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The ten biggest summer transfer targets

Alex Perry
June 21, 2013
Luiz Suarez says he wants to leave Liverpool... but where is the Uruguayan going? © Getty Images

There are two things guaranteed every single summer in Britain. Firstly, rain will spoil almost every sporting occasion; and secondly [your club] will be linked with a move for [every player who has set foot on a soccer pitch].

The transfer window creaks open on July 1 and some hefty sums will change hands. Here are ten big-name players who have been linked with a move this summer - and where, if anywhere, we think they will go...

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Suarez is one of the best footballers in the world, so naturally he wants to play in the Champions League - and Liverpool cannot provide that for him in the coming season.

An understandable reason for wanting to leave, but the Uruguayan decided to blame those meanies in the English media for picking on him after a series of controversial incidents - including wrapping his teeth around Branislav Ivanovic's arm and verbally abusing Patrice Evra for having the tenacity to be from a different ethnic background.

His talent will be missed. His attitude will not.

How much is he worth? Liverpool have said they will not sell for less than £40m, which is a fair price considering his reliability when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net. But his unpredictable character makes him a risk for any suitor.

Where is he going? Italian champions Juventus are interested, but expect to see him in the all-white of Real Madrid come August.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

Incoming Manchester United manager David Moyes describes Rooney as "the last great street footballer" and is keen to hold on to the England forward.

But Rooney may just have burned all his bridges at Old Trafford after handing in a second transfer request towards the end of last season - apparently unhappy with being played out of position.

How much is he worth? Then Everton manager Moyes sold Rooney to United for £30m in 2004 - and he will want a similar amount if the move is to go ahead.

Where is he going? Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a keen admirer, as is Chelsea chief Jose Mourinho, while big-spending Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly preparing a £300,000 a week after tax offer for the 27-year-old. But we have a feeling he will still be a Manchester United player for a while yet.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

The Tottenham winger has said nothing on his future as yet, but another stunning season at White Hart Lane means he is one of the hottest properties in world football.

Spurs may ask him for one more season to fire them into the Champions League, but it is vital they hold on to in-demand manager Andre Villas-Boas if they are to keep the Welshman.

How much is he worth? Rumours of a world-record £85m have been circulated - and it won't be far off that total.

Where is he going? Sir Alex Ferguson admitted missing out on Bale when he was a youngster at Southampton is one of his biggest regrets, and United could be an option as Bale is reportedly keen to stay in England. But Real Madrid and PSG will offer mega-bucks to lure the 23-year-old to Europe. AVB may do what Ferguson did with Cristiano Ronaldo, and ask him for one more season before allowing him a big money move.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Speaking of CR7, seems the grass is not always greener on the other side and the Portuguese forward looks like he is starting to regret pushing through his dream move to Real Madrid - despite president Florentino Perez claiming he expects Ronaldo to retire at the Bernabeu.

How much is he worth? Not a chance Real Madrid would let him go for less than the £80m they paid for him in 2009.

Where is he going? A return to Manchester United, where he is still adored, has been mooted, while newly promoted Monaco - despite not being in the Champions League - can offer a wage packet that not many others can. He will still be a Madrid player next year, though. Put your house on it.

Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)

After Neymar's move to Barcelona was sealed in quick time at the end of the season, Lewandowski has become the talked about transfer of the summer.

Dortmund are adamant they want the Polish striker to see out the remaining year of his contract, but these days if a player wants a move, a player gets a move.

How much is he worth? It seems cheap by modern standards, but £25m is being bandied about.

Where is he going? Probably quicker to list the teams the 25-year-old has not been linked with. Lewandowski looked set to move to Bayern Munich, but Dortmund refuse to sell to their German rivals, while Manchesters United and City are long-term admirers. Real Madrid and Barcelona have also asked questions of his employers. There could be a twist in this tale yet - like him staying at Dortmund...

Cesc Fabregas has many admirers (who can afford him) © Getty Images

Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona)

The former Arsenal midfielder has only been back at the Nou Camp for two seasons, having spent his youth career with the Spanish champions. But a goal in every three games for the Catalan giants has got teams lining up to bring him back to the Premier League.

How much is he worth? Barcelona would listen to offers around the £35m mark.

Where is he going? Fabregas is still a Gunner at heart, and a move back to a club where he is still worshiped would not be out of the question - though long-time admirers Manchester United might have something to say about it. Another player who we believe is not going anywhere.

Edinson Cavani (Napoli)

The Uruguayan with the thunderous right foot has scored 78 goals in 97 starts for Napoli, putting top clubs around Europe on red alert.

Forty of those goals came last season, firing the Italian side to second place in Serie A and the Champions League.

How much is he worth? Rather sensibly, Napoli included a £54 million buy-out clause in Cavani's contract.

Where is he going? Cavani has admitted he has dreamed of playing for Barcelona or Real Madrid since he was a little boy, with a move to the Spanish capital likely. Manchester City are also interested, while Jose Mourinho is an admirer. Toss a coin between Chelsea and Madrid.

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)

An old-fashioned centre forward who knows where the goal is - proven by 19 goals in his debut Premier League season for a side that only just avoided relegation.

The Belgian has hinted that his future lies elsewhere, but he must pick his move wisely as he will want minutes on the pitch in the run up to next year's World Cup.

How much is he worth? Villa spent £7m on the 22-year-old, a bargain in this market. Manager Paul Lambert wants to keep his star man - but if he goes it won't be for less than £20m.

Where is he going? Tottenham Hotspur were sniffing around in January, with Andre Villas-Boas describing Benteke as "the season's surprise package". Arsenal and Liverpool are also keen, while Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina provide the European interest. If we were Benteke's advisors, we would urge him to stay. But football agents are not like us, so he will leave.

It looks like David Luiz will be firing in free-kicks from all angles for another team next season © Getty Images

David Luiz (Chelsea)

Jose Mourinho is reportedly not a fan of Luiz's maverick style, which, if you've watched any Mourinho team for the past however many years, makes sense.

Seems Luiz is sounding himself out for a move, too, telling the press that he "admires" Barcelona's style (maverick opinions too, it seems…) and asking Brazil colleagues about the PSG "project".

How much is he worth? Depends on who is buying. Barca would probably get him for £20m, while Chelsea would look to get more out of oil-rich PSG.

Where is he going? The aforementioned teams haven't actually expressed an interest in the Luiz - not publicly anyway. Napoli, where he would again team up with Rafael Benitez, have said they like him - but Luiz will hold out for France or Spain. Would fit in perfectly in Paris.

Marouane Fellaini (Everton)

When David Moyes was announced as Alex Ferguson's successor, the football world collectively asked which players he would take with him from Everton. Leighton Baines' name was thrown around, as was Fellaini's.

But the big-haired Belgian has other fans…

How much is he worth? Fellaini has a £22m release clause in his contract for sides who have qualified for the Champions League, or £24m for anyone else.

Where is he going? Manchester United seems the obvious choice, but Arsenal and Chelsea are also admirers. Expect a decent tussle for the midfielder in the coming weeks. We will plump for the Gunners.

Alex Perry is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk and can be found tweeting here

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