As the World Cup draws to its close – we have to do a little cold turkey for a while before the excitement starts all over again with the 2014-15 Premier League.
Until then, we’ll have to keep a close eye on all the latest football news and the moves in the transfer market (which can continue until the end of August of course) to keep us going.
There have already been some pretty big moves – with the latest being confirmation of what we already knew about Suarez’s departure for Barcelona – along with Arsenal’s signing of Chile’s World Cup star, Alexis Sanchez for £35m from Barcelona.
And no-one could say that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been putting his feet up. He’s made more moves than any other realistic title contender, selling David Luiz to PSG and bringing in a brace of Spaniards in the shape of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid and Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona.
Ashley Cole and Samuel Eto’o have left Stamford Bridge and it looks likely that Frank Lampard won’t be playing in the UK next season either.
The market seems to like the special one’s moves so far – installing Chelsea as favourites to win the Premier League next year – just edging out Man City as things stand. There’s then a small gap to Manchester United, currently around 5/1 with the new man Louis van Gaal in charge. The Dutchman had a good World Cup; his reputation remains intact, so how he performs at Old Trafford and who he brings in will be fascinating to watch.
Next up are Arsenal and Liverpool, currently fourth and fifth in the betting market at around 17/2 and 9/1 respectively. Arsenal were doing well last season, but stuttered due to injury problems and the toll of the games in three major competitions. If the Gunners can enjoy better luck with injuries and Sanchez turns out to be the kind of big purchase success story the fans have been clamouring for – they could be more of a force to be reckoned with.
As for Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool; they’ll be a different proposition without Luis Suarez. But they have brought in Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert from Southampton, along with German U-21 midfielder Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen for £10m and Lille frontman Divock Origi. They also seem likely to sign Serbian winger Lazar Markovic from Benfica.
And then there’s the wild-card Spurs; something of an unknown quantity with new man Mauricio Pochettino at the helm. The Argentine did a great job at Southampton and will be dead keen to make an impression at this, his first truly big club. He’s already been instrumental in persuading Hugo Lloris into signing a new deal – but has a wealth of talent at his disposal to make his own moves.
Spurs are currently 66-1 with some bookmakers and look like the out and out value bet – along with Liverpool who have drifted in the market a little following Suarez’s departure but who are, in truth, far more than a one-man team.