Eden Hazard's seemingly imminent move from Chelsea to Real Madrid looks set to kick off a busy close-season of transfer activity ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

Hazard has made no secret of his desire to join Los Blancos and despite Chelsea's two-window transfer ban - which the club are appealing against - he is expected to complete his switch soon.

Madrid are likely to spend heavily on reinforcements for Zinedine Zidane's squad after a deeply underwhelming season and Hazard could be the first of a new batch of 'Galactico' signings by the LaLiga side.

But who are the other big-name players likely to be involved in extensive transfer sagas before the big kick-off? Omnisport picks out 10 players who will be making the headlines...


ANTOINE GRIEZMANN

Some players are coy about their transfer wishes, preferring to let their agents do the talking for them with interested parties in private. That is not the case for Antoine Griezmann, though. After mulling over his Atletico Madrid future in excruciating detail in a television documentary a year ago, where he announced his intention to stay, the World Cup winner has now revealed he wants to leave.

Barcelona remains his most obvious destination but, after Griezmann pulled out of a seemingly done deal 12 months ago, the Catalan club may be unwilling to negotiate with him again. That could open the door for Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain, with Atleti reportedly keen on Edinson Cavani as Griezmann's successor.


NEYMAR

Another bout of Neymar rumours seems inevitable, with the Brazil superstar having again been unable to fire PSG to European glory after once more seeing his season disrupted by injury. Madrid are regularly linked with Neymar, but the expected arrival of Hazard may negate the need for him, especially given Vinicius Junior's exciting emergence. Incredibly, given the fractious circumstances in which he left, Neymar has also been linked with an improbable, if not impossible, return to Barca.


PHILIPPE COUTINHO 

For Barca to launch a move for Neymar they will certainly have to raise funds, with Philippe Coutinho the most likely to make way. He has been unable to justify the outlay, reportedly an initial £105 million up front, with Ernesto Valverde seemingly preferring Ousmane Dembele as the third member of his attack, along with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Coutinho could return to the Premier League with Chelsea among his suitors - despite a potential transfer ban - as well as PSG.


PAUL POGBA

After Jose Mourinho's departure, Paul Pogba initially seemed reborn under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, his form tailed off and he was involved in a confrontation with a fan after their home loss to Cardiff City on the last day of the Premier League season. United need to revamp Solskjaer's squad and Pogba is their most sellable asset. Madrid have long been touted as the midfielder’s next club, while a return to Juventus has also been suggested for the France international.


PAULO DYBALA

Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival in Turin was always likely to be bad news for someone – and it was Paulo Dybala who suffered the most. The Argentina attacker is still regarded as one of world football's brightest lights, but at 25 he cannot afford another season on the periphery. Massimiliano Allegri's relationship with Dybala was strained, so he will await the appointment of a replacement with interest, but his future may lie away from Juve. Bayern Munich and Manchester United are reportedly keen.


NICOLAS PEPE

Only Kylian Mbappe scored more Ligue 1 goals in 2018-19 than Lille's rising star Nicolas Pepe, with PSG reportedly ready to snap up the star man of the side who finished a distant second. Ivory Coast international Pepe could further his growing reputation at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, with Premier League sides Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal all said to be interested in the 24-year-old forward.


LUKA JOVIC

Eintracht Frankfurt can look forward to banking a huge profit if Luka Jovic completes an expected move away, with the Bundesliga side having only paid a reported €6m to trigger a purchase option as part of his loan deal from Benfica. Jovic's goals were instrumental in Frankfurt's run to the Europa League semi-finals but he will surely be playing in the Champions League next term. Barcelona scouts were seemingly spotted watching him earlier in the season, but Madrid have reportedly identified the Serbia striker as a long-term replacement for Suarez. Eintracht can expect to receive a fee around 10 times what they paid for Jovic.


