Though the winter transfer window just passed and the summer window is still months down the road, that hasn’t stopped the chatter of players potentially being on the move.
Across the world of football, there remains plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.
Here, we look at five potential transfer candidates that could be heading elsewhere when the market reopens in June.
Chelsea and Real Madrid are leading the chase for Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, according to Bleacher Report.
The Poland international has seen transfer talk mount of late, with heavyweight sides across Europe eager to bring a prolific frontman onto their books.
The 29-year-old is reportedly open to the idea of moving this summer if the right option present itself. The former Borussia Dortmund frontman may see this as his final chance to make a major move and is said to have made Real his preferred destination if he does leave the Allianz Arena.
Lewandowski boasts a stunning record with Bundesliga giants Bayern, scoring 139 goals in 181 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Anthony Martial could be offloaded by Manchester United in an effort to free up the funds required to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, claims the Express.
The Red Devils believe they can lure the five-time Ballon d’Or winner away from Real Madrid for €200m, but they’ll need to sell to raise the money and create space in their squad. That could lead to Martial being shown the exit, with the France international having slipped in and out of the United side under Jose Mourinho.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has refused to discuss being linked with Paris Saint-Germain.
With Unai Emery expected to be relieved of his duties by PSG after their Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Real Madrid this week, Simeone is reportedly a contender to take over.
But after his team put a foot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 3-0 home defeat of Lokomotiv Moscow on Thursday, Simeone indicated he is fully focused on Atletico.
While the 23-year old is being targeted by Inter, where he had spent two-and-a-half-seasons before moving to the Spanish giants, AC Milan and Roma are also keeping an eye on him.
The Croatian international hasn’t had much playing time under his belt this season as Real boss Zinedine Zidane persists with Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro in midfield.
Therefore the Italian media probed him on whether he’d be open to a move back to Italy after impressing for Real in the victory over PSG – and Kovacic did not rule out a switch.
“I don’t know, it’s difficult to talk about going back to Milan right now. I loved Italy and Milan. You never know,” he said.
“It’s tough being on the bench, but I’m ready for every game. Today I played, and we won.”
With doubts over Arsene Wenger’s future at Arsenal continuing to mount, Joachim Low appears to be the first choice to takeover the manager’s spot this summer, The Sun reports. It is thought the Gunners’ recent bad run of form could see an end to Wenger’s 22-year reign, with the German coach said to be ready to consider an offer after the World Cup. Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers are also said to be among the favourites if Wenger is ousted at the end of the season.
Emre Can will not be making a decision on his future until the end of the season, the Daily Express says. The Liverpool midfielder is out of contract at the end of the current campaign, but the paper reports he said after the 0-0 draw against Porto that his agent has “blocked all negotiations” while he focuses on this season. Juventus are said to be interested in the 24-year-old if he becomes available on a free transfer.
Alan Pardew appears to have been offered a lifeline at West Brom after defeats at Huddersfield and Watford left a question mark hanging over his future at the club. The Daily Mail says the club hierarchy have ruled out a change at the top so close to the end of the season, with Pardew deemed the most suitable fit to tackle a possible looming relegation. The Baggies are eight points adrift of safety with nine games remaining.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: The Everton forward could be called up to the England team ahead of the World Cup, the Daily Mirror says. England are facing friendlies with Holland and Italy this month and Gareth Southgate is said to be considering the 20-year-old for a place in the squad after gaining experience in the Under-20 and Under-21 squads.
Iker Casillas: Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas is on the radar of Newcastle for a free transfer this summer, according to the Newcastle Chronicle. The 36-year-old was tipped for a move to St James’ Park in the January transfer window but with Rafa Benitez said to want to bolster his goalkeeper options, the Magpies look set once again to make Casillas one of their key targets at the end of the season.