Originally featured on TalkingTikiTaka:
Whether you’re a fan lamenting in despair at your side’s lack of achievement last season or still basking in the sunshine and success of your beloved club during the 2014/15 campaign, there is certainly no such time for reflection and reminiscing within the infrastructure of a football club. Take the likes of Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund for example who have both won two league titles since 2010 who in their respective league campaigns did everything possible to come out on top of the pile and win the league on two occasions. However as Roberto Mancini learnt after his success in 2012 with his failure to strengthen and rejuvenate areas necessary in order to challenge again after his league success in 2012, or alternatively as Jurgen Klopp experienced with losing his star players to sides in competition with Dortmund and struggling to replace the individuals with similar star performers, you simply can’t ignore the speed in which football changes; fifteen minutes of fame and then it’s over. And this is where the importance of transfers can best be seen, as without transfers and the chain reaction like movement of players aimed at strengthening a team to avoid the misfortune of the previous campaign, football wouldn’t be the sport which encapsulates us all today.
So as we the transfer window door flings open and negotiations are started and then stopped before being started again and then most likely stopped until an agreement is co-incidentally made usually on deadline day at a late hour, we turn our attention to five individuals from the Serie A on the radar of many sides throughout Europe, or if they’re not at present, I expect they certainly will have been linked with somebody come September 1st. And to your delight, our favoured five divulge away from the likes of Paul Pogba and Mateo Kovacic who are rumoured to be on the move everyday, instead looking at five other individuals who will more than likely be playing elsewhere next season. Either way, I’m confident this won’t be the last time you’ll have heard the following five names this transfer window:
1) Felipe Anderson (Lazio)
Position: Left Winger/Attacking Midfielder
Market Value: €15M
Clubs Interested: Manchester United, FC Barcelona & Chelsea
Felipe Anderson has gone from strength to strength following his move from Santos to the Serie A with Lazio back in 2013 and has been making headlines not just in Italy or his native Brazil but his influence has too been noted around Europe. With a keen eye for goal notching 13 goals in all competitions during his time at Lazio in just under 3500 minutes, the 22 year old Brazilian has quickly become of the hottest prospects in the game. And despite Lazio’s third place finish in Serie A, the lure of Champions League football may be an element his club side will struggle to compete with, especially with a number of sides extremely interested in his services from all corners of the continent. If Anderson, as we expect is to leave this Summer, Lazio will definitely profit on their original €7.8M investment in the youngster back in 2007 and reports would suggest the club value their star man at anything between €12-20M.
2) Kamil Glik (Torino)
Position: Centre Back
Market Value: €8M
Clubs Interested: Manchester City, Arsenal, Bayern Munich
Kamil Glik is a name in modern football that has been relatively unheard of and mentioned very little in the bracket of the best central defenders in the game. However in the past two seasons in particular, the Polish centre-back has been making a name for himself as one of the best defenders not just in Serie A, but if his performances in the Europa League for Torino have been anything to go by, one of the best in Europe. And with clubs scrambling to secure the best of the best in an area where the competition is high to recruit the best young centre backs, at 27 years of age Glik could perhaps be one of the very few defenders not to already have been snapped up by a Champions League team. During his time at Torino, the imposing centre-back standing tall at 6ft 3inches scored 8 goals in all competitions last season, mainly headers largely from set pieces and played 3864 minutes. Therefore don’t be surprised to see the likes of Arsenal and Bayern Munich linked with Glik this Summer as he could well be on the move.
3) Simone Zaza (Sassuolo)
Position: Centre Forward
Market Value: €11M
Clubs Interested: Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Juventus
Long on the radar of both Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur with Liverpool also rumoured to be in the running for his signature, 23 year old Italian forward Simone Zaza has said both the interest in acquiring his services makes him proud but also that it would take a great team in order to prize him away from Sassuolo. Contracted until June 2019, Sassuolo who continue to maintain their Serie A status with ease would surely only part with their star man for a figure to make it worth their while and give them the ability to strengthen much more widespread throughout the squad, and one would therefore expect them to demand more than the €11M asking price reported in the press. His statistics meanwhile prove why Zaza is such a wanted man, scoring 12 in all competitions last season in 2739 minutes for his club. Aside from Sassuolo, the Italian forward is also rated highly internationally and has represented the Italy senior squad in recent times. After over 12 to 18 months of speculation, you would think the time is right for Zaza to move on to bigger and better things but whether or not he decides to join a Juventus side looking to the future with the recruitment of both Alvaro Morata and Paolo Dybala or instead taking the plunge and joining the Premier League will become clear as the transfer window rolls on.
4) Khouma Babacar (Fiorentina)
Position: Centre Forward
Market Value: €8M
Clubs Interested: Crystal Palace, West Ham United, AC Milan
Senegalese forward Khouma Babacar is a player who can play both as a centre forward and also as a roaming right winger and such versatility has certainly caught the eye of a number of sides throughout Europe with Crystal Palace seeming the front runners for his signature. And despite problems with injuries during the 2014/15 campaign, the 22 year old forward still managed to score 9 goals in 1366 minutes, with 2 coming in the Fiorentina’s Europa League campaign. Fiorentina have reportedly had efforts to sign Babacar up to a long-term contract rebuffed by the player and his agent, making a move further afield looking increasingly likely. Babacar’s contract is due to expire in Summer 2016 so if the club are to cash in on their highly rated young forward, you would think now is the time and despite his value reported to be anything between €6-10M, given his youthful age, his goal-scoring record in the top tier of Italian football and his progression both at club and international level, Fiorentina will realistically will demand although the remaining length of his contract may impact on the final transfer fee. Regardless, the Premier League does look like his most likely destination although AC Milan and even Borussia Dortmund have been linked with the Fiorentina forward.
5) Samir Handanovic (Internazionale)
Market Value: €18M
Clubs Interested: Liverpool, Valencia, PSG
With great goalkeepers often comes great experience and an equally as great transfer fee set by the parent club and this can be applied to Slovenian shot-stopper Samir Handanovic who at 30 years of age, could still prove to be a worthwhile signing for any side with other goalkeepers playing late into their 30’s and early 40’s. At just over 6ft 3 inches, Handanovic’s contract is set to expire with Roberto Mancini’s side next Summer in 2016 so as with Babacar, we could also see Internazionale follow in Fiorentina’s footsteps and cash in whilst the time is right. And with Manchester United looking increasingly likely to lose David De Gea and Valencia’s Diego Alves ruled out with a serious knee injury, Handanovic looks the number one target for sides looking for a replacement able to compete at the highest level. But due to the lack of high-quality goalkeeping options available at present, interested clubs will be required to pay anywhere between €15-20M in order to tempt the Samir Handanovic away Internazionale.