The 2018/19 English Premier League season is coming to a close in what has been an exhilarating campaign with a fantastic title race between Manchester City and Liverpool, while four clubs have been fighting it out for the final Champions League places in the table.
Plans will already be made for what each club will want to do once the transfer window opens and they are able to sign players again. Chelsea, however, will not be one of those clubs who are able to sign players as they have been handed a transfer ban across the next two windows.
Here is a look at five players who may be playing EPL football next season.
Welshman Gareth Bale moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 for what was then a world record transfer deal of £85 million. In that time, he has won the Champions League on four occasions and has a La Liga winners’ medal following his side’s success in the league in 2017.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) May 9, 2019
Bale’s time at the Bernabeu looks to be coming to an end though, as he has been in and out of the team under head coach Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman is likely to be prepared to sell the forward this summer to try and raise some funds towards what is going to be a big rebuilding process in the transfer window.
At the age of 29, Bale is in the peak stages of his career, therefore, he will not be short of interested parties in the summer, with Manchester United thought to be very keen on adding for the former Spurs man, while Tottenham could come in for their former player, if the price is right.
There has also been some talk of Bale going out on loan to allow Real Madrid to knock his wages off their yearly bill. That then would certainly add more teams into the mix such as Arsenal and Liverpool.
Manchester City and Manchester United could be battling it over the next couple of months to sign Sporting Lisbon’s captain Bruno Fernandes who is now a regular with the Portugal national team.
Both Manchester clubs see the middle of their midfielder as an area they are looking to strengthen in the off-season, particularly Manchester United who are set to lose Ander Herrera to PSG, while Juan Mata has yet to sign a new contract.
Fernandes has been prolific from midfielder this season, scoring 31 goals in 50 games for Sporting in what is proving to be his best campaign to date by some distance.
The 24-year-old is thought to be valued at around £50 million and that fee could increase if the Manchester neighbours become locked into a bidding war to try and secure the player. The Portuguese international does have a buy-out clause of £86 million in his contract, but it is unlikely that his fee will reach as high as that.
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has been one of the stars of the Championship this season where he has helped his club reach the play-offs which gives them the opportunity to get promoted back into the Premier League after a two-year absence.
Villa have been tipped by Oddschecker to win the Championship play-offs which would ensure Grealish is back in the Premier League. The attacking midfielder made his debut in the top flight of English football in the 2013/14 campaign and then was a regular across the next two seasons before the Midlands club were relegated.
The Championship play-offs could prove vital for Villa in order to keep hold of their biggest asset as if they do not go up at the end of it, Grealish may leave for a Premier League club.
Tottenham have been linked with Grealish on a number of occasions in the past. If Christian Eriksen leaves Spurs at the end of the season, Mauricio Pochettino could look towards the 23-year old as an ideal replacement.
Winger Nicolas Pepe has shone in the 2018/19 Ligue 1 campaign where he has scored 20 goals and recorded 11 assists for Lille to put himself in the shop window for a move to a major European club in the summer transfer window.
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) May 6, 2019
Pepe is unlikely to come cheap this summer as Lille have a lot of power with so many major clubs interested in their player. That could put Liverpool as the favourites to acquire him ahead of Arsenal. The Merseyside clubs have a number of African players who are a key part of their first-team in Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, therefore, Pepe may see Anfield as his preferred destination.
If Arsenal do have the funds to match Liverpool and PSG for Pepe, a lot may depend on whether they win the Europa League which they will need to do to secure Champions League football next season as they missed out on a top four finish in the Premier League.
It looks like Borussia Dortmund are just going to fall short in the Bundesliga this season behind Bayern Munich, however, they have had a fantastic campaign and one of the reasons they were in the hunt for the title, was the form of Jadon Sancho.
The Englishman has shone in Germany since moving there from Manchester City as the age of just 17. Sancho broke into the England team at the back of last year and he is sure to be one of the players in which Gareth Southgate is excited about the most in the future.
Sancho may have the opportunity to return to England this summer if he wants to. Manchester United are the team which have been linked the most with the youngster. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be handed as much as £300 million to get his side back on track next season and some of that money may be used on the Dortmund winger.
With his pace and trickery, Sancho would be one of the most exciting players to watch in the Premier League so there will be plenty of neutrals in England hoping that one of the big clubs are able to agree a deal with Dortmund for his services.
Just like last season, the summer transfer window is set to close before the start of the Premier League campaign this year, therefore, expect clubs to do their business nice and early once again over the next two months.