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Skysports.com picks ten World Cup stars who might just be playing in the Premier League next season
The World Cup provides a playground for the globe's finest to not just showcase their prodigious talent, but also win a lucrative move elsewhere. Many Premier League bosses have been stung in the past in signing tournament sensations that have gone on to flop in England, but that will not stop some from being tempted into landing a World Cup star. Here, skysports.com's Alex Dunn casts his eye over the gossip columns to choose ten that might just be on their way to the English top flight.
The likeable Uruguayan is having the most perfect of campaigns. Domestically he inspired Atletico Madrid to a Europa League win, while his displays for Uruguay have seen him take on playmaking responsibilities along with being a genuine goal threat in each of his appearances. Prior to the World Cup's start he intimated he had unfinished business in England following a less than satisfactory stint at Manchester United, which alerted Tottenham to his possible availability. In the last few days he has cooled talk of an Atletico exit but should Spurs firm up initial interest don't be surprised to see Diego back in England by the summer's close.
Germany's tournament talisman arrived in South Africa on the back of a wretched season at Bayern Munich that yielded just three league goals, the same number as Emile Heskey. While England's goal shy front-man continued where he left off domestically, Klose proved just why he's the man for the occasion with a series of deadly displays. To date his four goals have propelled Germany to the latter stages, as he closes on Ronaldo's record of 14 goals in World Cup finals. Klose insists he is ready to battle for his place at the Allianz Arena but at 32 may just be tempted by a final challenge in England. He wouldn't cost the earth, is strong enough physically to cope in the Premier League and has the type of temperament that provides managers with few causes for concern.
Klose's compatriot Ozil has been the tournament's revelation. A relative unknown outside Germany coming into the tournament, the gifted Werder Bremen schemer has built on a superb showing at last year's Under 21 European Championship to demonstrate he is one of the world's most promising playmakers. Prior to moving to Werder from Schalke is has been reported he was courted by Manchester United, with his performances in South Africa unlikely to have gone unnoticed at Old Trafford. Chelsea are mooted as possible suitors as they look for midfield presence following the departures of Michael Ballack and in particular, Joe Cole. Should Arsenal concede defeat in their attempts to keep Cesc Fabregas then expect Arsene Wenger to push to the front of the queue for his signature. The Frenchman will have to fend off European heavyweights in both Italy and Spain if he is to land his man though.
Blonde bombshell Honda put in one of the tournament's best individual displays in Japan's 3-1 defeat of Denmark, with his stunning free-kick and exquisite hold-up play having caught the eye all tournament. Honda currently plies his trade at CSKA Moscow but despite having only switched to Russia in January, from Dutch club VVV Venlo in a deal worth a reported €9million, he has already set his heart on another move. The 24-year-old - who can operate in an advanced midfield role or anywhere across the frontline - says he dreams of being Real Madrid's no.10 but a switch to the Spanish titans may be a tad ambitious at this juncture of his career. AC Milan, Valencia, Sevilla, Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal have all been linked, with Arsene Wenger having labelled him a 'genius' earlier in the tournament.
The gifted Ghanaian's World Cup ended in heartache when he missed a last gasp spot-kick against Uruguay, before the South Americans held their nerve in a subsequent shoot-out. It was cruel on a player who in each of Ghana's games was an outstanding physical presence, as he often ploughed a lonely furrow up front. The Rennes front-man, who earlier in his career had a spell in Italy with Udinese, scored three of his country's four goals in South Africa and was arguably the continent's best player throughout. West Ham have been linked with making an approach for the 24-year-old, who on hearing of their interest insisted he would welcome a move to the Premier League. Pacey, powerful and with an enviable international goal record - the Hammers could do worse than turn to Gyan.
The blubbing North Korean caught the world's imagination when he was overcome with emotion as his country's national anthem was played prior to their opener against Brazil, but it was watching scouts that probably most paid attention to the performance that followed. Throughout the Kowasaki Frontale front man unsettled Lucio and co with a heavyweight performance that combined craft with graft. While his team-mates content themselves with life's simple pleasures, Jong drives a Hummer and hero-worships Snoop Dog. Shouldn't have too much trouble settling in the Premier League then. Jong has issued a come-and-get-me-plea to England's top flight and may just get the odd call, although his admission of 'loving Manchester United and Chelsea' may fall on deaf ears.
Having been instrumental in helping Inter Milan to an unprecedented treble it seems unthinkable the Dutchman - who's also enjoying a fine World Cup - would be allowed to leave the Italian champions. That has not, though, stopped the English press from speculating over a move to Manchester United. Sir Alex is known to be a fan, with reports suggesting he is readying an offer in the region of £25million in a bid to tempt old sparring partner Rafa Benitez into a sale. The Spaniard has said he it will be a case of tinkering the side Jose Mourinho assembled rather than overhauling it, but the Spaniard will be keen to stamp his own mark on the team and is not afraid of making big decisions. Should he return to Anfield for Javier Mascherano it could be that Sneijder will be allowed to move on just a year after he swapped Real Madrid for Inter.
