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Transfer hotlist: Five players every club wants

Craig Burley urges Matthijs de Ligt not to be tempted by the big-money offers and to choose his next club based purely on the football.

The transfer window for the rest of Europe isn't even open yet (the Premier League opened on May 16), but ahead of July 1 there are a host of players whose names just won't disappear from the gossip columns.

Imagine being a young star and having every top club in Europe after you. Here are five who know how that feels.

- QUIZ: Which top club should you join?
- Transfer grades: Hazard to Real Madrid (A)
- Ogden: Six crazy transfers to improve Prem top six

Matthijs de Ligt

Club: Ajax
Age: 19
Position:...


Inside Union Berlin's raucous two-day promotion party after reaching Bundesliga for first time

Union Berlin's promotion party lasted two days, culminating in a raucous celebration at their 20,000-capacity stadium on the east side of the city.

BERLIN, Germany -- Union Berlin's first-ever promotion to Bundesliga has given fresh hope to a lot of football fans across Germany. Last Wednesday, a two-day marathon of a party ended at Die Alte Försterei, the club's unique stadium sat in the woods of Berlin's district of Köpenick, following a nearly 10-mile open-boat tour from the heart of the German capital to the club's home ground.

Football has had more problems of late in Germany and across Europe. Bayern Munich have won seven...

Dortmund have signed Hazard, Brandt and Schulz but what else is needed to unseat Bayern?

Raphael Honigstein joins the crew to weigh in on Borussia Dortmund's signings, and questions whether or not they've done enough to win next season's Bundesliga title.

Borussia Dortmund are acutely aware that they've just missed the biggest chance in years to wrest the Bundesliga title away from Bayern Munich. But where some might see failure, Dortmund are determined to treat their second-place finish as a platform to go one better next season. A €75 million transfer blitz of three signings in two days last week was timed to provide their fans with plenty of optimism going into the summer break.

The three signings represent two different types of rationale....

Mr. Indispensable, from Lionel Messi to Virgil Van Dijk: Which player can your team not live without?

Little known fact: When Beyonce sang, "I'll have another you by tomorrow, so don't you ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable," she wasn't talking about Lionel Messi or Virgil van Dijk or anyone else on this list for that matter.

With what promises to be a busy summer transfer window, we decided to take a look at the "Mr. Indispensable" at 12 of the best (or biggest) clubs in the world. Who are the guys that make the biggest impact for their sides when they're on the field?

Barcelona:...

Robben and Ribery's status as Bayern legends assured, but are they irreplaceable?

Following a fairy tale ending to their Bayern Munich careers, ESPN FC's Steve Nicol chimes on the departing Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

For one final time, the most important duo of wingers in Bayern Munich's history graced the Allianz Arena pitch and scored as second-half substitutes in a 5-1 win over Frankfurt to help the club to a seventh consecutive Bundesliga title. Then they showed everyone how much they differed as characters after the game.

Whereas Franck Ribery was overcome with emotions and broke down in tears in front of the Sudkurve stand, Arjen Robben bemoaned not finding the net for a second time in a TV interview...

Bayern boss Kovac faces uncertain future even if Bundesliga title is sealed

Mathematically, it's quite straightforward. Bayern Munich will be champions for a seventh consecutive time on Saturday afternoon unless they lose at home to Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund win at Borussia Monchengladbach. According to the implied probability of the bookmakers' odds, the chances of both of these things happening are slim: 3.3 percent.

Dortmund need another one of those minor football miracles, Bayern only a draw due to their vastly superior goal difference. In light of...