On the up: Seven players who could be set to join big clubs this summer

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Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have been heavily linked with deals for somewhat less heralded players.

Last summer Liverpool supporters could be excused for being slightly underwhelmed with the signing of Andrew Robertson, who had just been relegated with Hull City.

The left-back, however, has been a revelation in recent months, and we’ve taken a look at seven players who could be heading for moves to bigger clubs this summer.

George Hirst

The son of Sheffield Wednesday legend David, Hirst is expected to move on to bigger and better things this summer despite failing to make a single first-team appearance for the Owls this term.

Hirst has seemingly been punished for rejecting a new contract at Hillsbrough last season amid interest from a host of clubs.

With the 19-year-old’s deal set to end this summer, the striker is weighing up an offer from Manchester United.

“It’s a decision George will have to make himself,” Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay said. “I think it’s really difficult when a club as big as Manchester United has an interest in him to say no.”

Federico Chiesa

Italy may be licking their wounds after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but Chiesa is one of the players who gives them hope for the future.

The 19-year-old is following in his father Enrico’s footsteps by representing Fiorentina and Italy, with his performances apparently catching the eye of Juventus, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Fiorentina boss Stefano Piolo admits he doesn’t know if the winger will still be at the club after the summer, which suggests he expects some of the big boys to come fishing.

James Maddison

In November, Norwich City chairman Ed Balls warned that if the club don’t win promotion this season, the club face “big financial challenges”. As things stand, the Canaries are heading for a mid-table finish as they sit 12th in the Championship.

That is likely to mean Maddison, the club’s most exciting player this season, could be on his way to the Premier League, with Tottenham and Leicester reported to be interested.

One goal in particular from the 21-year-old this season made our Tom Victor extremely giddy.

READ: James Maddison, a nutmeg and a finish which explains all the excitement

Fred

Nope, not that lumbering striker who bore the brunt for Brazil’s performances at the 2014 World Cup, but rather the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder who is currently being mentored by former Arsenal man Gilberto Silva.

“Fred will leave in July, if he does not go to Manchester City, he will go to Manchester United,” Shakhtar CEO Sergei Palkin told Corriere dello Sport in March, which is pretty conclusive.

Kenedy

You can understand if any Chelsea fans are feeling a little frustrated that Kenedy has not had much of a look in at Stamford Bridge since joining from Fluminense three years ago, making just 15 Premier League appearances.

Admittedly, the Brazilian’s attitude has come under question over the past 12 months, being sent home from Chelsea’s pre-season tour of China for two offensive posts on Instagram, while he also fell foul of Antonio Conte after yawning his way through a team meeting.

But the 22-year-old has starred since joining Newcastle on loan, scoring twice in the win over Southampton and providing crucial assists against Burnley and Huddersfield. We’re also particular fond of his taste for elasticos.

According to Sky Sports, his form for the Magpies has caught the eye of PSG and Bayern Munich, meaning he could earn himself a big move even if he finds first-team opportunities hard to come by back at Chelsea.

Jonny Evans

Despite being tipped to one day become Manchester United’s captain, Evans has had to take a step backwards in order to become regarded as one of the Premier League’s best defenders.

The Northern Ireland has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City and Arsenal in the previous two transfer windows and, despite West Brom’s dismal campaign, is now being lined up by Tottenham.

Arsenal are said to have offered £12million for Evans in January, with West Brom holding out for £25million, but the 30-year-old could leave the Hawthorns for as little as £3million in the summer due to a relegation release clause.

READ: Revisiting Premier League fans’ 2011 predictions of their next captains

Jean Michael Seri

Last summer Seri was on the verge of a dream move to Barcelona, having agreed personal terms with the Catalan giants, who were in negotiations with Nice over a fee for the talented midfielder, only for the transfer to suddenly break down.

“My dream was to play for Barcelona, but that’s been taken away from me – and it feels terrible,” the 26-year-old said.

Seri has recovered from his heartbreak to continue to display his class in Nice’s midfield, attracting attention from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Xavi, meanwhile, has spoken of his desire to see Barcelona rekindle a deal for the Ivory Coast international, telling Le Parisien: “He would do so well at Barca. He can play anywhere in the middle. He is fantastic. He has what they call the Barca DNA.

“I’m not used to seeing such talent in midfield any more. The short game, long game, tactical intelligence, long-range shooting, personality, organisation of the play…”


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