Gotze’s gone, who’s next?

Mario Gotze’s decision to swap the black and yellow cauldron that is the Westfalenstadion, for the red and white of Bayern Munich could trigger a flurry of moves in many European teams’ engine rooms.

The 20-year-old, one of European football’s greatest talents, was a potential target for some Premier League clubs, which will now have to look elsewhere, while Jurgen Klopp will need to replace his number 10 adequately.

We have picked seven midfielders that could change shirt during the summer.

1) Christian Eriksen – Ajax (value £14m)

The Danish international has long been linked with a move away from the Amsterdam Arena and has attracted plenty of admirers across Europe. Liverpool were the latest club to be linked with the diminutive midfielder, but so far the Reds have failed to agree a deal. Immediately after Bayern announced the signing of Mario Gotze, Dortmund were touted as a possible destination for the playmaker. Eriksen’s style would fit Klopp’s system, and the Bundesliga looks like an increasingly appealing option for Eriksen, whose contract expires in 2014 meaning that Ajax are likely to be willing to cash in now, rather than lose him for free in 12 months.

2) Stevan Jovetic – Fiorentina (value £25m)

The Montenegro international has been one of Arsene Wenger’s long-term targets. With Gotze choosing Bayern Munich, the Gunners are likely to step up their interest for the Fiorentina player who has scored 12 goals in 24 Serie A games this season.  The 23-year-old seems to have finally put his injury problems behind him and has enjoyed probably his best football of his career in the last 18 months, but is tied to Fiorentina until 2016 which mean he won’t be cheap.

3) Sven Bender – Borussia Dortmund (value £12.5m)

A pivotal figure in the heart of Dortmund’s midfield, Bender is the sort of complete midfielder that would thrive in England. Both Manchester clubs were reportedly interested in the services of the 23-year-old, but Jurgen Klopp is extremely unlikely to allow one of his midfield generals to leave. Furthermore, unlike Gotze and Lewandowski, Bender is under contract until 2017 and, should Dortmund lift the Champions League, would he really be keen to move?

4) Isco – Malaga (value £17.5m)

The latest in a seemingly infinite plethora of talented Spanish midfielders, the 21-year-old helped Malaga to within a whisker of their first Champions League semifinal, attracting interest from different clubs across the continent. Valued at just over £17m, Isco can play on both flanks but is normally deployed “in the hole” – a position from where he’s scored 11 goals in 39 matches between La Liga and the Champions League this season. The Spaniard is under contract until 2016 but with Malaga banned from European competitions, expect some big clubs to come calling in the summer.

5) Julian Draxler – Schalke 04 (value £15m)

With their Ruhr neighbours, Dortmund, being the talk of the town, Schalke have flown relatively under the radar this season. Julian Draxler, however, hasn’t. The £15m-rated playmaker has emerged as one of Europe’s top talents over the last two seasons – eight goals and two assists in 28 league games this term – and has attracted interest from Arsenal, Real Madrid and, surprise surprise, Bayern Munich. Draxler, whose contract runs until 2016 and does not include a buy-out clause, has also been linked with arch-rivals Dortmund who could consider a shock swoop for the 19-year-old to replace Mario Gotze.

6) Viktor Fischer – Ajax (value £2.2m)

Fischer isn’t the traditional playmaker for he’s normally deployed as left winger, but the Dane can definitely spot a pass. Still only 18, Fischer had already attracted attention from Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City when he was still in Denmark but opted for a move to Ajax instead. Fischer, much like his countryman Nicklas Bendtner, has a high opinion of himself but has managed to keep his feet relatively grounded up until now. Reports in Denmark suggest that he’ll remain at Ajax for at least another season, but he’s worth keeping an eye on.

7) Xherdan Shaqiri – Bayern Munich (value £13m)

The diminutive midfielder’s first season in Bavaria has been a bit hit and miss, with the former Basel man showing glimpses of class alternated to lengthy spells on the sidelines, largely thanks to Bayern’s incredible depth in midfield. An attacking midfielder comfortable with both feet, Shaqiri has scored six goals in 34 games in all competitions for Bayern this season and while his contract expires in 2016, the arrival of Mario Gotze could limit the Swiss’ time on the pitch even further, leading him to seek regular football elsewhere.

 

Contracts’ length and players’ value according to http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/

 

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