KYLIAN MBAPPE

PSG have strongly insisted they do not have to sell Neymar or Mbappe to meet Financial Fair Play regulations, but it is not out of the question that both forwards leave the French capital. Mbappe would likely command a new world-record fee, with the striker having suggested he is ready for a new challenge elsewhere when he collected the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award recently. Mbappe's asking price would rule out almost everyone, with Madrid in a small group of clubs who could afford him, although he undoubtedly has the potential to be the best player in the world. Manchester City have previously been linked, too.


MATTHIJS DE LIGT

Defenders are not usually as in-demand as Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, but the teenager is a one-off talent. De Ligt's strong leadership saw the Dutch side reach the last four of the Champions League, with Lucas Moura's dramatic late goal for Tottenham denying Erik ten Hag's team a place in the final. De Ligt's club and country team-mate Frenkie de Jong has already agreed to join Barca and the centre-back has long been expected to follow. Still, just about every big club in Europe would be keen on signing De Ligt, if they have the funds required.


GARETH BALE

Former Madrid coach Fabio Capello has said Madrid have €500million to spend, so they have to raise funds somewhere. The most obvious place to start is with Wales star Gareth Bale, whose relationship with Zinedine Zidane appears impossible to repair. Reports in Spain claimed Bale would be happy to see out his contract if necessary, but United continue to be linked with offering him a route back to the Premier League. A romantic option would be to go back to Tottenham, but huge expenditure on a shiny new stadium likely rules them out as a destination.

Could Daniel Levy be about to loosen Tottenham's purse strings?

According to the Mirror, Tottenham are set for a spending spree to ensure manager Mauricio Pochettino does not quit.

Pochettino has been linked to Juventus and Manchester United, and the Argentinian is in a strong position after leading Spurs to their first Champions League final – without signing a player in 2018-19.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS TO SPLASH THE CASH

Show me the money is the message from Pochettino, and chairman Levy is set to listen.

Tottenham have already reportedly had bids rejected for Real Betis star Giovani Lo Celso and in-demand Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.

After two consecutive windows without spending anything, Spurs are also eyeing Fulham sensation Ryan Sessegnon and Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez, according to reports.

With the new stadium built and finally occupied, Pochettino may now have a substantial transfer kitty to preserve Tottenham's position in the Premier League top four.

 

ROUND-UP

- Inter boss Antonio Conte could be about to finally link up with Romelu Lukaku. After Conte saw Lukaku snub Chelsea for Manchester United in 2017, the Belgium striker is prepared to take a pay cut to join Inter, according to Sport Mediaset. The €70million transfer fee is reportedly a sticking point, with the Serie A side willing to offer Ivan Perisic as part of a potential deal.

- Real Madrid will not have it easy when it comes to their pursuit of Christian Eriksen. Per AS, Florentino Perez and Levy met prior to the Champions League final with Eriksen believed to be on the agenda. The Tottenham midfielder is a target for Madrid, who are looking to overhaul their squad with Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Manchester United star Paul Pogba. Madrid's interest in Pogba could see the Spanish giants offer Gareth Bale as part of a swap, according to The Times.

- LaLiga champions Barcelona are apparently nearing a transfer for Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno. Sport say Barca are in negotiations to sign the 28-year-old, who has a €120million release clause.

- According to Tuttosport, Maurizio Sarri will have a decisive meeting with Juventus on Wednesday. The Chelsea coach is reportedly poised to succeed Massimiliano Allegri and a potential switch to Turin could see the Italian champions raid his former club Napoli for star defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Juve have also been linked with an €85m bid for Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.

- It looks like Manchester United will have to spend big to prise Manchester City target Joao Felix from Benfica. The Portuguese champions are demanding more than £100m, according to Correio da Manha.

Matthijs de Ligt insists his next destination remains undecided as Barcelona and Manchester United reportedly battle for the star defender's signature.

The 19-year-old Netherlands international is one of the most wanted players in Europe and his impending departure from Ajax was confirmed by Erik ten Hag in April.

