Summer Transfer Window: 8 Best South Americans Set for a Move to Europe
At a time when Europe—mainly Spain—is dominating International football, it's surprising that the prices of South American players haven't diminished slightly.
Brazilians particularly still seem to be held in higher regard than other nationalities, as though the country they were born in has some effect on their ability to play football.
Maybe it does. Who am I to suggest otherwise?
Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay have all produced some magnificent players of late, so let's take a look at which of those may be favouring a move to Europe in order to increase their worldwide stature.
Santos forward Neymar is perhaps South America's hottest property right now.
The Brazilian has been linked numerous times to Barcelona and Real Madrid, but he has signed a new contract with Santos that will keep him at the club until after the 2014 World Cup.
As we all know, money makes the world go round, and Barca and Real have plenty of it.
Whilst Neymar has certainly made his intentions clear, don't be surprised to see the mohawk hair lighting up La Liga in the 2012-13 season.
Tottenham Hotspur, Paris St Germain, Arsenal, Juventus, Barcelona and Liverpoolare are all names on the first page alone, all of which suggests his club Internacional may be getting some telephone calls over the summer.
The Champions League of Europe is still considered to be the best stage for footballers to showcase their abilities and gain international acclaim.
If you're a supporter of one of the those clubs, let's hope Damiao wants more than Internacional acclaim in the future.
Another Brazilian, I'm afraid, but you can't deny the potential stardom of Lucas Moura.
Moura is understood to have a £66.8 million release clause built into his contract at Sao Paulo, which gives you an idea of how highly the Brazilian club rates the 19-year-old.
Chelsea are rumoured to be tracking the midfielder. One could see Roma Abramovich spending big to bring the player to Stamford Bridge.
Santos midfielder Ganso could be on his way to White Hart Lane if you believe the speculation written by The Telegraph.
Tottenham were reported to be putting a bid together of over £15 million in January, but the move never materialised.
Perhaps the summer could see Harry Redknapp re-adress the situation and Ganso head to the Premier League.
Finally a change of nationality brings us to Argentinian defender Julian Velazquez.
Velazquez plays for Independiente in the Argentine Primera Division, but rumours are surfacing that Serie A side Inter Milan could be interested in the 21-year-old.
Another Brazilian, and this time it's a goalkeeper, and a young one at that.
At 15 years of age, Luis Guilherme once went to Arsenal on a trial basis but opted to stay in Brazil to sign a professional contract with Botafogo.
Now 18 years old, Guilherme is having a similar type trial with Manchester City, which could result in the young goalkeeper moving permanently over the summer.
Sergio Araujo is an Argentine striker who plays for Boca Juniors.
Araujo was linked with a move to Barcelona back in June 2011, but a deal was never done.
Araujo is just 20 years of age and suggested he would favour a move to Barcelona over rivals Real Madrid, if you believe what you read on goal.com.
Banfield striker Facundo Ferreyra is reported to be attracting a lot of interest from Serie A side Juventus.
Ferreyra is an Argentine under-20 international and shows plenty of promise.
Tribalfootball.com reported in December that Juventus had made contact with his club, but no deal is believed to have taken place yet.
Whilst this list only contains Brazilians and Argentinians, that's not to say there aren't excellent players coming out of Uruguay, Chile, et al.
The problem was finding a genuine bonafide link to a European club move.
Most of the top players from South America are already playing at European clubs, with Barcelona, Porto and a few Serie A clubs being particular favourites, it seems.
As the world gets smaller due to the Internet and new technology, we are learning more and more about players we might not have heard of a few years ago.
That can only be a good thing for World Football. I hope that some of these young players get to display their talents at the top level as soon as possible.
As always, thanks for reading.
Still catching up with the January deals? Click here to read about the EPL's Top 20 signings.
On twitter? Follow me @petercwebster where I post all my B/R content.