Chelsea without signings, Ajax face being ripped apart and can Real Madrid afford their overhaul? Sportsmail looks at the key questions for the summer transfer window
- The international transfer window has now officially opened for clubs to deal
- Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG face big recruitment drives this summer
- Ajax’s success has seen a number of their stars generate lots of interest
- Sportsmail looks at the key questions from around Europe in terms of transfers
The international transfer window officially opened on June 11 and that means clubs can start to show their hands when it comes to new signings.
With all that in mind, Sportsmail takes a look at 10 questions which are yet to be answered this summer.
Lots of European clubs face a number of questions heading into the summer transfer window
What do Manchester City need to strengthen?
Two seasons ago Manchester City finished with 100 points. Last season they needed 97 points to win the league. Truly remarkable numbers.
But with Liverpool only a point behind them in the most recent campaign, City boss Pep Guardiola is well aware of the need to avoid complacency in a bid to solidify their position as the best side in England.
David Silva is set to depart at the end of next season, they need a replacement at centre back for Vincent Kompany and Guardiola continues to search for a long-term successor for linchpin midfielder Fernandinho.
Benfica’s Joao Felix, Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes and Atletico Madrid’s Rodri appear the most likely names to show up next at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City’s dominance domestically cannot be taken for granted as they eye signings
How can Liverpool build on their success?
Domestically they came so, so close. A single point was all that separated them from the Manchester City juggernaut.
Victory in the Champions League was deserved for a group who lost just once in the Premier League all season but now they need to put their foot on the accelerator, rather than the brake, to end their wait for a league title.
They already possess one of the best back fives in the world with Alisson and Virgil van Dijk hailed as the difference makers last year. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are among the finest full-backs in Europe.
Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax remains of interest, given his links to Van Dijk, while bolstering options in attack, with Lille’s Nicolas Pepe one option, a key area of focus with Daniel Sturridge – already left – and Divock Origi facing an uncertain future.
Liverpool need to build on their Champions League success in order to lift the domestic title
What lies ahead for Chelsea?
In a word: nothing.
The Blues are facing not being able to sign anybody this summer and having already lost star man Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in a £130million move, that could have real repercussions on the fortune of the side.
With an array of loan stars and young players available, Chelsea are not short on bodies but Maurizio Sarri will need big seasons from people such as Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The uncertainty over the position of boss Maurizio Sarri – who is being heavily linked with a return to Serie A with Juventus – ensures the coming summer remains a foggy one at Stamford Bridge.
The prospect of a two-window transfer ban ensures Chelsea’s transfer plans remain on ice
How does managerial uncertainty affect Barcelona?
Suffering a 4-0 humiliation away to Liverpool in the semi-finals of the Champions League remains a major black mark against Ernesto Valverde’s name.
In all honesty he has two since taking charge: elimination to Roma in the Champions League the season before last and then what transpired at Anfield last month.
The club are actively looking to build a team that can win them the desired Champions League title that has escaped them since 2015, with Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong arriving for £65m.
De Ligt is another they are desperately keen to sign while talk of Antoine Griezmann refuses to subside. Clarity over the manager appears the key to putting all the other elements into place. Rule out a departure for Valverde and the rest should take care of itself.
The uncertainty around the future of boss Ernesto Valverde is holding up Barcelona’s summer
Will Real Madrid continue to splash the cash?
When Zinedine Zidane returned to take back the reins at Real Madrid, it was clear he wanted funds come the summer.
A dismal end to the campaign saw him waste no time in lifting the mood with a £62m move for striker Luka Jovic followed by the £130m arrival of Hazard. But the club’s grand plans for an overhaul show no signs of slowing down.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is top of the priority list while Christian Eriksen is also of interest.
The issue for Madrid is that they need to comply with Financial Fair Play and that means selling players to balance the books. Gareth Bale, Isco, James Rodriguez and Mateo Kovacic all appear out of Zidane’s plans but the tricky part is finding suitors for players who have long-term deals at the club.
Madrid’s summer hinges on shifting a couple of sizeable earners.
Zinedine Zidane is determined to close the gap to rivals by overhauling Real Madrid’s squad
Trouble in paradise for Atletico?
It is already accepted at the Wanda Metropolitano that Griezmann won’t be wearing the club’s red and white next season.
He says he already knows his next destination but for now, football fans wait to see where that turns out to be.
Diego Godin, a long-standing figure at the back for Atleti, is departing and midfielder Rodri is a top target for Guardiola at City.
The issue facing Atletico and boss Diego Simeone is that they need to remain competitive while also keeping a squad together that want to play for the club.
With lots of talk that Manchester United have been sounded out over goalkeeper Jan Oblak, losing the spine of Oblak, Godin, Rodri and Griezmann could devastate the side like few other summers have.
Atletico Madrid could face a major rebuilding if stars like goalkeeper Jan Oblak leave the club
Are Ajax facing a squad demolition?
The Dutch giants were one of the stories of the 2018-19 season as they defied all expectations to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Driven on by a talented young core, Erik ten Hag’s side were a matter of seconds away from a final berth before Tottenham’s Lucas Moura broke their hearts on home soil.
Talented midfielder De Jong is already a confirmed departure while there is a wealth of interest in De Ligt, Donny van de Beek, Andre Onana, Hakim Ziyech, David Neres and Nicolas Tagliafico.
For many, their prices may never be this high again and the club could face a windfall in the hundreds of millions. Given their success, there is a feeling of inevitability that this group will go their separate ways.
Matthijs de Ligt leads a line of Ajax stars who are generating a wealth of interest this summer
Will Juventus build a team to challenge in Europe?
Cristiano Ronaldo was brought in to win Juventus the Champions League. Fact.
They had already won seven straight Serie A titles before the mercurial Portuguese arrived in Turin. Three straight trophies in Europe’s premier competition with Real Madrid before he arrived, there was lots of hope he could drag them to their first since 1996.
He got them out of jail with a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid but could do little to stop elimination against Ajax. Now Juventus need to go again and give Ronaldo the right supporting cast.
Paulo Dybala, under former boss Massimiliano Allegri, looked ready to leave this summer and that may still be the case. They need to freshen up an ageing defence while talk of a return for Pogba continues to dominate front pages in Italy.
Aaron Ramsey arriving on a free is smart business but Ronaldo – who was seen asking in-demand De Ligt to swap Amsterdam for Turin following the Nations League final – needs more around him to help end their European Cup drought.
Cristiano Ronaldo was brought to Juventus to win the Champions League but he needs help
But what about Conte… have Inter got the cash?
Suddenly, Juventus are looking over their shoulder.
Their former boss Antonio Conte has arrived back in Serie A in a rival dugout and Inter appear ready to make a splash in the market.
Their list of targets is a sign of the lofty ambition: Romelu Lukaku, Eriksen, Bale, Fernandes and others.
Plenty are expected to come through the door at the San Siro this summer as Conte looks to turn Inter from top four hopefuls into Championship contenders.
Inter Milan are looking to challenge Juventus for the Serie A title under Antonio Conte (left)
Are PSG facing a choice between Mbappe and Neymar?
This one is likely to run and run all summer.
Do Paris Saint-Germain need to choose between Kylian Mbappe and Neymar – or can they keep both on side?
Both are capable of being the star of the show but two does not fit into one and the club – knowing they need to strengthen a number of other areas – may concede they can no longer accommodate both.
Reports in Spain on Tuesday described a ‘divorce’ pending between Neymar and PSG with a return to Spain mooted.
The focus on their strikers will be the talk of France for the months to come.
The relationship between Kylian Mbappe (left) and Neymar (right) remains a topic of debate