Transfer Talk: Six Euro 2020 stars who could be on the move
The European Championship is always a fertile breeding ground for breakout stars to make their mark — and Euro 2020 has been no exception.
A host of hotly-tipped talents have stepped up to the plate, while the tournament has also seen plenty of previously unheralded players make a big impact.
As the transfer window starts to gather pace, we have picked out six stars who could be on the move when the dust settles.
Linked with Liverpool in January, Duje Caleta-Car stood in for a former Red in two of Croatia’s four matches.
The Marseille centre-back, 24, replaced Dejan Lovren in the 1-0 loss to England and the 5-3 defeat to Spain in the round of 16.
Though the scorelines may reflect poorly on him, he was not directly at fault for any of the goals.
West Ham are believed to be interested in the £25million-rated defender.
Assured on the ball, Caleta-Car finished his tournament having completed an impressive 91.3% of the passes he attempted throughout Euro 2020.
Bayern Munich powerhouse Leon Goretzka did not begin the competition in Germany's starting line-up but finished it as a key member of Joachim Low's side.
The Schalke midfielder scored the goal that ensured they escaped the group of death and he was one of the bright sparks early on in their loss to England.
But his future is up in the air. With just 12 months remaining on his deal at the Allianz Stadium, the 26-year-old is looking for wage parity with Leroy Sane.
Bayern have been reluctant to commit to that outlay and may be forced to sell to avoid losing him for nothing in a year’s time.
Many of Europe’s elite are keeping tabs on the situation and reports in Germany claim Manchester United view him as a possible successor to Paul Pogba if he decides to depart the Allianz Arena.
Hoffenheim attacker Christoph Baumgartner expressed his intent to stay with the Bundesliga side late last month.
He said: “I definitely extended my contract in March with the intention of playing here next season.”
But the 21-year-old’s plans might have changed after catching the eye for overachieving Austria at Euro 2020.
The versatile youngster, who scored the winner against Ukraine during the group stages, is reportedly a target for Liverpool as their quest to find a Gini Wijnaldum replacement continues.
He has also been linked with Manchester United as they look to assemble a squad capable of challenging neighbours Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Effective without the ball, Baumgartner ranked 12th at the Euros for ground attacking duels contested per 90 minutes (12).
The midfield dynamo can also be a goal threat, finishing with an expected goals (xG) average of 0.11 per 90 minutes after switching to a wide left position midway through the tournament.
Denmark have been one of the surprise packages of Euro 2020 and a host of their players will be near the top of wish lists across Europe as a result.
Mikkel Damsgaard will no doubt be in demand following his eye-catching displays for the Danes.
He curled home a sublime effort from distance against Russia and was a threat throughout in the emphatic 4-0 win over Wales in the round of 16.
The 20-year-old is more of a creator than he is a goalscorer. As evidenced by his pass map (above), he is progressive and is always looking at ways to find team-mates inside the penalty area.
Sampdoria paid roughly £5m to acquire him from Nordsjaelland in February 2020.
With Everton and Aston Villa supposedly interested in Damsgaard, the Serie A side may have a big decision to make this summer.
Alexander Isak may not have found the back of the net at Euro 2020, but his first summer tournament at senior level certainly enhanced his reputation.
He assisted Emil Forsberg’s goal in the last-16 defeat to Ukraine, while also being heavily involved in the frontman’s strike during the 3-2 group stage win over Poland.
The 21-year-old is primed to spearhead Sweden’s frontline for the next decade — and a host of clubs are hoping he can do the same thing for them.
The Real Sociedad forward has a £60m release clause and is believed to be a back-up option to Erling Haaland for a number of teams targeting a striker, including Barcelona and Chelsea.
But they will have some convincing to do after Isak signed a new deal at Sociedad earlier this week.
International football is all about taking your chances.
With Marco Verratti not match fit to start the tournament, Manuel Locatelli got the nod in the Italian midfield.
He was expected to fill in as a competent understudy.
Instead, the Sassuolo midfielder was a standout performer for Roberto Mancini’s side — notching two goals and giving the former Manchester City tactician a decision to make for the remainder of the Euros.
Juventus are looking to secure a deal for the former AC Milan man. But with interest growing by the day, they might have a fight on their hands to keep him in Italy.
Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and even Manchester City have been linked with the 23-year-old goalscoring maestro.