Never far from the headlines, we have to start this article with Neymar. The Brazilian only moved to PSG last summer, in a world record breaking €222m move from Barcelona. However, he has never seemed settled in Ligue 1 and despite a disappointing World Cup that resulted in only two goals and a run to the quarter-finals, Real Madrid could be interested. Considering Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus, Neymar could be the marquee signing Los Blancos want.
Another star player before the World Cup, Hazard leaves Russia with his reputation enhanced. He led Belgium to third place, the country’s best ever finish. He also scored three times and registered two assists. His current club Chelsea have failed to make it to the Champions League for the second season since he arrived in West London and a player of his calibre needs more. He provides a cheaper option for Real than Neymar, but they could face competition from rivals Barcelona.
One of Croatia’s standout players, Perisic played a huge part in his country reaching the final of the World Cup. He scored three goals in Russia, including equalisers in the semi-final against England and in the final against France. Jose Mourinho was credited with an interest in the 29 year-old last summer and it would surprise no one if he finally moved to Manchester United this year.
Perhaps a lesser-known entity before the World Cup, Mexican winger Lozano has been amongst the rumours ever since a blistering display against Germany in their opening fixture. The PSV player scored the winner in that game and provided an assist in Mexico’s second win of the tournament against South Korea. Barca were the first club to be mentioned, but the latest news is that Tottenham want to bring him to the Premier League.
Three seasons ago Kante was playing for Caen in Ligue 1, having helped them to promotion from the second tier. He is now regarded as the best defensive midfielder on the planet and can admire a trophy cabinet that has a World Cup sat next to two Premier League titles and an FA Cup. Again, Barcelona have been linked with him. Whether they will spend big on a tackler is yet to be seen.
At Euro 2016, Russia were a total disappointment. At their own World Cup, they were fantastic. Leading the charge was winger Cheryshev, who netted four times in five games. The Villarreal man looks destined for bigger things and it is Liverpool who are credited with the most interest.
You simply can’t be a big player in the Bundesliga and not be on Bayern Munich’s radar. Pavard, at the tender age of 22, is a World Cup champion. With six appearances at the finals, he played an important role, despite a shaky start against Australia. Deployed as a right back by France but as a centre back for Stuttgart, it is no surprise his versatility has got the big clubs excited. Bayern look the likely winners of his signature, but Spurs are again interested.