With only two and a half weeks to go until European club soccer gets going, the summer transfer window is quickly coming to a close. Teams still have some time to make additions and subtractions in order to tailor their rosters, but some ongoing sagas appear to be reaching their ends.
Here are my predictions on where the five remaining hottest transfer targets will end up at the end of the window.
Paul Pogba: Real Madrid
It’s been clear ever since June that the French midfielder wants out of Manchester United. Pogba said himself that he is “ready for a new challenge” and it’s been a poorly-kept secret that he’d love to play for Los Blancos. Florentino Pérez has the cash to pay for him, and Real Madrid could use a player like Pogba. Bet on him ending up in the Spanish capital.
Gareth Bale: Tottenham Hotspur
The Real Madrid-Gareth Bale marriage simply isn’t working anymore. With Zinedine Zidane back, the club has publicly acknowledged that a transfer would be the best option. Although high-value proposals have already arrived from the Chinese Super League, why wouldn’t Bale go back to North London where his career took off? Spurs reached the Champions League final in May, and while he might have to take a pay cut to go there, he’d be happiest at home in the UK.
Neymar Jr.: Paris Saint-Germain
Neymar might not be happy in the French capital, but it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to go elsewhere this summer. Barcelona seems to have cooled on the idea of re-acquiring their former star, and after they added Antoine Griezmann, it seems even less likely. The Brazilian forward might have to stay in Paris for another season before trying to make an exit next summer.
James Rodríguez: Atlético Madrid
The Colombian attacking midfielder got his career back on track on loan at Bayern Munich last season, scoring 7 goals and notching 4 assists in 20 Bundesliga matches. He still has tons of quality in his boots and appears to be keen on a move back to Spain. Atlético’d like to help replace the departed Antoine Griezmann, and James would make a lot of sense for Los Colchoneros.
Leroy Sané: Bayern Munich
Man City head coach Pep Guardiola has been public about his desire to keep Sané, but the 23-year-old left-winger doesn’t want to renew his contract with the team. While he’s been an integral part of the two-time defending Premier League champions, a big money move back to his native Germany appears to be the most likely ending for this season’s Leroy Sané saga.