Where he will end up, however, continues to be a matter for debate, with speculation in recent weeks suggesting United could trump LaLiga champions Barca with a big-money bid.

Questions have been raised over just how much both clubs are willing to pay for the centre-back's services and the player himself is keeping all options open.

"Where do I see myself? Well, obviously the Premier League is a big competition, Spain also," De Ligt told reporters from a Netherlands training camp.

"But you have other competitions, it's not just about those two.

"I still don't know anything about where my future is, so I'll see how it goes. First we have to play two games and then after that I will see what happens next."

De Ligt heads into the off-season fresh from skippering Champions League semi-finalists Ajax to the Eredivisie title.

He and Ronald Koeman's Oranje side are preparing for a Nations League date with England on June 6, the winner of which will face either Switzerland or hosts Portugal in the final.

Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt has suggested he could join team-mate Frenkie de Jong in signing for Barcelona.

De Jong's €75million switch to Barca for 2019-20 was confirmed earlier in the year, with De Ligt reportedly close to following his fellow Netherlands international to the Catalan club.

Both players thrived as Ajax thrilled the football world in their run to the Champions League semi-finals, where Erik ten Hag's side were denied a place in the final in by Tottenham despite having led 3-0 on aggregate with 45 minutes to play.

Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool are also reportedly interested in the 19-year-old defender, but De Ligt has suggested his future could be at Camp Nou with De Jong.

"I think he had a great season. He deserves to sign for Barcelona," De Ligt said of De Jong.

"Play with him there? It would be good to play with Frenkie at a club, but in these moments I don't know what will happen."

Ajax have completed the signing of defender Lisandro Martinez from Defensa y Justicia, which could pave the way for De Ligt's sale.

The Argentina international signed a four-year deal on Monday, with sporting director Marc Overmars hailing the 21-year-old's potential.

"Martinez is a left-footed player who can handle multiple positions at the back. He is a defender who wants to play football," Overmars told Ajax's website.

"He brings a certain mentality that we can use well here, comparable to what his countryman Nico Tagliafico shows here.

"And Lisandro is still young, so we expect him to continue in the coming years to be an even better player."

Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt would be a good fit at Barcelona, according to former Netherlands defender Jaap Stam.

Teenager De Ligt has captained Ajax to a domestic double this term, while they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League only to be shocked in stoppage time by Lucas Moura's hat-trick clinching goal for Tottenham.

The Netherlands international is expected to move on at the end of the season with Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool all reportedly interested in the centre-back.

De Ligt has indicated he is yet to decide his future but Barca, who have already sealed a deal for club and country team-mate Frenkie de Jong, are said to be in pole position, while Ajax director Edwin van der Sar has said the 19-year-old will go to England or Spain.

And Stam believes Camp Nou, where countrymen Ronald Koeman, Johan Cruyff and Patrick Kluivert all excelled, is the right place for De Ligt to continue his development.

"It's important that he'll get playing time," Stam, who is coach at PEC Zwolle and set to take over Feyenoord from next season, told DAZN.

"If you look at the squads: Barcelona, after losing to Liverpool, probably wants to strengthen their squad, especially in defence, if you ask me. The question is how they are going to solve that problem.

"I think that Matthijs de Ligt would be a good fit though. It will be great to see how he performs against better players in a better league, not just every few weeks, but every weekend.

"Same goes for Liverpool. We all know who is their biggest defensive star - his Dutch colleague [Virgil van Dijk] - the other players, [Dejan] Lovren and [Joel] Matip, rotate quite a lot.

"The big question is if he'll immediately play all matches. I think he has enough quality to do so. In those big leagues it's normal to have to deal with rotation, especially at the start you will probably start on the bench a bit more often.

"After that, you have to get used to the level and the quality of your opponents. I think the people around him, and Matthijs himself, are smart enough to pick the option with the most playing time. In that case, money won't make a difference."

Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt is an "extraordinary talent", Daley Blind said after they clinched the Eredivisie title on Wednesday.

De Ligt, 19, is expected to leave the club and has been linked with a move to Barcelona and numerous other European giants.

The centre-back helped Ajax win their first league title since 2014, completing a domestic double after their KNVB Beker success.

Former Manchester United defender Blind has no doubt about De Ligt's ability.

"Not only as a captain was he important to us. It's also about his personality. He is a leading figure in the squad," he said after a 4-1 win over De Graafschap that sealed the title.

"He can guide the team in hard times. But if he wasn't one of the best, others were. I think that's how we complemented each other as a team.

"But he's an extraordinary talent, that's obvious."

De Ligt made 55 appearances in all competitions for Ajax this season, helping them reach the Champions League semi-finals, where they suffered a heart-breaking defeat to Tottenham.

Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt insisted he was still assessing his future amid links to Barcelona and the Premier League.

De Ligt, 19, is widely expected to leave Ajax – who sealed the Eredivisie title on Wednesday – in the off-season.

The centre-back has been linked to the likes of Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

But after Ajax beat De Graafschap 4-1 for their first league title since 2014, De Ligt said he needed time to consider his future.

"This is not the time to talk about my future," he told Fox Sports.

"I don't know if I will go with Frenkie de Jong [to Barcelona]. I still have to analyse things and see everything. We'll see what happens.

"I cannot say anything. We'll see at the end of summer. There is nothing yet."

Ajax's league triumph saw them claim a domestic double after also winning the KNVB Beker, easing some of the pain following their Champions League semi-final exit.

De Ligt was delighted with Ajax's campaign, saying: "It is indescribable. We have been craving this for five years.

"I enjoyed the cup, the competition, the Champions League and especially the team spirit."

Mino Raiola has confirmed he will appeal the ban handed to him by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

Agent Raiola, who represents the likes of Paul Pogba, Matthijs de Ligt, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, was given a three-month suspension on Wednesday, though the FIGC did not provide any specific reasoning.

And Raiola has now responded to the FIGC's decision, reassuring his clients that business will carry on as usual during the transfer window.

In a statement released on his official Twitter page, Raiola wrote: "This 'Italian Ban' is not a surprise, unfortunately.

"My personal concern is that it has been a sentence dominated by a political willing, without taking into the right consideration the reason of law.

"It is a sentence based on false grounds and lies. Law and justice, however, must prevail in any civil and correct system and I hope my name will be restored in the next chapter of this story.

"I guess the FIGC has not forgiven my criticism of the role it's played in the disastrous state of Italian football, as well as its role in the problems of racism. My opinions certainly influenced this decision.

"I will seek justice against this injustice and freedom of speech in every legal court possible to me as my main task is in the interest of Italian football.

"I will proudly conduct this fight in order to obtain what it is in conformity with law. This discussion is contained to the Italian territory and has no repercussions on the players I represent."

De Ligt is one of Raiola's high-profile clients likely to be on the move in the close season, with Barcelona favourites to land the Ajax captain.

Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt will move to the Premier League or LaLiga, according to director Edwin van der Sar.

De Ligt has become one of Europe's most sought-after players amid Ajax's fairytale run in the Champions League, which dramatically ended in the semi-finals at the hands of Tottenham.

The 19-year-old centre-back has been linked with Barcelona – who will sign team-mate Frenkie de Jong at the end of the season – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Juventus.

Van der Sar dismissed a transfer to Serie A champions Juventus as he talked up England and Spain prior to Ajax's stunning 3-2 loss on Wednesday, which eliminated the Dutch giants 3-3 on away goals.

"I think these will be De Ligt's final games with Ajax, but I hope he goes out on a high," Van der Sar told Sky Sport Italia.

"He's been here since he was a child and will end up at a big club."

On De Ligt – who scored the opening goal on the night in Amsterdam midweek before Lucas Moura's hat-trick sent Ajax packing – Van der Sar added: "I think he'll go to England or Spain."

