The summer transfer window has not been lacking for fireworks.
Some of the biggest moves to transpire already were not entirely unexpected, but that doesn't take away from their magnitude. Eden Hazard is part of Real Madrid's extreme makeover, joining Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo in securing a place in the home locker room at the Bernabeu. Antoine Griezmann has finally ended his flirtations with Barcelona, with the two sides consummating their arrangement after his acrimonious split from Atletico Madrid. Atleti, meanwhile, has moved on rather quickly, luring in-demand Portuguese talent Joao Felix and handing him Griezmann's No. 7 shirt without a second thought.
Much more will transpire between now and when the windows close across the various top leagues in Europe. Here's what else you should keep an eye on as the new seasons rapidly approach:
Man United's major decisions
It was two summers ago that Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku trained together in Los Angeles, with "Agent Pogba" doing his best–and succeeding–in recruiting the Belgian forward to Man United. Now, both could be gone.
Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has made it quite clear his client would like a second exit from Manchester United, while Lukaku appears poised for a move to Inter Milan, where he can only hurt Man United should Inter drop down into the Europa League knockout stage with a third-place Champions League group finish this season.
It's an astounding about-face considering the two were tipped to be part of the nucleus of Man United's revitalization for years to come. The Jose Mourinho tornado that swept through the club caught them both in his wake, though that's not the only reason for their change in heart regarding the club.
If both do indeed leave Old Trafford, United will have to take the opportunity to reinvest wisely. Recruiting Aaron Wan-Bissaka was a start, and overpaying for Harry Maguire might not look so badly if his fee just winds up cutting into the Pogba-Lukaku profit margin. That'd go a long way in reinforcing a defense in need of a boost.
Finding a suitor for Pogba willing to pay the outlandish $225 million fee that's been reported, however, could be an issue. Real Madrid and Juventus had long been tipped to be his landing spot should he leave, yet Real has already spent big this summer, while Juventus has a midfield logjam (following the free-transfer acquisitions of Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey) and doesn't really need to overspend for Pogba's second tour of duty in Turin. Which leaves ... not many clubs! A Gareth Bale swap with Real Madrid (plus cash) would potentially make it more appetizing for the Spanish giant, but does United want Bale's salary and playing time needs on a club where he might not totally fit in? The club already has one such albatross in Alexis Sanchez.
There are plenty of factors in play that will shape whether United becomes a top-four team again or just another Premier League also-ran.
PSG appears open to selling Neymar. Neymar appears open to leaving PSG. Neymar, depending on who you believe, is angling for a return to Barcelona. There's just one problem: Barcelona doesn't really have much in the way of any vacancies. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho make up a star-laden attack, and while the latter two could certainly be sold or used as makeweights in any potential deal to bring Neymar back, it doesn't seem like Barcelona–which already spent big to bring Frenkie de Jong and Griezmann in this summer–is all that interested.
It was Neymar that left Barcelona high and dry to begin with, and while he may still have friends on the team, they're not the ones who write the checks or hold the grudges that matter. He also comes with significant baggage. He's been accused of rape and remains in a legal battle. He's on the mend from yet another injury that kept him from a major competition (and watched as his countrymen won Copa America without him). He's also suspended for three Champions League games after his social media tirade following PSG's collapse vs. Man United last season.
There's no doubting Neymar's talent, but considering everything–and club chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi's not-so-veiled comments about the club culture shift at PSG–he's another superstar whose future hangs in the balance without any clear resolution in the offing.
Juventus to be De-Ligted
Matthijs de Ligt arrived in Turin on Tuesday night as the 19-year-old Dutch star prepares to become the ideal successor to aging Juventus center back legends Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. De Ligt could be a transformative figure for any club's back line for a decade-plus to come. That's why the likes of Barcelona, PSG and Manchester United have all been among the powerhouses vying for his signature, and why Juventus should be De-Ligted once it becomes official.
De Ligt joining the Serie A champion would put the club firmly among the favorites to win the Champions League a year after crashing out in the quarterfinals to his Ajax team. If you can't beat em, buy em.
The other major names on the move
Like with what's been happening in the NBA, it seems as if every summer, no name is off limits in the transfer market, where the game of superstar musical chairs is always in motion. Mercurial Argentine forward Mauro Icardi has been on the outs from Inter Milan for months, and his time for an exit is nearing. ... James Rodriguez will be headed somewhere. Whether it's Atletico Madrid, Napoli or a mystery suitor remains to be seen, but remaining at Real Madrid is not an option. ... Christian Eriksen has been tipped to leave Tottenham, even confirming as much on his own that he's seeking another challenge. But with Real Madrid loading up elsewhere, does that challenge exist? ... Arsenal needs help, but it isn't willing to pay top dollar (er, pound or Euro) for it. Where does that leave the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Hakim Ziyech, two playmaking talents who could surely help any top club? ... Like Joao Felix, Bruno Fernandes is a Portuguese talent on the rise with plenty of suitors. Will Man United push its reported push over the finish line? ... Nabil Fekir has long been expected to leave Lyon, but his list of potential destinations doesn't appear to be what it once was. Nicolas Pepe is another France-based attacking star whose departure has all but been confirmed by his club, Lille. Bayern Munich or a Premier League power have always seemed to be the most likely landing spots, but nothing has materialized just yet.