Roll on next season

STILL reeling from that distorted Champions League climax? Already missing the EPL?

For fans who prefer the club game to internationals, the good news is that next season is only 10 weeks away. The better news is that the EPL is already shaping up pretty well.

There is the small matter of 64 games in Russia to watch in the meantime, but before we switch to World Cup mode, it is worth noting that the coming season could be a cracker.

The sackings have yet to be completed for 2017-18 yet the new one is unlikely to be another Man City-led procession: Liverpool are 2-0 up in the transfer window before it's officially opened!

Now the Reds have added Fabinho to the long-secured Naby Keita, they could have an engine room that might have given Messrs Modric and Kroos something to think about in Kiev.

With the Euro windfall adding to the Coutinho money, Jurgen Klopp has cash to splash.

A third top midfielder, Nabil Fekir, has been targeted and with a big-money keeper one of several other additions, we can see why they are firming up as the bookies' second favourites.

But they are not the only ones to burst from the blocks brandishing a chequebook. In fact, all of the Big Six are showing signs of stirring in one way or another.

Champions City appear to be gearing for another majestic campaign.

They are close to snaring Napoli's Jorginho to lift the burden on the overworked Fernandinho while Riyad Mahrez looks to be on his way too.

Both are class acts but whether they get regular starts is another matter. However, the intent is clear – a deepening of the squad for an even more focused assault on the Champions League.

Last season they had a tilt at all four trophies but fell short in the end, with tired minds as well as limbs a major factor.

Losing to Wigan was a blip but losing to Liverpool was not. The Reds shocked them with their intensity and it looks like that painful lesson has been learned.

The two domestic cups may just be used to give squad players a run-out.

Although Guardiola did rotate, Fernandinho and Kevin de Bruyne were the mainstays he couldn't do without.

With Bernardo Silva expected to make more impact – and maybe even young Phil Foden - plus the aforementioned duo, City will have a bench to match Real Madrid's.

Across town, Jose Mourinho knows this is the season he must match City in either Premier League or Europe.

He will have a huge budget but his recent signings have not really come off and he must resist Ed Woodward's wish for a mega signing with Gareth Bale. Not at the numbers being mentioned anyway.

Bale is on an insane £650k (RM3.6 million) a week and his price is £200 million (RM1.1 billion). For a player who's injured half his time, they just don't add up. In fact, dare it be said, for those figures Neymar might be better value.

Nor does a fading Ronaldo look worth bringing back. Rumoured to have played in the final, he does look to be on the downward slope yet his wages are still astronomical.

Nope, Mourinho appears to be showing his pragmatic side in chasing Marko Arnautovic and Toby Alderweireld who could be had for just £50 million (RM275 million) apiece. Both are 29, experienced internationals and Premier League veterans, but neither are likely to have much resale value – a sure sign of a short-termism.

A clearout and a couple more judicious signings – Antoine Griezemann at £100 million (RM110 million) is looking almost a bargain compared to some – could change the mood. But Barcelona look to have the Frenchman all but signed.

Fullbacks are also needed while Eric Bailly should be restored. Just hanging on to David de Gea – although an absolute must – won't be enough this season.

Elsewhere, the good news for Spurs is that Mauricio Pochettino is staying and should go some way to preventing a mass exodus of players. Daniel Levy has to do his bit with new improved contracts. And buy another striker to support Harry Kane. The new White Hart Lane is too good for the Europa League.

Chelsea have also had some good news in that Roman Abramovich has changed nationality to ensure easier entry to Britain – a sure sign his love for the Blues has not waned. But they need to put Antonio Conte out of his misery or give him a budget to compete properly.

Even Arsenal are stirring. New manager Unai Emery may not have been first choice for any Gooner but he has started as if he knows what he's doing.

He had great success at Sevilla and being unable to control the egos at PSG should not be held against him. If he can sort out the defence, Arsenal could make a run for the top four.

All in all, it's looking like a more competitive season at the top. If only there was someone to challenge them, but at least we'll have a Big Six game almost every weekend once again which is something to savour.

We can't be too sure about what the World Cup will have in store but a closer look at that can wait until next week.

• Bob's latest book, "Living the Dream", is on sale at all major bookstores.