Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Euro 2024 to be record-breaking festival that could spark wild transfer window

Must read

Euro 2024 kicks off this week and it’s set to be an incredible festival of football in Germany.

This summer offers some of Europe’s best talent the opportunity to smash records and capture the continent’s attention – as well as the chance to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy, of course.

Euro 2024 is almost here!Credit: Getty

France icon Michael Platini’s record of the most goals scored in one European Championship of nine goals from 1984 is up for grabs.

Euro 2024‘s teams will also have Les Bleus’ feat of the most goals in a tournament (14), also set in 1984, in their sights, too.

That includes England, with former Three Lions midfielder Frank Lampard telling talkSPORT the Euro 2020 finalists have an unbelievable array of attacking talent that is ‘stronger than the golden generation’s’.

And it could really set the tone for the upcoming transfer window.

France’s Kylian Mbappe ensured this summer will be one for the history books before the window even opened following his headline move to Real Madrid.

And don’t rule out Cristiano Ronaldo breaking a plethora of records either.

Coincidentally, the Premier League transfer window opens on the same day Euro 2024 begins, with the tournament kicking off on June 14.

So which games should fans clear their diaries for and which stars could use the European stage to help them seal a big move this summer? talkSPORT.com has got you covered…

Italy are the reigning champions

Biggest fixtures

Euro 2024’s opening clash on June 14 sees Germany and Scotland go head-to-head at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, live on talkSPORT.

The hosts will want to make their mark as they look to advance from Group A, which also includes Hungary and Switzerland.

The Germans will no doubt be back with a vengeance on home soil after being knocked out in the last-16 by England at Euro 2020.

Reigning champions Italy will have all eyes on them in the group stage clashes.

After missing out on the 2022 World Cup, the Italians will be looking to prove themselves, and their last group game against Croatia on June 24 will likely to be telling of their chances of a consecutive European crown.

Meanwhile, their game against Spain on June 20 will also draw attention.

Likewise, fans will be keen to see how England fare in the group stages, as they look to go one step further than Euro 2020 and win the tournament for the first time.

The Three Lions face Denmark on June 20, a rematch of the semi-final in 2021.

If they finish top of their group, they will face the third-placed side in Groups D/E/F in the last-16.

If they finish second, they will face Group A’s winners. Either way, England’s potential last-16 tie will have fans from all countries watching.

Elsewhere, Netherlands vs France on June 21 will have supporters salivating at the prospect of Virgil van Dijk vs Mbapppe.

Fans will be waiting to see if Mbappe can make it a perfect summer following his Real Madrid moveCredit: AFP

Who are the biggest players at Euro 2024?

One man both the host nation and England fans will have their eyes on is Three Lions captain Harry Kane.

The former Tottenham striker left north London for Bayern Muncih last summer in an initial £82million move and will be hoping to lead his country to glory in his new home.

Supporters will also want to keep an eye on Three Lions youngsters Jude Bellingham, Cole Palmer and Phil Foden, who have all had stand-out seasons with Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City respectively.

Mbappe will also be in the spotlight following his blockbuster Real Madrid switch, and will likely have a spring in his step as France seek Euro glory.

Germany’s Toni Kroos has completed two of three steps to a fairytale retirement following Real Madrid’s LaLiga and Champions League win. The midfielder will no doubt be dreaming of leading his country to Euro glory, too, along with Arsenal’s Kai Havertz.

Of course, we can’t forget Portugal captain and Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo. His ten goals in qualifying indicate that he’s still more than capable of lighting up the pitch in his pursuit of a second European Championship medal.

Manchester City icon Kevin De Bruyne turns 33 during what could be his final Euros for Belgium. He will likely be the focal point for the Red Devils.

Despite being 39, Ronaldo is still scoring goals for funCredit: Getty

Who are the transfer targets to watch at Euro 2024?

Belgium – Johan Bakayoko

The 21-year-old has been a revelation for Eredivisie champions PSV this season, scoring 14 goals and providing 14 in 48 appearances in all competitions.

Tipped to be Mohamed Salah’s replacement at Liverpool, Bakayoko can help Belgium shine this summer and could put himself on other clubs’ radars.

Bakayoko could be a breakout star for BelgiumCredit: AFP

England – Conor Gallagher

talkSPORT understands Chelsea are demanding a fee of more than £50million to sell their midfielder.

He’s unlikely to start in what is a highly competitive midfield for England, but any impressive showings off the bench will only increase Aston Villa and Tottenham’s interest.

Chelsea midfielder Gallagher is facing an uncertain future at Stamford BridgeCredit: Getty

England – Eberechi Eze

Crystal Palace’s star has also been tipped to help replace Salah at Liverpool by former Reds man Danny Murphy.

