With champions having been crowned in England, Italy, France and, very shortly, Germany, the 2015/16 domestic season is drawing to a close. While we have both the European Championship and Copa America Centenario to look forward to this summer, it's also invariably that time of year when we're subject to constant summer transfer rumors. The 2016 summer transfer window is highlighted by some big names who are hungry for a change of scenery.
The 2015 transfer window saw the likes of Raheem Sterling, Angel Di Maria and Christian Benteke change clubs, and the 2016 summer transfer window is aflush with wild rumors. Increased revenues for the world's largest clubs, key performances by players at international tournaments and the growing power of both MLS and China mean that this figures to be one of the wildest summer transfer windows of all-time.
Top 7 2016 Summer Transfer Rumors
#1: James Rodriguez
The top scorer at the 2014 World Cup, things have soured for James following his €80m transfer to Real Madrid. During the 2014/15 La Liga season, James started 29 matches while scoring 13 goals and providing 13 assists.
The 2015/16 La Liga campaign has seen him start only 16 matches while scoring 7 goals and providing 7 assists. Former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti seemed to favor the Colombian, whereas present manager Zinedine Zidane has been accused of not liking the 24-year-old, preferring Isco, Jese Rodriguez and defensive solidarity behind an attacking line of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
With his chances at playing dwindling, the rumors surrounding a possible transfer away from the Bernabéu have been coming thick and fast. Madrid will be looking to recoup a significant amount of their initial transfer fee should they decide to sell James.
The most likely destination has been identified as Manchester United. One of the few clubs that could actually afford him, the deal has been given further steam since both James and the rumored future manager of United, Jose Mourinho, share the same agent.
Probability: Highly Likely
Neymar has been the subject of constant transfer speculation since signing for Barcelona, the majority of it being completely unfounded. However, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United both remain completely enraptured with the 24-year-old Brazilian.
Neymar’s inability to replicate the form that helped Barcelona capture the UEFA Champions League in 2015 led to rumors that he’d had his head turned by a massive offer from PSG.
Neymar remains committed to Barcelona and continues to play a massive role at the club, but his deficiencies have served to highlight the irreplaceability of Lionel Messi.
Luis Suarez has staked his claim as the best number nine in the world, making Neymar the most dispensable of Barcelona’s attacking trident. Could Neymar be enticed by the lure of Manchester United or the riches of PSG?
Probability: Highly Unlikely
#3: Riyad Mahrez
The 2015/16 PFA Players’ Player of the Year, Riyad Mahrez’s transfer value is said to have risen from £4.5 million to £30.1 million over the past year.
The key creative influence in a Leicester City side that would be thoroughly lacking guile without the 25-year-old Algerian, Mahrez’s departure from Leicester would throw a wrench into the club’s longterm plans, including their participation in the Champions League next season.
Mahrez’s importance to Leicester makes him almost unsellable in the eyes of their Thai owners, but both Arsenal and PSG have been heavily linked with the playmaker.
#4: Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski is the kind of striker that guarantees you enough goals to be challenging for a league title. His league totals over the past five seasons reads: 22, 24, 20, 17 and 27. He boasts a spectacular strike rate and will likely see his stock increase after leading Poland at the European Championship this summer.
Bayern Munich have not indicated that they’d be willing to sell Lewandowski, but the Polish striker may be keen for a new challenge after 6 seasons in the Bundesliga, including 4 German first division titles.
Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City are said to be closely monitoring the situation between Lewandowski and the Bavarian club.
#5: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has made no secret of his desire to play in Spain. While he favors Real Madrid, he’s also said he could play for Barcelona or Atletico Madrid.
On the back of Mats Hummels requesting a transfer to Bayern Munich, it promises to be another traumatic summer at Borussia Dortmund.
The 26-year-old has slowly transformed into one of the fastest and deadliest forwards in world football. He’s scored 39 goals in all competitions this season while being named the 2015 African Footballer of the Year.
#6: Mario Gotze
The scorer of the game winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, Mario Gotze has floundered since his transfer to Bayern Munich. This season has been his worst to date, starting only 10 Bundesliga matches and scoring only a single goal.
Gotze is almost certainly out of time in Munich and could be used in a swap deal for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels. Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp have also been closely monitoring the situation.
Probability: Highly Likely
#7: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has publicly stated his desire to move on from PSG this summer. A host of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham United, have all expressed their interest.
AC Milan and Juventus, former employers of Zlatan, are also keen on the 34-year-old Swede returning.
In spectacular fashion, Zlatan could also end up playing in MLS or China. The 34-year-old has scored 44 goals in 47 matches for PSG this year, so the time hasn't come to confine him to a retirement home just yet.
Probability: Highly Likely