The transfer window has become one of the most exciting parts of the football calendar.
Woven into the weeks of uncertainty and speculation are the hopes and dreams of supporters, and the inherent belief that just a few key additions can make their goals achievable.
Running parallel to that are the predictions of pundits all desperate to secure the big scoop.
For that reason, we looked at 10 of the most likely transfers to happen this summer.
Willian to Arsenal
If the cascade of press reports don’t give evidence that this deal is going to happen it’s worth considering that Willian is eager to remain in London.
The Brazilian has been at Chelsea since 2013, but he was unable to agree fresh terms with the club and will now walk away on a free transfer.
The talk of a three-year deal at the Emirates does feel surprising given he’s soon to be 32, but he will certainly offer Mikel Arteta an injection of pace and quality in the final third.
Chris Smalling to Roma
Sometimes a change is as good as a rest, and that’s certainly true for Smalling.
The former Fulham defender moved to the Eternal City last summer and has found a new lease of life in Serie A.
Roma had applied for a short-term extension to his loan deal, but Manchester United refused, and that left Smalling, in his words, ‘gutted’.
There is renewed hope, however, following the takeover by Texas-based billionaire Dan Friedkin. Reports in Italy state the club’s budgets will be enhanced by Friedkin’s arrival, and that could facilitate a move for Smalling.
United are said to want €20million for the defender, and given how happy he has looked in Serie A it is easy to hope he gets his move.
Jadon Sancho to Man Utd
This is likely to be the biggest deal of the summer as Jadon Sancho returns to Manchester.
Sancho has enjoyed a fantastic few years in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, and it’s easy to see why he will cost Manchester United upwards of £100m.
The clubs are said to be negotiating the structure of the deal, but it seems a case of when, not if, Sancho relocates to Old Trafford.
While Man Utd’s rivals won’t be happy with this one, you can bet every single fan of the Red Devils will be delighted to see Sancho clad in the club’s kit.
Eberechi Eze to Crystal Palace
It would seem big changes are afoot at Palace.
Roy Hodgson confirmed Wilfried Zaha would like to leave the club, and while that might appear a hammer blow for the Eagles, it could turn out ok if they reinvest smartly. One player they’ve been linked with is Eberechi Eze.
The club had a £12m bid rejected recently, with QPR said to be holding out for £15m.
That’s a more than fair price in this market. Palace will face competition from both West Ham and Newcastle to do the deal, but it makes a lot of sense for the attacker to join Hodgson’s side.
Kalidou Koulibaly to Man City
There had been a lot of speculation linking the man nicknamed ‘K2’ to Man City, and that was before news of Eric Garcia’s departure surfaced.
Koulibaly is 29, and although he may not be considered a long-term investment he should provide Pep Guardiola with a timely boost as he attempts to secure the Premier League title and Champions League crown next season, (City, of course, can still win the latter this season.)
A physically imposing defender that reads the game well, his time at Napoli, particularly under Maurizio Sarri, will have prepared him well to play in Guardiola’s system, and Napoli are more than likely eager to do a deal while there is still a chance to make a healthy profit on the defender.
Kai Havertz to Chelsea
Chelsea fans are on tenterhooks waiting for the confirmation of Kai Havertz joining the club.
The two sides have reportedly agreed personal terms, and all that is waiting is sign-off from Bayer Leverkusen on the fee. The club recently released a documentary celebrating his time at the club, and many fans saw that as an indication he was preparing to leave (it wasn’t).
The 21-year-old can play in several positions and will offer Frank Lampard something a bit different as he continues to overhaul the club’s attacking options.
A defender and goalkeeper might feel more pressing concerns, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a Chelsea fan ready to turn down Havertz.
Kepa Arrizabalaga to Valencia
If Havertz is a player Chelsea fans are desperate to sign then Kepa is one they are desperate to sell.
The Spanish goalkeeper arrived for a club-record fee and simply hasn’t delivered.
His antics in the League Cup final felt like a death knell for his Chelsea career, but he has managed to survive until now, although some of that stay of execution is due to the club’s transfer ban.
The Blues have been linked heavily with both Jan Oblak and Andre Onana, but as yet those deals have not made any progress.
Kyle Walker-Peters to Southampton
The Spurs defender was brimming with promise when he broke through under Mauricio Pochettino, but his career had stalled by the time he joined Southampton on loan.
To both his and Ralph Hassenhuttl’s credit, the deal has been transformative for the defender and the regular playing time has helped restart his career.
Southampton are in dire need of a quality right-back with Yann Valery looking less than convincing.
The situation with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will likely mean the two teams exchange players and a few million pounds, and that will be best for all parties.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to Spurs
The Danish midfielder joined Saints from Bayern Munich and has found good form under Ralph Hassenhuttl.
He is now in the final year of his contract, and that has facilitated the need for Southampton to sell.
Meanwhile, Tottenham are in need of a more defensively-minded midfielder, and Hojbjerg fits the bill.
The fact Saints are fond of Kyle Walker-Peters makes the transfer easier for everybody involved.
Ollie Watkins to Aston Villa
The Brentford striker was one game away from being a Premier League striker, only for Fulham to dash his hopes.
He managed an impressive 25 league goals in 46 games, and after Brentford’s failed promotion attempt he is available for £18m.
That will be perfect for a Villa side in dire need of goals and a line-leading forward.
The fact Watkins is familiar to manager Dean Smith from their time together at Brentford makes this an obvious deal for both parties.