-season trip to Asia, with new boss Antonio Conte happy to let the Argentine leave.
Juventus and Napoli have been linked, although Inter need to secure a replacement, which leads us to…
Lukaku has never made a secret of his desire to play in Serie A. Conte has never made a secret of his admiration of Lukaku. A move to Inter appears to suit all parties, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hardly enamoured with the big Belgian.
But the two clubs remain apart in their valuation of Lukaku, which is likely to affect any potential transfer for Icardi.
It’s now been well over a month since Eriksen revealed he wants to leave Tottenham this summer, but his destination remains unclear.
Real Madrid remain besotted with Paul Pogba and, as mentioned, still have players they need to sell, while Manchester United’s interest appears to have cooled as they focus on landing a centre-back.
Atletico Madrid have been linked, but they’d seemingly prefer James Rodriguez, which means Eriksen could find himself still in north London come the start of the season – and his place in the side may no longer be as certain should Spurs manage to land Giovani Lo Celso.
Manchester United were expected to undergo a huge squad overhaul this summer as they continue their identity crisis since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
But, as things stand, only Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James have arrived at Old Trafford, while they have failed to offload any of the players that have outstayed their welcome.
They’re clearly now going all in for Maguire in an attempt to solve their issues at centre-back, but Leicester City are in no rush to sell and are holding out for a world-record fee for a defender.
The name that everyone knows and the player that everyone rates without ever having actually seen him play, Pepe is reportedly one of the most sought-after attackers in Europe after scoring 23 times in all competitions for Lille last season.
Such form has led to the 24-year-old being linked with every possible big club, with Corriere dello Sport most recently suggesting Napoli (them again) are leading the chase to sign Pepe.
In all honesty, f*ck knows.