Since the start of the off-season, both Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe looked set to leave their respective clubs in world-record transfer fees.
But with the above-mentioned duo set to stay on with their club for another year, due to Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban and the Monaco star hinting that he would remain at the club next season, we look at five players who are likely to exit the door during the upcoming transfer window.
On Wednesday night, the news broke that Chelsea striker, Diego Costa, was no longer in head coach Antonio Conte's plans. That leaves the Spanish forward in a position where he must look for a new club, while the Blues go in search for a suitable replacement. According to reports in England, Costa has sparked interest from both AC Milan and the Chinese Super League.
Romelu Lukaku, who was once in Chelsea's books, emerged as the front-runner to replace Costa, with the Belgian powerhouse stating that he has already reached an agreement with a club, according to reports that also claim he wants to be competing for the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Lukaku will feel that he has unfinished business with the Premier League champions and has a second chance of emulating Didier Drogba, who he idolised as a player growing up.
Virgil Van Dijk is another player looking for the exit door. With his move to Liverpool breaking down, due to the fact that the Reds allegedly approached him illegally. Chelsea, along with both of the Manchester clubs, has been put on alert. Van Dijk would cost over £50m, but, for a player of his talent, it should prove to be money well spent.
Alvaro Morata, who scored a late equaliser in Spain's 2-2 draw with Colombia on Wednesday, has drawn the attention of some of Europe's biggest giants. However, it seems to be a two-horse race between Manchester United and AC Milan at the moment. United want Morata to strengthen their attack, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future still up in the air. Milan's new Chinese owners have set their sights on three new strikers, with Costa and Andrea Belotti being the other two players on their wish list.
Lastly, James Rodriguez, who shone in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is all but guaranteed to leave 12-time Champions League winners, Real Madrid. Not many know where James will end up, but, just like the four players mentioned above, his departure is imminent.
*This article was written by a Soccer Laduma reader and reflects their opinion, not that of Soccer Laduma.