Pulisic, Pogba and Salah among Premier League stars facing critical decisions about their clubs and future

The Premier League returns this weekend with all clubs entering the home stretch of the season and the issues to be decided at both ends of the table. But while the focus will be on Manchester City’s pursuit of four trophies, the race for Champions League qualification and the battle to avoid relegation, there is also a lot at stake for a number of top players. .

Some have yet to figure out their future with their contracts which expire on June 30, while others have less than two months to gain more minutes on the pitch to potentially avoid looking for a new club this summer.

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A small group is facing a ‘now or never’ summer in terms of landing a big move and there are also those who will only have one year left on their contract at the end of the season, which means they have to decide to leave, sign a new contract, or cut the remaining 12 months to become a free agent in 2021.

ESPN has assessed what lies ahead for players who face one of the most important periods of their careers in the weeks to come.

Question marks are growing over the Chelsea striker’s future at Stamford Bridge after his failure to make an impact under Thomas Tuchel since the German was appointed as Frank Lampard’s successor in January.

Tuchel showed his faith in Kai Havertz and Timo werner, while helping to take Mason frame‘s game to a new level, and the big loser was US captain Pulisic. After making his senior debut as a teenager by Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, Pulisic appeared to have an advantage over his teammates when the new coach took the lead, but he is yet to finish 90 minutes under him and the majority of his play time has come. in FA Cup.

If Pulisic fails to make his mark in the final weeks of the season, the 22-year-old may have to consider his future at Chelsea this summer.

The French midfielder is entering the final 12 months of his contract with Man United this summer, making the coming weeks crucial for the player and the club. Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola made public last December of the 28-year-old’s desire to leave Old Trafford this summer, but the situation has calmed down in recent months as the player has performed well for the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team until an injury forced him to be absent for six weeks.

– Dawson: Man United’s big decisions include Pogba’s future

Pogba’s salary and probable fees will ensure that only the wealthiest clubs could afford to sign him this summer, but the pandemic has hit the market hard and United could avoid losing him as a free agent in 2021 by accepting a new lucrative contract. How Pogba and the end of the season might decide if he stays or leaves, but there is no easy solution to the problem for either side.

The loaned Real Madrid winger has said his future is still undecided, having initially claimed last week that he would return to Spain this summer after his one-season loan at Tottenham ends. But with Bale having 12 months to run on a contract worth up to £ 600,000 a week at Real, he will have to do a lot more for Spurs in the final two months of the season to win over manager Jose Mourinho and President Daniel Levy that he is worth a big financial outlay to keep him at the club next season.

– Marcotti: Bale’s contract conundrum haunts Real Madrid and Spurs

Bale, who turns 32 in July, has scored a respectable 10 goals in 25 games in all competitions for Spurs this season, but despite his impressive strike rate, the Welsh international has missed too many games to be considered to have provided a good value for money. .

A fit and fit Bale would be an asset, but getting him fit and fit has been Tottenham’s problem for most of this season.

With two more years to go on his contract at Liverpool, it doesn’t look like Mohamed Salah’s future at Anfield is urgent. But the Egyptian has made a series of remarks in recent months about the possibility of a move from Liverpool, specifically to Spain.

The gambling financial crisis, caused by the pandemic, left Salah with limited options in terms of finding a move. The same goes for Liverpool who, if they were willing to sell, would find the market much less successful than when they did sell Philippe Coutinho in Barcelona for £ 142million in January 2018.

If there is a club willing to spend more than £ 80million to sign Salah, Liverpool would face a big decision as to whether the time is right to sell a player who turns 29 in June in order to reinvest in the Jurgen Klopp’s team.

At 24, Dele Alli is approaching a crossroads in his career this summer, which he will likely spend at home after losing his place in the England squad before the rescheduled Euro. With three years to go on his contract at Tottenham, Alli will demand hefty fees if he is sold, but his failure to earn a regular place under Jose Mourinho means he will have to seriously consider a move in order to launch his career.

Alli has only made 22 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals, but he still has admirers, namely his former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, who is now at Paris Saint-Germain. A return to the squad in the final weeks of the season could defuse the situation for Alli, but that seems an unlikely prospect, so he will either have to sit still and hope he survives Mourinho at Spurs or try to force a move elsewhere.

The England captain showed no commitment to Spurs’ future when asked this week about the prospect of moving away from the club to win major trophies. Sources told ESPN that Manchester City and Manchester United will both move for Kane if the 27-year-old shows signs of leaving Spurs, but with three years remaining on his contract, the London club would insist on huge fees for their objective. -mark the talisman.

As he nears his 28th birthday in July, Kane could see this summer as a landmark move in terms of moving to one of Europe’s biggest clubs. He seeks glory elsewhere or vows to help Spurs achieve it themselves, but beating City in the Carabao Cup final and finishing in the top four in the Premier League would go a long way in persuading him to stay.

If Kane decides to leave, Spurs won’t make it easy for him.

The Dutch midfielder from Liverpool is out of contract this summer and has so far resisted all attempts to persuade him to extend his contract. The 30-year-old is a target for Barcelona, ​​with former Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman keen to sign him for a free transfer.

Wijnaldum’s consistency and versatility would be a big loss for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who is expected to replace former Newcastle player without receiving a fee for him. But with Liverpool hit harder than most by the financial impact of the pandemic, the short-term cost of Wijnaldum’s salary hike to keep him at Anfield may turn out to be a better deal than trying to do it. to replace.

Manchester United have a big decision to make regarding their No.1 goalkeeper, with Dean Henderson‘s at Old Trafford ensuring that one of them will probably leave this summer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s selection for Sunday’s home game against Brighton could give us the answer to the club’s dilemma, with Henderson having played the last six games after De Gea returned to Spain for the birth of his child.

If De Gea fails to reclaim his spot this weekend, it will signal that Henderson is now the top pick and De Gea is unlikely to want to stay for the final two years of his contract as number two. But with a salary worth £ 300,000 a week at Old Trafford, De Gea will be a tough sell for United. Those salaries, hefty fees, and the 30-year-old’s inconsistent form in recent years make him an expensive bet for any potential buyer.

One year away from his contract in the Emirates, Alexandre Lacazette faces a few decisive weeks. The 29-year-old has struggled to convince manager Mikel Arteta of his worth this season, but he still managed 13 goals in 34 games in all competitions, so he remains a proven goalscorer at the highest level.

Still, with Arsenal needing to raise funds to bolster Arteta’s squad, Lacazette falls into the salable asset category. At the same time, as he nears his 30th birthday at the end of May, the Gunners could decide that it doesn’t make financial sense to offer him a new contract. This means that Lacazette has just under two months to close a new deal or convince a potential buyer that it is worth signing.

It will be a crucial summer for the Aston Villa midfielder, who has taken his game to a new level with the club and England this season.

The lack of a move last summer, when Manchester United chose not to pursue their interest in the 25-year-old, prompted Grealish to sign a contract until 2025 at Villa Park. But in doing so, Villa also ensured that they would be able to order a big sum for Grealish this summer if he impresses at Euro 2020.

Manchester City are keeping an eye on Grealish and could take a step, but if he performs well for England this summer, Villa will find it extremely difficult to retain their star player.

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