As the Premier League season fast approaches, the transfer rumour mill is awash with stories of record deals and big-money moves.
But whether it’s the complexity of the deal, an outrageous asking price, or simply loyalty to their club – there always seem to be more reasons for a player to stay at a club than to move on.
And, with many clubs strapped for cash following the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to these five top-flight stars, we think the speculation is more about newspaper sales than player sales.
After a standout season for both club and country, it’s barely a surprise that Declan Rice is a sought after player this summer.
Although rumours may be circling, it seems highly unlikely that it will be this year that Rice departs east London.
With a contract running until 2024, West Ham are in no hurry to sell, and are demanding around £100million for his services.
Following United’s pricey pursuit of Jadon Sancho, and Chelsea’s repeated links with strikers Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski this summer, it seems both suitors have higher priorities than the English midfielder this window.
Therefore it seems likely that Rice is set to continue as captain of West Ham going into the 2021/22 season.
The Aston Villa captain struggled with injury towards the end of last season, but can still look back on an impressive top-flight camapign.
Grealish recently signed a new contract keeping him at the Villains until 2025, and has often expressed his admiration for the club.
Furthermore, Grealish heavily featured in Aston Villa’s kit launch and seems as pivotal as ever to their 2021/22 plans.
Their captain featuring in a kit launch while being linked with a move to City may have similarities to Fabian Delph’s subsequent move to the Etihad, but we don’t see Grealish repeating that drama this summer.
With just 10 goals in the league last season, Sterling failed to build on his 2019/20 form when he netted 20, but the English winger did shine during the European Championship.
After facing criticism for his poor domestic form, many fans wanted Sterling dropped from the England starting line-up, but Gareth Southgate kept his faith in Sterling, who went on to score three in the summer tournament.
A surprise package to many, Sterling’s dazzling displays in the Euros undoubtedly raised his asking price by a few million, and likely earned him his spot back in the Manchester City line-up as well.
Even if City were to go all in for Kane this summer, Sterling simply seems too valuable and in form to be a player sacrificed for the deal.
Arsenal have emerged as favourites to sign him should contract talks fail, but frankly we don’t see that happening.
After already losing Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, Liverpool will be desperate to not lose another of their Champions League and Premier League-winning stars – never mind their captain.
Contract discussions are a complex, drawn-out process, but once resolved are quickly forgotten about – Henderson isn’t going anywhere.
After seeming a million miles from a starting spot at Manchester United last season, Jesse Lingard‘s revitalising loan at West Ham has transformed his chances of regaining a place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s starting XI.
With nine goals in 16 appearances, Lingard’s rebirth at West Ham was one of the Premier League stories of the season, and the 28-year-old looks set to battle for his place at Manchester United this season.
Clearly keen on keeping him at the London Stadium, West Ham enquired about a permanent transfer for Lingard, but a rumoured £30million asking price has cooled their interest.
While the arrival of Jadon Sancho has bolstered an already star-studded strikeforce at Old Trafford, Lingard seems to fancy his chances of regaining a starting berth. The potential departure of Anthony Martial would only strengthen his claims.