Football Transfers: The Latest Hot Bets

As the Premier League is still a month away, it's transfer time, and a whole host of clubs are queueing up for the best talent that Europe has to offer. See who we think will be heading where come August, and the top odds.

Alexandre Lacazette

The pacy Lyon striker was one of the most effective goalscorers in European football last season, scoring 27 league goals in 31 appearances in Ligue 1. Those numbers need to be tempered by the fact that French football is not as competitive as La Liga or the Premier League, but Lacazette would almost certainly add to most teams' strikeforces, and good attackers are in very short supply.

Although Lyon is favourite to hang onto Lacazette, Liverpool is said to have matched the club's valuation of the player, who made his French international debut in 2013 and is still only 24. Liverpool, though, has a tendency to slip up before completing transfer negotiations, and so we rate Arsenal as most likely to grab this sharp-shooter, especially given Arsene Wenger's tendency to sign French players.

Top Bet: to move to Arsenal, 5/2 with Unibet

Angel di Maria

Di Maria suffered as part of a Manchester United team being turned around under Louis van Gaal last season, and looked like the kind of signing made by the board and not fully-approved by the manager. His effectiveness faded as the season wore on, with a smile from his position on the wing being a rare thing by May, as was the sight of the Argentine completing 90 minutes for United.

A revival of sorts at the Copa America proved that, in a team in which he feels loved, di Maria is still very much a threat to opposition defences. Realistically, it would take a very large big for United to part with the British record signing, especially as the United board does not like to be embarrassed in the transfer market. Although bookmakers are offering figures on a return to Real Madrid, or, less believably, a move to Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain is the only club which has the wealth and the need to sign a player like di Maria.

Top Bet: to move to Paris Saint Germain, 6/4 with Betway

Andros Townsend

From one of the world's best wingers to a player who cannot hold down a starting place in the Tottenham Hotspur first eleven. Townsend is dazzlingly effective on his day, and has been one of England's better performers in world and European qualifying tournaments. However, like an old-school comedian, his one trick (running very fast in a straight line, then moving inside and shooting, often high and wide) seems to have been picked-up by defenders.

It would be unkind to label Townsend a one-note performer, but he really needs to work under a technical coach who can encourage him to add new aspects to his game, including an element of surprise. For that reason, he probably needs to go to Steve McClaren's Newcastle United in order to improve his game, as Tim Sherwood at bookies' favourite Aston Villa is not cut from the same sympathetic cloth.

Top Bet: to move to Newcastle United, 6/1 with BetVictor

picture courtesy of espnfc.com

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