Nicknamed 'The Dynamite' the 23-year-old has the type of explosive pace that always interests Premier League bosses. Barrera currently plays in his homeland with Universidad Nacional, often known as Pumas, but it is surely only a question of time before he makes the move to Europe. A series of dynamic displays for a stylish Mexico side, which demonstrated he has a decent delivery to match his approach play, could tempt a number of English clubs to make approaches. West Ham and Manchester United are said to be keeping an eye on his situation, while Spanish outfit Espanyol are thought to be at the front of the queue for his signature. Definitely one to watch.
As the reigning Asian Footballer of the Year there was plenty of pressure on Endo to deliver and thankfully, for Japan, he did just that. Whether breaking up opponent's attacks or orchestrating play when in possession, Endo was a persistent driving presence. His stunning free-kick against the Danes will be remembered most but in each of Japan's four games he demonstrated he could be a success outside of the J-League. At 30 he is not getting any younger and will be well aware that if he doesn't secure a move away from Gamba Osaka this summer, he likely never will. Liverpool have been credited with an interest and with money tight at Anfield, may feel Endo represents decent value. The fact that he would pay for any transfer fee in shirt sales alone will likely have been brought up in the boardroom too.
Chile's Sanchez proved himself to be one of the world's hottest properties in South Africa courtesy of some sublime displays from out wide. The diminutive 21-year-old, who stands just 5ft 6in, is short of stature but has plenty of heart. An international record of 11 goals from just 28 appearances is testimony to his genuine talent, with Manchester United, Roma, Liverpool and Real Madrid all thought to be interested. There is more than a little of the Cristiano Ronaldo about him and few would be surprised if Sir Alex decides the Udinese fans' favourite is to be the Portuguese's heir apparent at Old Trafford.
Franklin Chealsea (Chelsea fan) says...
will love to see gyan in everton.
Posted 00:00 8th July 2010
Craig Podevin (West Ham United fan) says...
i wouldnt mind seeing gyan at west ham, and seeing what sky sports said today with david sullivan and misrolav klose, we're set for a good couple of signings :D only thing is, i find a lot of rumours unbelieveable :/ west ham cant afford £12m for anyone to be honest, i think more realistic targets are klose, henry and joe cole but it's going to take big contracts for them and that means we'll have to sell which i dont think i would do, i would get rid of behrami and faubert for joe cole any day, and get rid of mido, franco, ilan for henry/klose but i think theyre going to be the only big signings for us all season, west ham are better off signing one of them (klose, henry, or cole) then saving their money and spending in january on what they need :)
Posted 22:50 7th July 2010
James Altoft (Manchester City fan) says...
In reply to Sean Jenkins who says Manchester City dont have class because they are buying everyone..... Funny that as to me Man U are the club 1 billion pounds and rising in debt (Class), they also have increased they already high prices of tickets at old trafford (class). I suppose a fan from Stockport pelting Craig Bellamy with missiles was ok too. Or would you rather the best players not play in the Premier League and nobody to invest in some of europes biggest stars??
Posted 22:01 7th July 2010
J Asdsdas (Arsenal fan) says...
arshaivn was only 15 million - a bargain.
Posted 20:43 7th July 2010
Simon Hands (Liverpool fan) says...
I think these transfers would happen. Arsenal:Schwarzer, Kociencly, Gourcuff, Chamakh, Ozil, J.Cole. Chelsea:Benayoun, Kalas, F.Torres, Gerrard,M.Klose, Kaka. Liverpool:Van Der Vaart, Higuain, Hangeland, Drenthe, G.Silva, D.Murphy. Man City:Podolski, Y.Toure, D.Silva, J.Boateng, F.Torres, Gerrard, Mascherano, Milner, Agbonlahor, Carroll. Man Utd:Sneijder, Hernandez, L.Fabiano, Benzema. Tottenham:D.Forlan, L.Suarez, Odumwengie, Bellamy, C.Cole, Upson,
Posted 19:03 7th July 2010
Joe Coward (Liverpool fan) says...
@ Pascal Humbernon-lynch why do you come on here and talk such rubbish? it is people like you who give liverpool fans a bad name. Get a grip and realise we are broke and will have to buy very wisely in the summer if we are to make any progression at all. Would be nice to see joe cole but even he is too expensive! Luckily bar Chelsea and Man City most other clubs are negotiating on a shoe string budget this window with players having to move out before new can come in, but ours is still shorter than most!
Posted 17:08 7th July 2010
Oliver Beeroff (Woking fan) says...
@ Alex Oliver So no-one makes signings on the back of successful international competitions? So you mean Kleberson, Poborsky, Ferdinand, Rooney, Hargreaves were not signed on the back of successful international competitions? Or Davor Suker, Cannavaro to Madrid, Stefan Schwarz to Arsenal
Posted 16:36 7th July 2010
Franklin Roberts (Manchester United fan) says...
I`m a Man.Utd. supporter and we .Keisuke Honda and javi hernandez will do great alongside Rooney.We need to sell berbatov,carrick,ferdinand,brown,anderson.With that money you buy sneidjer and micheal bradley of USA or even K.P. Boateng in the middle.Asamoah Gyan would also do perfectly as he has a very good scoring record and a tremendous work rate,Do not buy karim benzema as for me he is poor and lazy.
