For five top players, there is no need for skullduggery and secret phone calls as they are now free to negotiate a free passage to their next club
Current club: Arsenal
Market value: €65 million
Perfect for: Inter, Manchester City, Bayern Munich
A premise is needed: any club in the world would benefit from someone like Alexis, and Arsenal should do everything needed to hold on to him. But something seems to have broken in the relationship between the Chilean striker and the Gunners, and he is likely to leave.
A combination of determination and quality, Sanchez is one of the best attacking players out there. Age is still on his side, despite already having the experience of having played for Barcelona and Arsenal. A return to Serie A could put him at the centre of attention (Inter need just this kind of player), and also the likes of Manchester City or Tottenham could do with his added quality, just like Bayern Munich, who need to rejuvenate their attack.
Current club: Liverpool
Market value: €22 million
Perfect for: Arsenal, Juventus, Barcelona
A box to box, modern, all round midfielder. A mix of defensive ability and attacking skill. Still very young, Can has been an integral part of Liverpool for a while now, becoming one of the most promising players in the world.
A team that desperately needs this kind of figure in midfield is Arsenal (and, oh wait, Liverpool…), whose midfield has been the Achilles’ heel ever since Patrick Vieira left. That’s over a decade ago. If Can was to switch leagues, the German could use his physical strength to dominate both in Serie A and La Liga. Juventus were after him and still are, Barcelona could do with another solid player in the middle, to add to the rotation.
Current club: Manchester United
Market value: €30 million
Perfect for: Tottenham, Bayern, AC Milan, Roma, Napoli
Inconsistent throughout his career, that’s for sure, but few players have had his technique over the past decade. Champions League winner in 2012, World Cup winner in 2010, Mata needs a new scene where he can have more space then at United.
Tottenham could benefit from more quality in the squad, as well as Bayern Munich with some of the best players now aging. His quality could prove to be an asset also in La Liga or for a Serie A club: AC Milan would be desperate for it, whilst he would bring goals and experience to a side like Roma or Napoli.
— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) January 1, 2018
Stefan De Vrij
Current club: Lazio
Market value: €35 million
Perfect for: Inter, Manchester United, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid
Now consistently one of the best centre backs in Serie A, last year’s injury slowed down the Dutchman’s growth, but at 25 De Vrij is close to full footballing maturity. With clubs ready to spend over €80 million for a centre back, getting one like this for free would be a true steal.
The lack of great defenders in the world makes De Vrij one of the most interesting ones on the market, even if he is to sign a new deal at Lazio. Inter have been after him and definitely need another stopper, Manchester United would hugely benefit, and even Manchester City, as he has proved to be good with his feet too. Atletico Madrid are another side who could do with his defensive consistency.
Current club: Schalke 04
Market value: €40 million
Perfect for: Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Inter
Still very young, but in the Confederations Cup the midfielder showed the world what he’s worth. Yet another fantastic product of the German youth system, combining versatility, energy, strength and pure technique like few others in the centre of the park.
Anyone could benefit from having a Goretzka in the squad, but some would need the German more. Liverpool – linked with him – would fill a void in midfield, the same with Arsenal, at Tottenham he could lift the level of the team, and Inter would place the missing player in the hole behind the centre forward.