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.
The PFA player of the year will no doubt have club's wanting to break the bank for his services after a sensational season that has seen the Welshman emerge as one of the World's finest talents. He has recently stated his desire to remain at Spurs but if they fail to reach the Champions League, that could change. Bale will want to test his skills at the highest level possible and if Spurs are unable to offer him this then it could lead to a move. Real Madrid and Barcelona are the most likely destinations, both are smitten with the winger and are ready to make him their number one priority should he become available. They would be an attractive proposition for any player, two of the top three global brands in World football and any offer would be lucrative and almost impossible to turn down. A fee close to £50 million is what it would probably take to make Spurs part with their prized possession, money well spent if Bale continues his meteoric rise to stardom.
2. Edinson Cavani (Napoli):
- Interested Clubs: Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus.
- Fee: £35-40 million.
Cavani has been one of the World's hottest properties for some time now and another superb season from the Uruguayan will once again have Europe's top clubs vying for his signature. Napoli have so far resisted any advances for their Striker but this window could be the one that sees Cavani move on. The club don't have the financial backing to satisfy Cavani's ambitions and a fee of £40 million would be too good to turn down. Chelsea are in pole position for his signature and with Abramovich set to give the new Manager a war-chest to get the club challenging for the Title again. Cavani would provide the firepower Chelsea have been sorely missing at times this season. Despite all the criticism Fernando Torres is still over the 20-goal mark for the season but ideally Chelsea would be looking for a more consistent Striker to lead the line, Cavani could be the answer to their prayers.
3. Falcao (Athletico Madrid):
- Interested Clubs: Bayern Munich, Monaco, Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus.
- Fee: £45-50 million.
It could be argued that Falcao is the hottest property in World football at the present moment. He is a goal-machine who has been unplayable over the last two seasons and would walk into any team on the globe in his present form. There will be an endless queue of football superpowers knocking at Athletico's door to try and tempt them to part ways with the in-form Colombian. Manchester City have made no secret of their desire to acquire Falcao and they have the money to make the deal happen. However, Falcao is set to favor a move to Italy, where Champions Juventus reportedly willing to make him one of their highest paid players. Whoever gets their hands on Falcao, they are guaranteed 25 goals a season and possibly more for a fee in the region of £45 million.
4. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United):
- Interested Clubs: Newcastle United, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea.
- Fee: £25 million.
Before Sir Alex Ferguson rode off into the sunset, he confirmed the reports that Wayne Rooney had asked to leave the club via an official transfer request. Ferguson had refused the request and instructed Rooney to have a think over the summer about his future. The thing is, it is no longer Ferguson's decision to make. It will be David Moyes who decides if Rooney is worth keeping. His performances have been woefully under-par this season and he has been visibly unhappy at being played out of position. The fans have also run out of patience with Rooney's petulence and if the right offer comes in they would not be saddened to see him leave. Newcastle are understood to be making an audacious bid for Rooney, but they may not be ambitious enough for a player used to playing in the Champions League every season. PSG and Munich are also said to be keen, with the £25 million asking price unlikely to put off either club. Rooney may yet stay at United after a good think over the summer. Many have left Old Trafford in haste before him and lived to regret it. The grass is not always greener and any club would be a step down from one of the biggest clubs in World Football.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid):
- Interested Clubs: Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea.
- Fee: £70 million.
If one of the top two players in the World is available this summer, it will not be on the cheap. Madrid signed Ronaldo for a World record £80 million from United and they will be looking to recoup most of that fee if Ronaldo has had enough at the Bernabeu. There was talk of an emotional return to Manchester United but with the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo's mentor at United, that move has now been put in jeopardy. There is also the matter of the fee and whether United's owners, the Glazer's, would be willing to commit so much money to the player when the club's debts are so high. Ronaldo will have other options, with Paris Saint-Germain likely to throw their bottomless pit of money at the Portuguese superstar to see if he can be persuaded to play in the French capital. An outside bet would be Chelsea, that is if Jose Mourinho returns to his former club. Teaming him with Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata will no doubt strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the Premier League. Ronaldo may find the prospect of playing for his current Manager at Madrid in a new environment too good to turn down and is now favourite with most Bookmakers to end up in South London.
6. Isco (Malaga CF):
- Interested Clubs: Manchester City, Athletico Madrid, Chelsea.
- Fee: £17 million.
Malaga's precarious financial position is no secret, with the club close to ruin they look to have no alternative than to sell their most talented player. It happened last summer too, with play-maker Santi Cazorla sold to Arsenal in a cut-price deal. Isco has the potential to be even better than Cazorla and a reported £17 million release clause is hardly likely to deter possible suitors. With current Malaga supremo Manuel Pellegrini set to become the Manager of Manchester City at the end of the season, it is believed Isco will possibly follow him to Manchester. Pairing him with fellow Spaniard David Silva would provide endless chances for the City strikers as they look to get the Title back from United's grasp. One of the finest prospects Europe has to offer, Isco will quickly become a fans favorite wherever he is plying his trade next season.
