As another dramatic season draws to a conclusion, we now turn our attention to what promises to be a busy summer of transfer activity. The top three clubs in England will be starting the season under new management, an unprecedented scenario which is sure to provide plenty of deals as the new decision-makers look to stamp their mark on their new teams. There are also major stars who could be moving on this summer for huge wages as team's look to make one final splash before the constraints of FIFA's new 'Financial Fair Play' are put in place.
Here are Eleven names to keep an eye on over the summer months with most expected to be making moves for ludicrous amounts of money:
1. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur):
- Interested Clubs: Manchester United, A.C Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid.
- Fee: £40-50 million.
Arsenal Transfer News: Arsene Wenger Continues Project Youth By Signing Auxerre And FC Barcelona Youngsters
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is continuing to build through youth, as he prepares to sign Auxerre youth Yaya Sanogo and FC Barcelona academy prospect Josimar Quintero.
Despite rumors of a sizeable transfer kitty and links to several high-profile stars, Wenger is adhering to his faith in developing youngsters. That policy, dubbed "project youth" by its critics, has delighted and infuriated Gunners supporters in equal measure.
When it works, as in the cases of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, it is heartily endorsed by Arsenal fans. It is seen as the hallmark of Wenger's genius in the transfer market and the field of player development.
When it fails, as in the cases of Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson, Wenger's belief in building through youth is targeted as the main reason for Arsenal's prolonged trophy drought.
Many believe it is next to impossible for Arsenal to credibly contend for the major prizes, with Wenger's young fledglings competing against established starts at other clubs.
Arsenal`s and Arsene Wenger`s first signing of the summer transfer window will be the France U-21 International Yaya Sanogo from French Ligue 1 club, Auxerre. Wenger has stated today that talks are at an advanced stage and he expects the deal to be the first of a number of signings this summer. It has been suggested that without the millstone of debt from the new stadium around their necks, the Arsenal board have sanctioned spending of around £100m to update the current squad.
Wenger was also asked about speculation surrounding a bid for Wayne Rooney, The Manchester United striker, however, Wenger replied:-
"That is not even a question at the moment. We have not gone into that. At the moment we have no interest in anybody, we have only one interest and that is of course Sunday's game."
Of course there is a bit of tension at the Emirates with their final match of the season away at Newcastle, with their manager already saying that his team will be full strength and playing to win, to protect the integrity of the clubs reputation.
On Wednesday night in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Chelsea became UEFA Europa League champions after beating Benefica 2-1 with a spectacular second goal in the 93th-minute of extra-time.
The Europa League is a second-tier tournament, and for most of last night's match it lived up to that distinction. The match was not well attended neither. Leading up to the championship match, the UEFA governing body made it difficult to get tickets. However, there were a lot of empty seats at Amsterdam ArenA; needless to say, and the game wasn't very exciting as both teams seemed to be going through the motions. Throughout the match Chelsea looked disorganized and tired; Benefica on the other hand looked like the side that wanted it more (obvious from the half dozen chances they had) but it was not meant to be.
Fernando Torres scored the first goal of the match on a miscue when Juan Mata failed to control a ball thrown to him by the goalkeeper. Nine minutes later, Benefica equalized off a penalty kick by Cardozo. Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic scored the winning goal with a header late in the 93rd-minute of extra-time.
In the end, it was an absolute demolition job.
The Memphis Grizzlies continued their fairytale post-season by destroying the Western Conference favourites, the Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1 to advance into the Conference finals. The 88-84 victory to ensure their advancement was typical of the gritty determination they have shown throughout the season. Now, the team who had recorded just one Playoff series win in their history until this season, has a real chance of winning the West and quite possibly an NBA Championship.
They have never claimed to be the most popular or fashionable team that's ever graced a court. They are tough, workmanlike and work very well as a unit. These traits might not get you the Nationally televised games or the endorsement deals, but it does bring you success. It may have taken some time, but Memphis are now reaping the rewards for sticking to their principles and are finally getting the praise their performances have deserved for some time.