The Premier League is widely regarded as the most entertaining league in world football and has attracted some of the best players over the years. In this day and age, transfer records get broken every summer and more often than not, the big boys in England are always involved.
However, in recent seasons, the likes of Everton, Leicester City, Wolves and Aston Villa have also flexed their financial muscle, indicating that clubs outside the traditional top-six have spending power too.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming summer transfer window could be a quiet one for some of the biggest clubs in the world. That said, a handful of world-class players could still join the Premier League later this year if rumors are to be believed.
On that note, here are five such players who have been linked with big-money moves to England this summer.
#5 Samuel Umtiti | Barcelona
Samuel Umtiti's career has stagnated in recent seasons, but the Frenchman is still a decent player on his day and could do well with a transfer this summer. Reports suggest Barcelona are willing to offload him this summer, with MEN claiming that Manchester United are eager to make a move for him.
The Red Devils are looking for a central defender to play alongside Harry Maguire, with Victor Lindelof blowing hot and cold and Eric Bailly suffering a series of injuries over the years. Much like Bailly, Umtiti has had his fair share of troubles over the years, but he is quite the player when he's fully fit and firing.
Barcelona could sell him for a cut-price fee and it remains to be seen if Manchester United make a move for him this summer.
#4 Houssem Aouar | Lyon
Houssem Aouar was involved in a drawn-out transfer saga with Arsenal last summer, but the Frenchman ultimately decided to stay at Lyon after the Gunners completed a deadline day swoop for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey. This summer, though, Aouar is likely to move on to greener pastures and has been linked with moves to Arsenal and Liverpool.
While Arsenal's interest is long-standing, Liverpool are reportedly keeping tabs on him as a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum, who is close to leaving the club on a free transfer. Aouar is one of the most talented midfielders in world football and is incredibly experienced for someone who is just 22, having made his Lyon debut in 2016.
The midfielder is set to be named in Didier Deschamps' squad for the European Championships this year and his value could rise further if he has a good tournament for France.
#3 Jadon Sancho | Borussia Dortmund
Much like Houssem Aouar, Jadon Sancho was involved in a transfer saga last summer. The Englishman was the subject of interest from Manchester United and had reportedly agreed personal terms with the Red Devils ahead of a record-breaking move.
However, the deal failed to materialize, as Borussia Dortmund stood firm on their valuation, which was believed to be in excess of £100 million. Manchester United walked away from the deal nearly eight months ago, but they are expected to rekindle their pursuit of the winger this summer.
Sancho has just over a year left on his contract, so the Bundesliga giants will look to cash in on him this summer. Manchester United do not have a free run at the player, though, as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is reportedly an admirer of the gifted winger.
#2 Erling Haaland | Borussia Dortmund
Another Borussia Dortmund player on the list, Erling Haaland is currently the hottest property in world football. The Norwegian striker has attracted interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, but he also has admirers in Spain, as Real Madrid and Barcelona have also thrown their hats out for his signature.
Haaland has a release clause in his contract that allows him to leave for £75 million, but it can only be triggered in the summer of 2022. Due to the precarious situation, it remains to be seen if clubs will wait a year to snap him up or pay over the odds to land him this summer.
Another important factor is Haaland's representative, who happens to be none other than Mino Raiola. The Italian-Dutch agent will do his best to start a bidding war for his client, so this is one transfer saga that is expected to have its fair share of twists and turns this summer.
#1 Raphael Varane | Real Madrid
Raphael Varane is yet to commit his future to Real Madrid and has been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea. Reports have even suggested that Blues manager Thomas Tuchel has made the Frenchman his top target this summer, as he looks to transform his current backline.
The 28-year-old is one of the most decorated footballers of his generation and has just over a year left on his contract. Real Madrid do not want to lose him for free next summer, so they may be tempted to cash in on him in the coming months if he doesn't renew his contract.
If he decides to move, both Manchester United and Chelsea are expected to go tooth and nail for his signature. The two Premier League giants have the financial resources to complete the deal, but only time will tell if Varane decides to leave the Spanish capital for a new challenge.