7. Robert Lewandowski (Dortmund):
- Interested Clubs: Bayern Munich, Manchester United.
- Fee: £15-25 million.
When a club like Borussia Dortmund is as successful as it's been this season, the larger clubs around Europe are bound to come sniffing round their assets. They have already agreed a deal to sell Mario Gotze to rivals Bayern Munich for £31.3 million and their star striker could be next in line for a big-money-move to one of Europe's elite. This is not a slight on Dortmund, this is the way they have done business for years. They invest heavily in youth development and sell them on to the highest bidder to ensure the club's stability is secure. Lewandowski's exploits in the Champions League alone are sure to command a hefty price tag and Bayern are believed to be in advanced negotiations with Dortmund to snatch another key player from their lineup. Manchester United have been key admirers of the Pole for some time now and they are likely to come in with a tantalizing offer over the summer. They will have to be quick, Lewandowski won't be hanging around on the market for long, not if the officials at FC Bayern have their way.
8. Luis Suarez (Liverpool):
- Interested Clubs: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Barcelona.
- Fee: £40 million.
This would be a nightmare scenario for every Liverpool fan. Suarez is the only genuine World-Class player they have at their disposal and it would be lunacy to sell him. On the other hand, Suarez may want an escape route from Anfield given all the controversy that has surrounded him during his time in England. He is currently in the midst of a ten-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic on the arm and it could be one incident too far for Suarez. The brother of new Bayern Munich boss, Pep Guardiola, just so happens to be Suarez's agent and this is sure to smooth negotiations should the Spaniard wish to add Suarez to his ranks. After another stellar season littered with controversy, the transfer could be the best situation for all parties. It will be one of the storylines to follow, there is no doubt about it.
9. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City):
- Interested Clubs: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Juventus.
- Fee: £45-50 million.
If recent reports are to be believed Aguero is extremely disillusioned with life at City and is seeking a transfer. Roberto Mancini was unceremoniously removed as Manager and Aguero is said to be unhappy at the direction the club is going in. These rumours may be false, every Man City fan will hope that is the case. Aguero has been the catalyst for everything good that has happened to the Club over the last 2 seasons, culminating in his stoppage time winner against QPR on the last day of the season to clinch City's first title in 44 years. Aguero would be almost irreplaceable to City, who are already short along their forward line following the sale of Mario Balotelli to A.C Milan in January. One thing is certain, Aguero would not come cheap. He was signed for £38 million from Athletico Madrid and his stunning form whilst in the Sky Blue shirt of City will only have elevated his value further. City will also be reluctant to sell to any of their Champions League rivals but realistically they are the only one's that would be able to afford the astronomical fee that Aguero would command. It is the job of the City management to sign the right kind of players during the summer to convince Aguero that his future lies in Manchester.
10. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa):
- Interested Clubs: Dortmund, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur.
- Fee: £15-20 million.
When Benteke arrived from Genk for £7 million in the Summer he was a relative unknown in the game. The towering striker was seen by many as a work in progress. Foreign players with little experience tend to take their time settling in and at 22 years of age there wasn't a great deal of pressure to deliver. However, sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and this was the case with Benteke, who has been nothing short of sensational this season, scoring 19 league goals. His series of vital goals at crucial stages of the season are the reason Aston Villa are still in the Premier League. They would have been certainties for the drop had it not been for the Belgium International's tremendous form. He has carried them at times this season and his performances will no doubt have caught the eye of some of top clubs around Europe. Reports suggest Dortmund could be ready to make a move for Benteke as a replacement for Lewandowski, who looks certain to leave during this window. Benteke is fully aware of the interest being shown in him and is looking for a substantial pay increase to keep him at the club. He currently earns £20,000 per week, much lower than the biggest earners at the club and that will have to change if they have any chance of holding onto their prized asset. Benteke can expect to earn up to £80,000 a week next season as Villa look to hold onto one of their only positives from the season.
11. Marouane Fellaini (Everton):
- Interested Clubs: Chelsea, Manchester United, Monaco.
- Fee: £30 million.
There has been speculation for a couple of years now on the future of Fellaini and his performances this season will no doubt have teams seriously considering making an offer for his services. David Moyes, the man who brought Fellaini to Everton, is sure to be at the head of the queue for him should he express a desire to leave. Fellaini has been a driving force behind another successful season for the Toffee's and even though his form has dipped slightly towards the end of the season, he can still be proud of the majority of his efforts this season. There is a thought on Merseyside that with Moyes gone, a few stars could follow him out of the door to seek new challenges and Fellaini seems to be at the head of the list. A fee of around £30 million would be required and no Evertonian would grumble if that was the fee received. This would give whoever the new Manager is significant funds to strengthen a team that have been on the verge of European Qualification for a number of years now.
Dean Jones: Follow me on Twitter @DeanJones_