The club football has finished for now but with column inches to fill, it’s time to start the transfer speculation ahead of a busy summer. Business has already started in some areas but the biggest deals are yet to come.
So just who will be on the radar and shopping lists of the top sides when the window opens on July 1st?
Over at Spurs, Chairman Daniel Levy has been urged to back manager Mauricio Pochettino by giving him the players he wants for 2015-16. The club need a striker and with Christian Benteke seeking a move after three seasons at struggling Aston Villa, this could be a perfect fit.
The problem for Tottenham, and for other clubs outside of the top four places is that the player himself has expressed a desire to play in the Champions League. When you look at the gossip columns however, the majority of links are with Spurs and Liverpool so it may be that Benteke has to set his sights a little lower for now.
The likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs are more likely to consider a player who has already proved himself at the highest level. Benzema certainly falls into that category and after joining Real Madrid back in 2009, the Frenchman has averaged better than a goal a game in La Liga.
Manchester United are the most widely linked and there are definite striking issues for manager Louis Van Gaal to address. With Robin Van Persie continuing to struggle with injury and Radamel Falcao unlikely to return following an unproductive loan spell, Benzema to Old Trafford could be the most logical move.
Bale has declared himself happy in Spain but Real Madrid’s owners are not renowned for their patience and may be prepared to ditch the Welshman if the right offer comes along. The player’s first season in Spain delivered trophies and a goal in the Champions League final but the La Liga giants set high standards and a widely criticised display against Juventus could be the catalyst for a move.
Manchester United are in a position to meet a lofty, £80m fee but it may mean that custodian David De Gea moves in the opposite direction. Having taken so long to find a settled and reliable keeper, is it really worth losing one of the club’s best assets?
After two potential departures we come to a player who, if you believe the newspapers, could be Real Madrid bound. Raheem Sterling’s season has been dogged my so much controversy – Shisha Pipes, Contract refusals – that we’ve forgotten about his bout of tiredness while on England duty.
On the pitch, the youngster was brilliant at times during a mixed campaign for his Liverpool side and there would be no shortage of potential Premier League suitors but could his newly acquired unpopularity among English fans lead to a move abroad?
It’s rare for a goalkeeper of Cech’s quality to become available and perhaps that’s why Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wants him to stay at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal and Manchester United could be among the teams in need of a new stopper and the 33 year old is a prize asset.
Cech has been with his present employers since 2004 and as such, would not need the kind of settling in period that overseas goalkeepers occasionally plead for. Strikers may get the glory but in a busy summer, this may be the most important purchase of them all.