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Liverpool lead the race for THREE midfielders, Manchester United could be Harry Kane’s only move and Man City stole a march in pursuit of Josko Gvardiol…



Liverpool lead the race for THREE midfielders, Manchester United could be Harry Kane’s only move and Man City stole a march in pursuit of Josko Gvardiol…

The stage is set for another huge summer of record spending in the Premier League and beyond.

A host of world-class players could be on the move, with England stars such as Harry Kane, Mason Mount, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham possibly joining new clubs.

Liverpool lead the race for three midfielders as Jurgen Klopp look for a summer rebuild, while Manchester City have moved ahead in the race for defender Josko Gvardiol.

Other ‘Big Six’ clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea will also go from strength to strength and there are plenty of emerging stars around the world who are catching the eye of the richest league in the world. So, with less than three months to go until the summer window opens, Sportsmail takes a look at the biggest transfer sagas ahead and assesses the likelihood of deals happening.

The stage is set for another huge summer of record spending in the Premier League

English stars like Harry Kane, Mason Mount and Declan Rice could join new clubs

Liverpool are keen on a midfielder in Jude Bellingham for a summer rebuild under Klopp

This year could finally be the year Harry Kane leaves Tottenham, potentially marking the end of the Will-he-will-not-he saga that has been going on for several years – and Manchester United are leading the queue.

Spurs fans won’t like it if we say so, but he’s a huge fish in a medium-sized pond and it seems likely this season will be his last in north London, two years after he wanted to leave for Manchester City, who are now Erling Haaland as the center of their attack.

Clearly a world-class player – perhaps the club’s only one – the England captain is the best player in such a large squad, scoring 20 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions this season.

Only Haaland (27) has scored more than his 18 league goals this season and he’s a good bet to be the all-time top scorer for the Premier League, England and Tottenham Hotspur by the end of his career. His current contract expires in the summer of 2024 and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will be determined not to lose their golden goose for nothing at the end of his contract. At 29, Kane also knows that his next deal could be the last major one of his career.

Spurs are fourth, in bottom place for Champions League qualification, but Liverpool and Newcastle directly behind them have games in hand and are likely favorites for their overtake.

If Spurs fail to play in the Champions League next season, the club are believed to reduce their asking price by £100m as United grow confident they can take him into this scenario given Kane’s desire to play at the highest level, compete and win trophies.

United are also said to have been encouraged by a response received after contacting Kane’s camp via a third party. Given their rivalry with Tottenham, he is highly unlikely to join Arsenal or Chelsea and the main reason holding back a move to United is Levy’s wish not to sell to an English club. Kane’s contract situation may force him to reconsider.

Chances of exit: 7/10

That he leaves Signal Iduna Park for the Premier League is almost mathematically certain this summer.

And this year there is renewed interest from Liverpool, City, United and Chelsea. Liverpool lead the way as they seek a much-needed midfield makeover, with title chasers City also keen on the teenager. Spanish giants and Champions League title holders Real Madrid are also in the running, but have recently spent big on French youngsters Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga to bolster their midfield.

United and Chelsea have an interest but are less likely to chase it as a real priority. The post of Bellingham’s beloved Reds right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrating their 7-0 win over Manchester United – possibly hinting at his next club – has caused a frenzy among Liverpool fans.

And no wonder. Bellingham could clinch the Premier League title for anyone who plays – he’s that good. Chances of exit: 10/10

Another player who may have overtaken his current club is Declan Rice.

Rivals Manchester City and United admire the 24-year-old, but both splashed big on midfielders Kalvin Phillips (£42m) and Casemiro (£70m) last summer while Chelsea’s likely lack of Champions League football will count against them.

Either way, Arsenal have moved forward in the race for ‘Basmati Busquets’ as they seek to strengthen their squad ahead of an almost certain return to Europe’s elite competition. The Gunners have identified Rice as their main summer transfer target.

In the middle of the park, Thomas Partey is talented but injury-prone, Granit Xhaka is 30, Jorginho is a short-term replacement, Mohamed Elneny is just a squad player, Albert Sambi Lokonga may well be sold this summer and Fabio Vieira is still raw. A young, mobile and dynamic central midfielder with room for improvement, Premier League experience and the ability to play as both No6 and No8 in Arsenal’s typical 4-3-3 formation, as Rice, would be greatly appreciated.

Gunners icon and Under-18 manager Jack Wilshere has also taken it upon himself to lure his friend to north London.

As Sportsmail’s Sami Mokbel revealed last week, the pair formed and remained close during their time at West Ham – and that bond could well be an influencing factor when Rice decides on her next destination.

Even if West Ham avoid relegation, their stay in East London should come to an end, although the Hammers could probably demand a nine-figure sum.

Chances of exit: 8/10

Mount Mason (Liverpool, Newcastle)

Liverpool, keen to bring one or three midfielders to life, are also leading the race for Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount.

A graduate of the club’s academy, fan favorite Mount has been at the club for 18 years and is a real blues.

But with his contract expiring in 2024 – much like Kane’s situation at Spurs – the club don’t want to lose their prized asset for nothing.

New owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are stunned by the way their predecessors canceled the contracts of national defenders Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen last summer.

Chelsea will therefore look to sell him if they fail to agree an extension at the end of the campaign, with the Reds leading the way. Rumors of Mount charging £300,000 a week are far from true, but it’s believed to be a messy situation with bonuses, image rights and add-ons being the main sticking points.

Chelsea would like him to sign for the better part of a decade, while the player would prefer a slightly shorter contract. Athletic say there were positive talks in November with both sides optimistic they could reach an agreement.

Liverpool are also leading the race for Chelsea star Mason Mount as they seek midfield reinforcements.

Attacking midfielder’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires in summer 2024

But otherwise, his college status means a sale would count as a gain on the Blues’ balance sheet, helping them comply with FFP regulations. As Sportsmail reported on Tuesday, Newcastle have joined Liverpool in the race, but an extension at Stamford Bridge is seen as more likely than a move to the Toon. Sportsmail understands that Man United, Man City and Juventus are also keen.

Chance to leave: 5/10

City are not only very interested in Bellingham but also very interested in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, according to Sportsmail sources.

The 21-year-old Croatian was one of the standout players at the World Cup in Qatar, exploding on the radars of almost every top European club.

Indeed, Liverpool and Chelsea, among others, are keen to sign the talented centre-back, who can also fill the left-back role. However, City also like Napoli full-back Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and want a genuine left-back to rival Nathan Ake, Sergio Gomez and (potentially) the return of Joao Cancelo, who will eat into their budget.

Therefore, City’s pursuit could hinge somewhat on the departure of defenders such as Aymeric Laporte or other disposals.

However, this summer looks set to be Gvardiol’s last in Leipzig.

Chance to leave: 8/10