FIFA World Cup

World Cup: 5 Biggest Names Likely to Be on the Move

Sam PilgerFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

World Cup: 5 Biggest Names Likely to Be on the Move

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Over the last month the World Cup finals in Brazil has acted as an enormous shop window for players to secure themselves a move this summer. 

    An influential performance, a stunning goal or even just an assist can add millions to a player's value and earn them a lucrative transfer.

    Who are the biggest names in Brazil likely to move clubs now? 

Alexis Sanchez

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    Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

    It seems preposterous Barcelona would even contemplate selling their immensely talented Chilean winger.

    He is still only 25 and already in his three seasons at the Camp Nou his pace and directness has produced 39 goals in 88 games.

    He has just come off his best season yet with 21 goals in all competitions for Barcelona before continuing to impress at the World Cup with Chile this summer. 

    However, as reported by Chris Bascombe and Jeremy Wilson of The Daily Telegraph, Barcelona’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta appears to be open to the idea of selling Sanchez.

    “Regarding the future of Alexis Sanchez, there have been offers for the player,” he said. “But I do not know how it will all end, we are looking for a solution which will be best for everyone.”

    As detailed in The Daily Telegraph one of those bids is believed to be from Arsenal, while Barcelona could also hope to use Sanchez as a makeweight in their efforts to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool.

Luis Suarez

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    A year after asking to leave Liverpool the Uruguayan striker looks as though he might finally get his wish. 

    Despite being banned for the next four months after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, Suarez has lost none of his allure to the world's leading clubs. 

    According to Andy Hunter of The Guardian, Barcelona remain interested in signing Suarez for a club record fee estimated to be £70 million.

    For all his baggage, Suarez remains one of the world’s most influential players and almost guarantees goals.

    Last season he scored 31 of them for Liverpool, and when not even fully fit he managed two goals in a match-winning performance against England at the World Cup. 

    As Suarez serves yet another ban Liverpool may have finally lost patience with him, and they could be ready to sell this summer. 

James Rodriguez

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    The Colombian has emerged as one of the stars of this World Cup by scoring five goals before the quarter-finals.

    His volley in Colombia’s second round win against Uruguay was one of the tournament’s most thrilling moments so far. 

    It has only been a year since Rodriguez moved from Porto to AS Monaco for an estimated €45 million to become the second most expensive Portuguese transfer ever.

    But having experienced the acclaim of the world this summer it is unlikely Rodriguez will happily return to the virtual backwaters of Monaco and playing in front of their average crowds of just under 9,000.

    Already he has begun angling for a move, and told Cadena Cope, via The Independent, “I would love to play in Spain. It would be a dream to play there, it is the best league in the world.”

    Do not be surprised to see him arrive there in the very near future.

Mario Balotelli

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    Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

    It is obvious the Italian striker is a nomadic soul.

    Still only 23 years old, Balotelli has already played for four different clubs, Lumezzane, Inter Milan, Manchester City and AC Milan.

    It looks as though he could soon be on the move again.

    Balotelli has had to bear a disproportionate amount of the blame for Italy’s premature exit at the World Cup this summer despite scoring their winner against England in their only win. 

    As detailed in The Independent the AC Milan director Barbara Berlusconi called Balotelli “replaceable”, while the player’s agent Mino Raiola has told Gazzetta dello Sport “Mario is sad, desperate.”

    The Italian could escape back to the Premier League with him already being linked with both Arsenal and Liverpool, per Tuttosport (h/t Alex Harris of The Express).

Romelu Lukaku

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    Yves Logghe/Associated Press

    If there is a club who wants a muscular and athletic striker with a proven goalscoring record then look no further than the Belgian.

    It is also clear his mother club Chelsea no longer want him.

    After arriving at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2011 Lukaku has twice been loaned out, first to West Brom and then to Everton where over the course of two seasons he scored a combined 32 goals.

    At the World Cup this summer Lukaku also scored Belgium’s decisive second goal in their second round 2-1 victory over the USA.

    But that has not been enough to impress Jose Mourinho, who has signed Diego Costa to be Chelsea’s main striker this season. 

    Lukaku is now likely to cut his ties to Chelsea and find a new permanent home this summer.

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