While the 2019-20 Champions League has just ended with its thrilling championship clash between Bayern Munich and PGG, it’s already time to take a look ahead to the 2020-21 campaign and the player movement that could potentially affect next year’s title winner. Let’s get started with the biggest news in all of soccer these days, the likely transfer of superstar striker Lionel Messi, who wants out of Barcelona after suiting up for the Blaugrana since 2004. Let’s get right into action so you can start planning ahead your bets against their odds to win the Champions League.
Possible Player Movements That Can Affect Title Winner | UEFA 2021 Champions League Betting
While there are a lot of rumors floating around that Messi could end up with Bayern Munich or Man City, among others, the main things is, Barca will be taking a massive hit both, in the wallet and on the field once the legendary Messi moves on and that could change the balance of power for Barca, both in their domestic La Liga and the Champions League after they went 25-7-6 in La Liga to finish second to Real Madrid while going 4-2-0 in Champions League play. Complicating Messi’s potential departure is the fact that Messi and Barca have a $700 million dollar release clause tied to the game’s best goal-scorer.
Next up, Barca is back in the news with Phillippe Coutinho possibly going back to Barca after spending the past season with Bayern Munich. Coutinho signed for a record $160 million, but Barcelona had been trying to sell the Brazilian for several months before agreeing to loan him to Bayern Munich.
However, with a lack of clubs willing to pay Barca’s $80 million dollar asking price and a change of manager in the Camp Nou dugout, Coutinho could be suiting up in Catalonia next season and that would at least, soften the blow of losing Messi.
“I’ve not thought about next season yet,” Coutinho said on Sunday. “I have to return to Barcelona and I am excited to work hard and have a great season. I don’t know if it will be with Barcelona, but I have to return there first.”
Another rumor has Valencia potentially parting ways with forward Rodrigo who reports say, is interested in landing with Leeds United. Now, more reports say that Valencia is looking to add Real Madrid striker Borja Mayoral to be their new No. 9 after the 23-year-old spent the past two seasons on loan at fellow Valencian side Levante.
Then, there’s AC Milan and Chelsea who are reportedly set on coming to an agreement on 25-year-old midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko to rejoin the Rossoneri on another loan.
Napoli joins the transfer talk by potentially dealing midfielder Allan to Everton while Bayern Munich could lose midfielder Thiago, possibly to Liverpool as well. Internazionale could part ways with Antonio Conte while targeting free agent forward Mario Mandzukic while superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be moving on from AC Milan as his contract expired following this season.
Arsenal striker Sam Greenwood is set to leave the club with Manchester United and Leeds United both possible landing spots while Chelsea is reportedly set to sign Ben Chilwell from Leicester. Arsenal is also reportedly close to adding Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz.
The bottom line as far as transfers and the Champions League balance of power is concerned is that there are just too many variables going right now to completely make any predictions on what possible players moves will affect each Champions League participant moving forward. Until some of these reported deals, starting with Messi, is complete, soccer fans everywhere will have to wait and see which players lands with new teams and what their respective roles will be with their new clubs.
One thing’s for sure. Barca definitely won’t be the same without Messi and whichever team lands the global icon, will almost instantly be better than they were a year ago.