The future of head coach Erik ten Hag has also been discussed amid reported interest from German champions Bayern Munich.

Asked about Ten Hag, Van der Sar said: "We intend to keep hold of Ten Hag, that is our intention.

"We know there will be a lot of changes within the squad, but we'd at least like to confirm the coaching staff."

Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt said the Dutch club thought they had made it through to the Champions League final before Tottenham's dramatic winner on Wednesday.

Spurs – trailing 1-0 after the first leg – came from 2-0 down on the night in Amsterdam to stun Ajax 3-2 courtesy of Lucas Moura's 96th-minute goal.

De Ligt and Hakim Ziyech put Ajax 3-0 ahead on aggregate in the first half before Lucas scored three goals after the break in sensational fashion to send Tottenham through on away goals.

It ended Ajax's fairytale run in the Champions League, having upstaged holders Real Madrid and Juventus en route to the final four and star defender De Ligt rued what could have been for the Eredivisie side.

"The referee said there was only one minute left and we knew we would have to battle through," De Ligt said via UEFA.com. "We thought we'd made it, but it wasn't to be. The game lasted five seconds too long.

"It was like the ground disappeared from under our feet. So close. We were so close. Naturally it was deathly quiet in the dressing room afterwards. But, how painful it is, we have had a fantastic journey – and we can still become champions.

"It was great to see the support our fans gave us, it made us realise how much this campaign has meant for them. If we win the title I will feel very proud, and it will help soften the blow of standing with one foot in the Champions League final with only seconds to go.

"Spurs played with a great deal of intensity, and that caused us a lot of problems, particularly in the second half. We couldn't really relieve the pressure they put us under."

Jose Mourinho felt Ajax's insistence of sticking to their football philosophy contributed to their dramatic Champions League exit.

The Amsterdammers cruised into a 2-0 half-time lead in the second leg of their semi-final against Tottenham, goals from captain Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech gifting them a 3-0 aggregate lead with just 45 minutes remaining in the tie.

Mourinho felt that was the time to divert from their usual attacking style and adopt a more defensive approach in order to see the job through.

Instead, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag changed little and a Lucas Moura hat-trick, including a 96th-minute winner, sent Spurs into a final meeting with Liverpool in Madrid on June 1.

Speaking in his role as a pundit on beIN SPORTS, Mourinho said: "The philosophy is what makes a team grow up. You need that base, you need that philosophy, you need a style of play adapted to the qualities of the players you have and Ajax deserve all the credit for that.

"[But] football is a sporting battle and in battles you need strategy and to win matches, especially special matches, you need sometimes to go against your philosophy to win a football match.

"The basic thing you do when you have an advantage is to keep your balance all the time, never [become] imbalanced.

"The balance starts with the defensive line in position and after that a certain number of players always behind the ball. But they stuck with their philosophy, they played the second half like they were playing against Vitesse in the Dutch league.

"Tottenham changed, they used very well the direct football, they were lucky, they had the Gods of football with them but they chased that luck."

Mourinho is currently out of work having been sacked by Manchester United in December 2018 with his conservative style of play alienating him from many supporters.

Lucas Moura's incredible second-half hat-trick saw Tottenham snatch a 3-2 win at Ajax and a place in the Champions League final on away goals.

As in last week's semi-final first leg, Erik ten Hag's side were smoothly into their work by the time inspirational captain Matthijs de Ligt headed a fifth-minute opener.

Hakim Ziyech made it 2-0 10 minutes before half-time but, in a season now steeped in implausible Champions League comebacks, Lucas' brace had the game all-square on the night before the hour.

Ziyech hit the post and Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen struck the crossbar before the irrepressible Lucas steered home Dele Alli's pass deep into stoppage time.

It means an all-English final against fellow comeback kings Liverpool in Madrid on June 1 for Mauricio Pochettino's never-say-die team.

