If you could call upon one of the world’s most influential agents for advice, would you expect to hear the words “Jack Wilshere” spewed back down the telephone line? In fairness this one does not smell of Jorge Mendes but newly-promoted Wolves have their gimlet eye on a summer move for the Arsenal midfielder, who still looks agonisingly short of his old self after such a long line of injuries and looks a fair bet to depart north London.
Wolves would love to partner Wilshere with Rúben Neves, who is not exactly dissimilar to a young, erm, Jack Wilshere, and are attracted by his potential availability on a free transfer. Everton are among other suitors who would need fending off with a big stick, or just lots of money, or visionary talk of a “project”, though.
Or could Wilshere actually be earmarked as Neves’s replacement? Wolves are not exactly cash strapped and the Portuguese star has openly said he is content to kick off next season at Molineux – but Liverpool are said to be more than interested and could yet tempt him the wunderkind with Champions League football and much more besides. A revamped midfield, with Naby Keïta also arriving from RB Leipzig of course, could just be what turns Jürgen Klopp’s men into genuine Premier League contenders.
Another 21-year-old who Klopp admires is Benfica’s Serbian whizz Andrija Zivkovic, although he would have to contend with interest from Arsenal too. Of similarly tender years but seemingly different prospects is the Celtic striker Moussa Dembélé who Villarreal fancy to perk up their front line next season.
If that’s all a bit tame then prepare for a titanic struggle between Chelsea and Tottenham for the PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa. While the former’s need for him is unclear there is some sense in the idea for Mauricio Pochettino, who would be at peace with Danny Rose departing in the summer but could do with someone coming in to take his place pretty sharpish.
Sarri … not Sarri? It could be what Roman Abramovich says when handing Chelsea’s next manager his P45, or it could be a worthy rumination on the very identity of that man. With Antonio Conte’s long, lingering goodbye gathering absolutely no speed whatsoever any kind of movement is probably some way off – but Maurizio Sarri, whose Napoli side plays some of Europe’s most joyful, freewheeling football, is said to have leapfrogged Luis Enrique in the reckoning for whenever something about mutual consent is muttered by Conte and the powers that be at Cobham.
Would that spark a Napoli exodus? Perhaps. Manchester United want some fresh legs in the centre of the park and Jorginho, the midfield dynamo, is on their wish list should they not manage to entice Toni Kroos from Real Madrid. If United need to clear the decks then Anthony Martial, not exactly one of José Mourinho’s favourites this term, could always be shipped off to Lyon.