Around this time of the season with real action nearing its conclusion, many fans and pundits occupy themselves with transfer rumours to pass the time. Sometimes these stories do have merit and the player makes the rumoured move to his new club. But often nothing comes of these stories and whoever was supposedly ready for a blockbuster move is left to play their trade with the same club as they did the season before.
Despite all the hype surrounding them, Into The Top Corner looks at those 10 most linked players in the Premier League who might actually stay at the same club where they are at the start of the next season.
10. David Luiz (Chelsea)
If the prospective squad for the Champions League final tell us anything, it is that there is definite strength in depth. With so many players out for both Chelsea and Bayern Munich, the Blues are lucky that they can turn to a defender who would be first-choice in many sides to man the back line. David Luiz, who has trouble actually defending, might not remain a Chelsea player for much longer than the end of May, according to one rumor that links him with a ridiculously high bid from Barcelona. At some other clubs, this would not be tolerated. But Chelsea seem to appreciate the more attacking role that Luiz plays when he is not focused on doing his defensive work, and he adds extremely valuable depth to the squad.
9. Andy Carroll (Liverpool)
Andy Carroll has had a torrid time at Liverpool since his mega money transfer from Newcastle on the deadline day of last season’s January transfer window. Carroll has netted just six league goals this season in thirty-two appearances and reports last week suggested he could well be on his way out of Anfield on a season-long-loan. But I can’t see that happen next season. Dalglish has a lot of faith in the striker and Carroll has repaid some of it with two important winning goals against Blackburn and Everton in his last 5 starts for the club and was impressive against Fulham last night. He is also on a high payroll at Liverpool and it would be very difficult to find him a club that will be willing to pay him that much for season.
8. Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United)
Tiote, 25, has been one of the top performers for Newcastle United this season, as the Magpies look to secure Champions League football for next season by finishing 4th this season. His impressive and consistent form has seen him being linked with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal this season and a move to either Old Trafford or Emirates would be very tough to reject for the hard tackling Ivorian midfielder. But still I believe he will decide to stay at Newcastle given that they will be playing in Europe next season and will be loyal to the fans who have supported him since he joined the club from FC Twente a couple of season’s back.
7. Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)
When he decided against coming on as a substitute in the Champions League game in Munich and when he went on holiday back home to Argentina without the club’s permission, everyone thought his time with Manchester City was over and he won’t ever play for them again. But since his return back to Manchester, things have changed a lot and he has been City’s important player in the last 10 games or so as they look to win their first league title for years. After the Norwich game, Mancini came out and said he wants Tevez to stay and it was followed by Tevez’s wish to stay just before the Manchester derby. It looks highly unlikely now that we would be having yet another Carlos Tevez transfer saga this summer.
6. Demba Ba (Newcastle United)
He has to be the signing of the season. He joined Newcastle from West Ham in the summer for nothing and has been Magpies star of the season scoring sixteen goals in thirty-one league appearances. His outstanding goal scoring record has generated a lot of interested from the top Premier League clubs including the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool, who need a regular goal-scorer. There were also some news in January that he had a release clause in his contract which could see him leave the club for less than £10m. It will be a real blow for Newcastle if Ba does leave the club next season but it wont be happening because the Magpies are guaranteed a spot in the next season’s Europa League if they fail to qualify for the Champions League and that’s what a player wants – to play in Europe.
5. Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
The Chelsea striker is out of contract at the end of the season and is expected to leave the club for nothing. There are some reports which came out today stating that Barcelona are interested in signing the Ivorian striker as a backup option for David Villa – who missed most of the season with an injury. Honestly speaking that won’t be happening at all. If Drogba does indeed decide to leave the Blues, he would either go to the MLS or join Nicolas Anelka in the Chinese Super League, where he could earn a huge amount of money. But since the appointment of Roberto Di Matteo as the interim manager, Didier Drogba has been a key part of the rejuvenated Chelsea side that will be playing in the final of the Champions League and the FA Cup and if Di Matteo gets the job on the permanent basis its highly likely that Drogba might stay as well.
4. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)
Many people believe that Gareth Bale is destined to leave White Hart Lane this summer, especially if Spurs fail to quality for next season’s Champions League. First of all, Tottenham will probably qualify. Their remaining schedule is much easier than that of challengers Newcastle, and Chelsea will be preoccupied with the FA Cup and winning the Champions League. Second, Harry Redknapp is surprisingly staying on as boss at the club due to Roy Hodgson’s appointment as England manager, and Bale’s loyalty to and affection for Redknapp will be crucial in convincing him to stay.
3. Mario Balotelli (Manchester City)
After the defeat at the Emirates to Arsenal, Roberto Mancini said Mario Balotelli will be on his way out in the summer because of his on-and-off field antics. Even though, Balotelli is a highly controversial character, he is a highly talented young footballer with immense quality in him to turn the game around (in both ways) on his own. City selling him to someone else outside the Premier League, will not only be a huge loss of talent for the club but also the Premier League. At the same time there are very few managers who could deal with characters like Mario Balotelli and Roberto Mancini is one of them and that’s why there would be very less clubs interested in signing him during the summer add to that his huge transfer fee and huge wage demands.
2. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Manchester City fans, if they are capable of being unhappy about anything at the moment, might be somewhat angered by the comments of Sergio Aguero’s father-in-law, Diego Maradona, about Kun’s career options. According to TalkSPORT, he said: “Kun has to play for Real Madrid. Even though he is flying at City, the best thing would have been to sign for Madrid. He made a mistake.” While Madrid would be happy to have one of the best strikers in the world, they already have Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain. Plus, Aguero is settled in Manchester, where he is obviously succeeding in the Premier League with the Citizens this season.
1. Robin van Persie (Arsenal)
Finally, it’s the Robin van Persie debate. Will he leave? Will he sign a new contract? Will he stay? Nobody knows for sure, but those who make their living off this type of uncertainty are having a great day with RVP’s contract situation. Van Persie’s love for Arsenal, though, is something that few modern players feel. He is playing for his boyhood club, which he has been at for almost eight years, and now captains on a weekly basis. To suddenly leave simply for more cash would be quite out of character for the Dutchman, and thus I do not foresee him doing parting ways with the club, especially after top-quality new signings are already arriving. Van Persie is such an important player to Arsenal that it would not even surprise me if the club broke its wage structure to reward their captain for his efforts during this season and the seasons to come.