Champions League football is something of a must for the best players to be playing in. All the money in the world should not be able to compete with the opportunity to pit yourself against the Messi's and the Ronaldo's of the world. Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur could well find this out when the close season comes, when they look to strengthen their teams.
Chelsea and Manchester City are all but guaranteed a top four finish. They can also afford to pay the transfer fees and wages required for the few and far between cream of the crop stellar players that exist who could possibly improve their already world class squads. If they want someone, they can simply get them, unless another team of equal stature really pull out all the stops to thwart their efforts. Real Madrid, Barcalona, and now PSG and Monaco, could probably compete in fiscal terms, but that's it as far as similar teams go.
But what of the teams below them, who will occupy the remaining two spots? Arsenal have with Mesut Ozil, now shown that they too, are prepared to put up the funds when it comes to ensuring a big named player joins their ranks, although, for the moment, this has been limited to just one occurrence, and Liverpool? Well Liverpool have a rich history and in a player like Suarez, an asset whom any professional would relish playing alongside. Both Arsenal and Liverpool are heavy favourites to keep their current top four standings and thus, the allure of Champions League football next season will be a massive plus point in any business done in the close season.
While the draw of the name Manchester United is still massive, a critical review of how far they've fallen since Sir Alex left the helm could well see their stock fall in terms of appeal for new players. The money is available, as demonstrated by Wayne Rooney's new £300,000 a week bumper deal, but the team itself looks flaccid. Impotent, Devoid of ideals and now caught in a conundrum as to how exactly to drag themselves out of where they've found themselves.
There is an argument to be made that two £1500,000 a week players would have benefited United far more, but David Moyes wanted a talisman. In agreeing the deal it seems Moyes has almost made himself unsackable, as it would seem ridiculous to allow the manager such an opulent outlay, and then to fire the same man who has committed such a vast chunk of club money for years to come, straight after affording him such power. So Moyes is there to stay at United, but will prospective players see that as a positive? He is, after all, the man who has taken the team who ran away with the Premier League last year, back into the realms of where he is used to finishing with Everton, and more worryingly for the United fans, he seems O.K. with it. So that leaves Spurs, who sit 6 points behind the cherished 4th place spot, with games against Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea to come. This year was supposed to be their year, and yet, they've been anything but contenders, drifting along in 5th place almost indifferent to the huge influx of talent they brought in over the transfer window in the summer. They're still a big club, but with the possibility of all above them strengthening, and the players they have already becoming disillusioned at the lack of (rightly) expected Champions League next season, I fear there will be a mass exodus rather than another summer of hope.
With all this in mind, Liverpool and Arsenal must stand out as the clubs on the way up, with realistic chances in the league of leagues next season. Liverpool look more inviting by the week, and could well be on course to become the force they once were, and Arsenal? Well finally Arsene Wenger's vision of the future, is bearing fruit. Money is pouring into the club, and it looks as if finally the Gunners are prepared to spend it. Both look to be offering prospects on the big stage, and with such an appeal, any professional worth his salt would be foolish to ignore such an opportunity to shine.