5) Marco Verratti
Verratti is easily the hottest property in the European transfer market at the moment. The diminutive Italian has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world since joining PSG from Pescara in 2012. Verratti’s ability to control the midfield is something Barca dearly need, with the Catalans suffering massively due to Rakitic’s loss of form and Gomes’ inconsistency. While it is difficult to think where Verratti would play in Real Madrid’s midfield with Kroos, Modric and Casemiro forging a strong partnership, Verratti is the kind of player who would improve any side. Modric will not get any younger now, and the Italian could be the perfect long-term replacement.
4) David De Gea
David De Gea has been the subject of interest from Real Madrid for the last couple of years. The Spaniard came ever so close to leaving Manchester United two seasons ago in a swap deal, which would have seen Keylor Navas move to Old Trafford. However, the move collapsed partly due to some delay in the documentation. Nevertheless, Real Madrid have maintained the interest in the former Atletico goalkeeper, while Barca may also be tempted by the idea of bringing the Spain no 1 to the Camp Nou.
3) Eden Hazard
The Belgian returned to his old self-last season after a horrible 2015-16 season. Hazard’s loss of form was one of the prime reasons behind Chelsea and Mourinho’s downfall. However, under Antonio Conte, the Belgian flourished in a more free role. His return to form also meant that Real Madrid were back in for the attacker. Hazard is seen as the ideal replacement for the aging Cristiano Ronaldo. While Hazard may not replace him like for like, he will still provide that extra bit needed for Real to maintain the level after Ronaldo leaves. Now in his prime, Hazard could be tempted by the idea of playing for Europe’s best.
2) Ousmane Dembele
Kylian Mbappe stole all the headlines last season with his thrilling pace and goals; however, it was Ousmane Dembele, who really stole everybody’s imagination with his supreme skills. The Borussia Dortmund attacker became one of the most important players for Thomas Tuchel, despite his young age. While the likes of Emre Mor struggled to make an impact, Dembele became the creative hub for the Black and Yellow. Still 20, Dembele has all the time in the world to take the next step. He prefers Barcelona, but he will not be getting significant playing time unless Valverde changes Barca’s preferred 4-3-3 system. Real Madrid too could prove to be an enticing option, with the club willing to sell Bale.
1) Paulo Dybala
Dybala struggled in the Champions League final as Ronaldo once again grabbed the honours. However, it does not take away the fact that Dybala is a star in the making. The Argentine attacker has taken his game to a whole new level since joining Juventus from Palermo. He was the main man for Allegri, and Dybala repaid the faith with a brace against Barcelona in the quarterfinals. Dybala has often drawn comparisons with compatriot, Lionel Messi, due to his erratic playing style. And to be honest, Dybala has all the qualities to take over the reins from Messi one day. However, he still has a lot to learn. Nevertheless, when Dybala does indeed decide to leave Juve, he will have a plethora of clubs to select from.