Matthijs de Ligt believes he and his Ajax team-mates can thrive under the pressure of being favourites domestically and in the Champions League.

Ajax beat Tottenham 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday, thanks to Donny van de Beek's first-half strike.

Before the second leg, Ajax – who lead the Eredivisie on goal difference – could clinch their first piece of silverware this season when they face Willem II in the KNVB Beker final on Sunday.

Ajax are overwhelming favourites to claim what would be their 19th trophy in the competition, and given they are in pole position in the Eredivisie and their Champions League tie, De Ligt acknowledged that there is now added expectation on Erik tan Hag's side.

However, the 19-year-old thinks that the added pressure will provide Ajax with even more focus.

"According to some, we might no longer be the underdog against Tottenham, but of course we were against Real Madrid and Juventus," De Ligt told a news conference.

"Then you really feel the pressure to win. A favourite role makes a difference, I can feel that, yes. I am extra focused. 

"We are still playing for three prizes. Everyone goes full steam ahead."

Ajax last won the cup in 2010, and coach Ten Hag insists he will not risk missing out on silverware by resting some of his key players prior to the second leg of their tie with Tottenham.

"I don't see it as a rest. I'm just going to set up a team that can beat Willem II," Ten Hag said,

"There are no players in the red. We played against Spurs on Tuesday. The time to Sunday is more than enough to recover."

Former Ajax captain Siem de Jong would like to see in-demand teenage defender Matthijs de Ligt join LaLiga champions Barcelona.

Linked with Europe's biggest clubs – including Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Juventus, Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag said there is "zero chance" of skipper De Ligt remaining in Amsterdam.

The 19-year-old Netherlands international produced a match-winning display in Turin, where he scored as Ajax stunned Juventus 2-1 on Tuesday to advance to the Champions League semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate.

"I've heard a lot of stories about clubs wanting to buy him," De Jong – who is loan at A-League side Sydney FC from Ajax – told Omnisport.

"I get it. He is a young guy, really strong already physically. Really good in his head too. A good guy and good for the team.

"I'm not sure where he will go, he has enough choices. It will probably be a really nice club. One of my favourite clubs are Barcelona, so I wouldn't mind seeing him there."

De Ligt could reunite with star midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who will leave Ajax for Barca at the end of the season.

The 21-year-old De Jong is set for Camp Nou after a transfer worth €86million in total was agreed in January.

De Jong has continued to dazzle in Eredivisie and the Champions League this season, and his namesake hailed the "unique" Dutchman.

"He is really good on the ball," Siem de Jong said. "He isn't scared. Even sometimes in the back, he makes his actions. He is strong on the ball and won't lose it.

"If you see him, a lot of Ajax's build-up starts with him. He creates openings for other team-mates. He is a unique player in this time. He can really create things that others can't."

Asked if he can get even better alongside Lionel Messi at Barca, De Jong replied: "Of course. Even playing alongside all the other players there and competing in bigger leagues will be good for him.

"He will be improving a lot in the coming years. For him it's a really, really nice challenge."

Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt said "there is nothing to announce" following speculation linking him with LaLiga champions Barcelona.

De Ligt – who is certain to leave Ajax at the end of the season according to head coach Erik ten Hag – is one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe, where Barca are among the clubs reportedly interested.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu refused to rule out a move for the 19-year-old Netherlands international in an interview during the week.

After scoring the winning goal as Ajax shocked Juventus 2-1 on Tuesday to reach the Champions League semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate, De Ligt was tight-lipped on his future.

Asked when he would announce his transfer to Barca, De Ligt replied: "Announce? There is nothing to announce."

When the reporter pushed him further, a smiling De Ligt said: "We're in the semi-finals of the Champions League and we're first in the league. That's enough to play for."

De Ligt and Ajax will face either Tottenham or Premier League holders Manchester City in the semi-finals of the competition.

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