June 14th signalled the opening of the domestic transfer window for clubs in England and Scotland, and with the international window set to open Saturday, July 1, the entire footballing world is already in a frenzy. As anyone would expect, the rumours are already flying around, and this year, there’s an even bigger character in the mix, Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s involvement in European football transfers has grown increasingly in recent years. In 2020, it was announced that a consortium led by Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund had reached an agreement to purchase an 80% stake in English side Newcastle. In the years to come, they’ll make more strategic moves, with a major one being the signing of world-renowned star Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi giants Al Nassr.
But while the Saudis might have taken up much of the headlines in recent times, we’ve had some other amazing turn of events. From Jude Bellingham’s Madrid turnaround to Lionel Messi’s transfer saga, this past month has been pure entertainment. Luckily, there’s more to come, and this time, we want to make sure you’re prepared. Here are some of this summer’s hottest and most anticipated transfers. So relax, put on some cool casino music, and enjoy reading the article.
The Future of Kylian Mbappe
A World Cup winner at 19, Kylian Mbappé was always destined for the spotlight. He moved to PSG from Monaco in 2018 for a club-record fee of £163 million and has gone on to dominate French football, winning 5 Ligue 1 titles in his six years with the Parisians. But despite his successful stint at the club, his time there has been marred with several reports of unhappiness.
In 2022, he was involved in a heavily publicised transfer saga with Spanish giants Real Madrid. The French star had been linked to Madrid and was expected to sign for the club at the end of his contract. However, in a somewhat surprising move, he renewed his contract with the Parisians for three years with an option to extend for a year.
Now, another saga has developed after the star sent a formal letter to the club confirming that he won’t be extending his contract beyond the 2024 season. PSG has expressed shock at this move and has indicated that they have no intention of letting him leave for free next year, meaning he’ll have to be sold this summer.
This has placed a huge question mark on Mbappe’s future. Where is he going next? This is especially tough, seeing as PSG would expect a world-record fee for him. Will Real Madrid finally land their dream star? Will he make a move to the Premier League amidst rumoured interest from Boehly-led Chelsea? Or will he sign for German giants Bayern Munich and become the new face of the club? We’ll have to wait and see!
Rice on the Rise: The Most Expensive English Player Ever?
Since his professional debut in 2019, Declan Rice has been the subject of numerous transfer speculations, mainly from English sides. He was heavily linked with Chelsea under the management of Frank Lampard, but there were no bids. Now, it has been confirmed that the English star is finally set to leave West Ham, and it might make him one of the most expensive English players in history. So who’s going for him?
Currently, Arsenal and Bayern Munich are in pole position to sign the UEFA Conference League winner, with Arsenal currently leading due to his preference to remain in England and London. However, there are reports of other English clubs snooping around, so this might be an interesting story to follow.
Kai Havertz: In Demand Again
Kai Havertz’s stint at Bayer Leverkusen placed him on the world radar, with many dubbing him a generational talent and the next Mesut Ozil. After proposals from multiple top European teams, he signed for Chelsea in the 2020 summer transfer window for a club-record fee at the time. His time at Chelsea has been met with mixed reactions.
The German scored the winning goal in the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final, leading Chelsea to their second title, and repeated the feat months later in the Club World Cup. However, his career has been met with multiple long patches of mediocrity, creating uncertainties around his future. With Chelsea overdue a clear out after mass spending in the past two windows, Havertz finds himself among the players the London club is willing to let go.
The youngster has so far generated interest from top clubs, with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid showing interest, and the player is also keen to leave. Just recently, multiple reports revealed that Arsenal was planning a massive bid for the star, so this might be one to watch out for.
Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan: Time for a Change?
Manchester City just completed the famous treble, becoming only the second English club in history to achieve this feat. It might sound strange that any player would want to leave, given that the Cityzens are currently at the peak of club football. However, change is constant, and certain players are already linked with a move away.
Club captain IIkay Gundogan’s contract expires this summer amidst heavy links to Barcelona. Arsenal is also keen on the experienced midfielder, while Man City is also fighting for a renewal. Gundogan’s camp has confirmed that it might be a busy summer for the 32-year-old and that he’ll consider all available options carefully before making a decision.
Bernardo Silva is another City midfielder linked with a move away from the club, with Barcelona once again showing firm interest. PSG is also highly interested in the Portuguese star, with other top European teams keeping tabs.
Mason Mount: Test of Loyalty
Chelsea’s contract negotiations with Mason Mount have been going on for months, but neither party has reached any reasonable agreement. With only a year left in the English international’s contract, the club is open to letting him go for a good fee. So far, the Champions League winner has generated lots of interest, especially from clubs in England. Manchester United recently had a £40 million bid rejected, and Arsenal and Newcastle are said to be monitoring the situation.
Other Transfer Moves to Monitor
Here are some other transfer speculations expected to rock the summer transfer window:
- Romelu Lukaku saga: Another Inter loan deal? Renewed partnership with Chelsea under Mauricio Pochettino or a switch to Saudi?
- Is Harry Kane going to finally leave Spurs?
- Mateo Kovacic switch to the Premier League champions
- Andre Onana, David Raya, and David De Gea’s future amid a goalkeeping frenzy
- The future of Brazilian wonderkid, Vitor Roque.
The Bottom Line
The summer transfer window is always an exciting time for football fans as they get to follow updates about their favourite players and teams. The 2023 summer window is set to be even more intense than ever, with the Saudis now snooping around and picking up the best stars. Here, we covered the most anticipated transfers and the bubbling ones you should keep an eye on.