Posted 15:39 7th July 2010
Nick Auzoux (Arsenal fan) says...
my arsenal team for next season: lloris.sagna.metzacker.vermalaen.clichy.walcott.fabregas.song.ozil.arshavin.van persie
Posted 15:25 7th July 2010
Alex Olliver says...
When will people learn, there are never any decent signings made off the back of either a World Cup or Euros performance (with the possible exception of Arshavin, although even his price rocketed out of proportion). Prices go up a ridiculous amount for players that dazzled for just a handful of games. It just makes no sense. Even Alex Ferguson gets sucked in (Jordi Cryuff, Proborski, Kleberson etc)
Posted 13:43 7th July 2010
Ben Aslin (Manchester United fan) says...
I would love to see Sneijder in at Man Utd, he is exactly what we need in midfield and not far off the perfect replacement for the legend which is Scholes. With Nani now beginning to peak, Valencia being steady, Hargreaves and Fletcher in midfield, Sneijder would be perfect and I reckon SAF knows this! Would also like to see Zlatan in to partner the main man Rooney, yes he cost too much @ Barca and over-rated (in terms of being one of the best in the world) but he would do damage in the PL! If not, Benzema would do, anything to p*ss off Real "funded by the govt" Madrid!!!
Posted 13:35 7th July 2010
Lee Harris (Birmingham City fan) says...
To Pascal Humbernon-lynch: What planet are you on? Jong Tae-Se to replace Rooney? Why don't you get Artur Krysiak from Burton to replace Van Der Sar while you're at it? And as for Liverpool buying Ronaldo, Sneider and Ibrahimovic because "they have money now that Roy Hodgson is there" is the most ludicrous statement I have ever heard! My Blue Boys have more money at their disposal than Liverpool. You couldn't afford Joe Cole on a free transfer! Are people not getting the fact that Man U and Liverpool are BROKE?! On a lighter note, I think Blues should have a poke at signing Honda. He had an amazing world cup and I'm sure Carson would welcome a middle eastern addition of any sort, Chinese or not. He's got some loose change jangling about in his pockets......
Posted 13:12 7th July 2010
Tim Mcdougall says...
Isn't this exactly the problem with English sport (and football in particular)? England go out of the WC and, instead of looking at the state of the game in England, the PL clubs all start looking for foreign talent. Keep this up and you'll get used to watching other nations play at the WC rather than england.
Posted 13:10 7th July 2010
Chelsea Chelsea says...
@ Pascal Humbernon-lynch - what are you talking about? Why would Liverpool be getting the likes of Sneijder and Ronaldo? Liverpool fans wake up - Average team, Average Manager and Average Steven Gerrard - BLAH BLAH BLAH LIVERPOOL Come on Chelsea!!!!
Posted 12:58 7th July 2010
Donna Sale says...
I Think your missing Kevin-Prince Boateng , he had a storming few games.
Posted 12:56 7th July 2010
Vito Corleone (Manchester United fan) says...
if man utd sell rooney....there will b nothing left.....instead sell berbatov and anderson....and purchase sneijder man utd are broke and its a reality....the club should not b linked with any players....yet i see new n more audacious rumors everyday :@
Posted 12:22 7th July 2010
Rashid miran Man united says...
Wow to say (Rooney is 40% and should go?)is crazy, he is one of the best in the world, just because he didn't score in the world cup, doesn't make him a bad player. just look at your ( Messi, Torres, Ronaldo), he is the the soul of Man U, I am from the south and a season ticket holder for last few years. just watching Match of the day lol, doesn't show what a great player he is. people need to go and watch a live United match, to see how much the people love him, for all the hard work he puts in every match, and if he got injured at the end of the season last year, that wasn't his fault.
Posted 11:51 7th July 2010
David Ismay says...
On reply to Fraser Stephen - I saw 51.5 of the 54 games( inc. internationals) Rooney played in 2009/2010, either being present att Old Trafford, or watching televised matches. That gives me the right to criticise - I repeat - another striker worth his salt would have equalled or bettered Rooney's goal haul. And I would maintain that over the Season 60% of Rooney's first touches are bad or not controlled, 60% of his passing is poor and then there is his temperament. I love to see him scoring goals - and the huge happy smile that then cracks his face - great to see him enjoying himself and pleasing the fans, but his consistency is the problem I have with him. You cannot rely on 1 man to be the saviour, as we found out with Christiano.
Posted 11:47 7th July 2010
Andy Taylor says...
David michael Ismay what are you smoking? Zahed Hossain it sounds like your playing too much football manager. real life is completely different to computer fiction (even though it is a great game!!)
Posted 11:08 7th July 2010
Andy Flynn says...
@ Sean Maguire, got it spot on.. One week the press detail the scale of united's depth.. then no a lot later speculate that United will spend 25m on Sneijder or 15m on Sanchez or maybe 20m on Ozil... Sir Alex will be relying on youth next season because there will be zero transfer kitty... On a side note, 25m for Sneijder is cheap!
Posted 10:57 7th July 2010
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