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Modric to Chelsea? Baines to Man United?

ESPN staff
July 6, 2012
Luka Modric looks set to turn his back on Spurs © PA Photos

Robin van Persie's decision not to commit his future to Arsenal has paved the way for a big-money move, although maybe not as big as the Gunners would like bearing in mind he is in the last year of his contract. As the prolific Dutchman mulls over his future, we look at 10 other potential transfers this summer...

Luka Modric
Tottenham are bracing themselves for Modric's departure after the Croatian was quoted as saying in Spanish newspaper Marca: "I'm going to play in the Champions League, I want to win that competition. I'm not going to be able to achieve my dream here." Chelsea hunted Modric's signature throughout the summer last year, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy standing firm and repelling their advances. The Blues had three bids turned down, including one of £40 million as deadline day approached, and the diminutive midfielder stayed put. The Blues may have missed their chance - Spain now looks the likely destination for the 26-year-old, according to friend and former Croatia team-mate Mate Bilic. He said: "He wants to play in the Spanish league. He loves the Premier League but he wants to play in Spain. He's very close to agreeing a move." Widespread reports suggest the player's agent has met with Real Madrid, although Spurs' valuation (nearer the £50m mark) of the player could prove a stumbling block in any potential negotiations.

Adam Johnson
When Johnson manages to force his way into Manchester City's starting line-up he usually delivers. The problem for the ex-Middlesbrough man is that he rarely gets the chance to show what he can do. Cutting in off the right wing, Johnson has shown he carries a major threat and he isn't afraid to have a crack from distance and, at 24, Johnson is nowhere near his peak. He is by no means the finished article but if either Sunderland or Liverpool - who are both reportedly interested in the England man - offer him a way out of the Etihad Stadium then don't be surprised to see him terrorising defenders on a more regular basis.

Dimitar Berbatov
The Berbatov saga at Old Trafford could be heading for an ugly conclusion. The 31-year-old featured in just 21 games in all competitions last term, leading to the Bulgarian stating in May he feels his time at Old Trafford is "running out" and that he no longer feels valued at the club he exited Tottenham for in 2008. Turkish giants Galatasaray have confirmed their interest in the former Spurs forward but the man himself is keen to see out the last year of his United contract so he doesn't have to take a pay cut. If Galatasaray want the unhappy striker then they may have to dig a little deeper into their pockets than they had wanted to, although they'll be hoping the offer of regular football will prove tempting enough for Berbatov to lower his wage demands.

Leighton Baines
He may not have made an appearance during England's Euro 2012 campaign, but that hasn't stopped the Everton defender being heavily linked with a move to Manchester United. The highly-rated left-back recently indicated he would be willing to stay at Goodison Park when telling the Independent: "It would be nice to see us hang on to players and add a couple." However, with Fabio da Silva going to QPR on a season-long loan, Sir Alex Ferguson looks certain to draft in cover for the ageing Patrice Evra and Baines admits the speculation has caused a stir. He said in the Daily Mail: "I've been aware of what's been said in the press but I don't know much beyond that. It doesn't do any harm [to be linked] but it doesn't do any good either. It's just one of those things that tends to swing around this time of year. People put two and two together sometimes they get four and sometimes they get three or five. It gets other people more excited than those involved."

Is Leighton Baines on his way to Old Trafford? © Getty Images

Chelsea have long been linked with a move for the highly sought-after Porto striker, with Andre Villas-Boas failing to bring him with him when he took the reins at Stamford Bridge. A £38 million deal for the Brazilian international, whose contract with Porto expires in 2014, had reportedly been struck at the end of May, with only personal terms to be thrashed out. However that proved to be somewhat premature, with mega-rich French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain joining the race for his services. Chelsea may struggle to push through a deal because there is confusion over who should pay his agent for his five per cent stake in the player, while Uruguayan club Atletico Rentistas own 10 per cent. There is still hope for Blues fans, however, after Hulk declared he would favour a move to Stamford Bridge over PSG. He said: "Chelsea are the current European champions and would please any player and I'm no exception. I'd be happy if the transfer happened."

Luuk de Jong
FC Twente manager Steve McLaren has warned it will take an offer the Eredivisie club "cannot refuse" to prize Luuk De Jong away this summer. The striker shone for Twente last season, scoring 25 goals in 32 appearances as they secured a place in next season's Europa League qualifying rounds. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has long been an admirer, though the Magpies face competition in the form of Borussia Monchengladbach, who are said to readying a bid, for the Dutch forward. After seeing Ola John depart for Benfica, McLaren is desperate to keep hold of De Jong and he says the 21-year-old - who was part of Netherlands' Euro 2012 squad - would be better off staying in the country for the time being.

Jan Vertonghen
Vertonghen remains hopeful of a move to Spurs, but the protracted nature of the transfer is proving a headache for the Ajax player. The two clubs have been working away at a deal and a fee is said to have been agreed, but a clause in the defender's current Ajax contract relating to his entitlement of the transfer fee has thrown a spanner in the works. For the time being he has returned to training with the Dutch giants, though he has made it clear he wants the situation resolved as quickly as possible. "I cannot say that I am not thinking about it, because it is with me all the time," he told Algemeen Dagblad. "It is my future. But the fact of the matter is a currently play for Ajax and I will always give 100%. I am a professional and despite all the issues it is simply the beginning of a new season. It is impossible to say how long these things take but well before August 31 [the closing of the transfer window] there must be clarity."

Douglas, a big, powerful centre-back, is a target for Newcastle but FC Twente manager McLaren is understood to be holding out for a bigger fee. The two clubs are said to have been locked in talks for some time, with Magpies director Derek Llambias spending the last week trying to tie up a deal. At 6ft 4ins, the 24-year-old would complement Fabricio Coloccini at the heart of Newcastle's defence, while creating a healthy completion for places as the returning Steven Taylor seeks a place in the starting line-up.

Papiss Cisse
Former Gunner Ray Parlour has implored Arsenal to cash in while they can for Robin van Persie and use the funds to swoop for Newcastle hitman Cisse. Cisse made an instant impact, netting 13 goals in 14 games after signing for the club in January, and he recently went on record to say how happy he was on Tyneside. However, Newcastle rejected Senegal's request to include Cisse in their Olympic squad and, if the boat is rocked, there will be plenty of clubs waiting in the wings.

Papiss Cisse says he is happy in Newcastle but could he be tempted by a big-money move? © Getty Images

According to the Daily Mirror, Sao Paulo starlet Lucas is looming large on Sir Alex Ferguson's radar. Chelsea and Real Madrid are also keen on the teen sensation but United are leading the way for his signature after scouts were sent to make early enquiries. United are trying to smooth-talk Lucas' father as the player's contract is part-owned by his family, though the real priority is to get the £35 million valuation of the 19-year-old lowered. United need an attacking midfielder but, at that price, it would represent a big risk.

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