Chelsea tried to sign the 22-year-old attacking midfielder last summer before he put pen to paper on a new deal at Palace, with Manchester United the latest side to be linked with a move.

That interest will only ramp up if he puts on a show at Euro 2024.

Eze looks set to feature prominently for EnglandCredit: Getty

Germany – Florian Wirtz

Wirtz won the Bundesliga’s Player of the Season for 2023/24 after a remarkable campaign that saw him help Bayer Leverkusen to go unbeaten in the league.

That sort of form for a 21-year-old doesn’t go unnoticed.

However, it could take as much as £100m for suitors to prise him away.

Wirtz could make his debut at a major tournament after missing the World Cup through injuryCredit: Getty

Germany – Joshua Kimmich

Kimmich could leave Bayern Munich this summer – and Arsenal have been tipped as the ideal destination.

talkSPORT reported earlier this year the 29-year-old is being monitored by Manchester City and Liverpool amid his contract situation.

Slovenia – Benjamin Sesko

Sesko looks set to move on and join a European powerhouse.

While only joining RB Leipzig last summer, Premier League trio Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have all expressed an interest in the towering 20-year-old.

Sesko is a wanted man this summerCredit: Getty

Spain – Nico Williams

There’s no shortage of suitors for the talented winger, with Liverpool, Aston Villa, Tottenham, and Barcelona all said to be keen.

He penned a new long-term contract in December 2023, but a good tournament with Spain will be Athletic Bilbao may struggle to keep their winger.

Portugal – Antonio Silva

With an £87million release clause in his deal, Chelsea and Manchester United have both been interested in the Benfica youngster.

The Portuguese centre-back is regarded as one of the most talented young defenders in world football and it won’t be long until he’s snapped up.

Antonio Silva is on the radar of many top European clubsCredit: AFP

Who are the biggest stars to miss out on Euro 2024?

Manchester United targets Michael Olise and Jarrad Branthwaite have missed out on the Euros this summer, with the latter making England’s provisional squad only to miss out at the final hurdle.

England stalwarts Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish, Reece James and Jordan Henderson have all also failed to make the 26-man Three Lions squad.

For France, there is no Lucas Hernandez due to injury while Chelsea forward Christopher Nkunku missed out on selection along with Crystal Palace’s star man Olise.

Belgium and Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Barcelona’s Gavi are absent from the Spain squad.

Gavi misses out due to injury, whilst Courtois has an ongoing spat with Domenico Tedesco in his way.

Meanwhile, Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard were high profile casualties when Norway failed to qualify.

What is the group stage schedule for Euro 2024?

It all kicks off on Friday, with the Scots starting things up against the hosts in a cracking first clash in Munich.

England play their first game on Sunday evening in Gelsenkirchen, and are next in action on Thursday.

Kick-off times for all group stage games will be 2pm, 5pm and 8pm in the UK, with Germany one hour ahead.

Friday, June 14

Saturday, June 15

Sunday, June 16

Monday, June 17

Tuesday, June 18

Wednesday, June 19

  • Croatia vs Albania (Hamburg, 2pm)
  • Germany vs Hungary (Stuttgart, 5pm)
  • Scotland vs Switzerland (Cologne, 8pm)

Thursday, June 20

  • Slovenia vs Serbia (Munich, 2pm)
  • Denmark vs England (Frankfurt, 5pm)
  • Spain vs Italy (Gelsenkirchen, 8pm)

Friday, June 21

  • Slovakia vs Ukraine (Dusseldorf, 2pm)
  • Poland vs Austria (Berlin, 5pm)
  • Netherlands vs France (Leipzig, 8pm)

Saturday, June 22

  • Georgia vs Czech Republic (Hamburg, 2pm)
  • Turkey vs Portugal (Dortmund, 5pm)
  • Belgium vs Romania (Cologne, 8pm)

Sunday, June 23

  • Switzerland vs Germany (Frankfurt, 8pm)
  • Scotland vs Hungary (Stuttgart, 8pm)

Monday, June 24

  • Croatia vs Italy (Leipzig, 8pm)
  • Albania vs Spain (Dusseldorf, 8pm)

Tuesday, June 25

  • Netherlands vs Austria (Berlin, 5pm)
  • France vs Poland (Dortmund, 5pm)
  • England vs Slovenia (Cologne, 8pm)
  • Denmark vs Serbia (Munich, UK time)

Wednesday, June 26

  • Slovakia vs Romania (Frankfurt, 5pm)
  • Ukraine vs Belgium (Stuttgart, 5pm)
  • Czech Republic vs Turkey (Hamburg, 8pm)
  • Georgia vs Portugal (Gelsenkirchen, 8pm)

Euro 2024 starts on Friday and talkSPORT will bring you live coverage of every match. Follow all the latest news in our rolling live daily blog.

Latest article