World Football: 10 Transfer Targets to Watch in the 2012 Olympics
Football in the Olympics starts in just two days and there is plenty of speculation concerning the future of some talented individuals in the competition. Many of Brazil's players have been linked with moves to the Premier League, while players from the other 11 nations will look to impress enough to complete a transfer.
In every Olympic games, a future world star finds a way to shine for their side. In the past three Olympics, Samuel Eto'o, Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi all led their nations to Olympic Gold and the general perception from their talent also rose.
The London Olympics will also do this. There will be players competing who will become future world stars. Here is a look at ten young players you could expect to make a transfer following their performance in Great Britain.
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A starter on South Korea's World Cup squad in 2010, Ki Sung-Yueng had a fantastic season for Celtic, where he had seven goals and eight assists for the Scottish champions.
This summer, Ki has found himself linked to Liverpool and QPR submitted a £6 million bid for the midfielder. QPR previously signed fellow South Korean Ji-Sung Park this summer.
With a 12-match suspension to Joey Barton to start the campaign, expect QPR to make a heavier push for the 22-year-old, who will be competing in his second Olympic Games.
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An overage player for Brazil in these Olympics, Hulk has become one of the top young strikers in Europe. In the past two years, he has completed a treble, compiled 57 goals and twice been selected as the Primeira Liga Player of the Year.
Since the start of the window, Chelsea have been chasing after Hulk's signature, with reports indicating that the striker had agreed to move to Stamford Bridge, but Porto backed out of talks.
Rumors will once again start following the conclusion of these Olympics. Considering the large amount of rumors that exist with this star-studded Brazilian squad, don't be surprised to see Hulk lead the pack with one of the largest moves of the summer.
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A rising right-back with Marseille, Cesar Azpilicueta will be one of the most watched Spanish players in these games.
Azpilicueta has been a starter in both France and Spain and has been linked to a £7 million move to Chelsea following the Olympics.
Considering his talent and the departure of Jose Bosingwa, Azpilicueta (who is the captain of this Spanish squad) could get a nice payday if he performs well.
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Last year, Marco Fabian scored two fantastic goals to lead Chivas Guadalajara to a 4-1 victory over Barcelona. In these Olympics, Fabian is poised to be Mexico's biggest star in what is a golden generation for El Tri.
Since the start of Olympic qualifying in March, Fabian has scored 13 goals for Mexico U-23's in only 12 matches! Fabian was also named the top goalscorer in CONCACAF qualifying and in the Toulon Tournament. These achievements are more remarkable when you consider that Fabian is a midfielder who has scored 27 times in five years with Chivas.
Fabian's play will stand out for a Mexican side that is loaded with talent. But expect Fabian to outshine his teammates like he has so far this year.
There have been rumors linking Fabian to a move to either England or Spain. If Fabian again shows his brilliance, don't be surprised to see him make a move.
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A future Spanish national team star who received his first cap as a 19-year-old, Iker Muniain will attempt to break out in what will be the biggest tournament of his young career.
Known as "the Spanish Messi", Muniain was impressive for Bilbao on their way to the Europa League final. He also was a top playmaker and impressed many with his performance against Manchester United.
Muniain has a transfer price of £29.5 million and it has been rumored that United are chasing his signature. But if Muniain again performs well, look out for other top European top clubs that will splash large sums to acquire him.
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Another player on Brazil's squad who has been linked to a major move to an English club, Lucas will look to show why he is the most highly-regarded teenager in Brazil today.
Lucas has already made a much-publicized debut against the Great Britain squad, in which he shone. Considering how heavily Manchester United have pursued the 19-year-old, it shouldn't be a surprise to see him make a record-breaking move this summer.
Assuming that Lucas will continue to shine in the Olympics, it will be interesting to see how Brazil could dominate some of their opponents.
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Just 21 years old and considered to be one of the top midfield prospects in Europe, Gaston Ramirez will be one of the top players on a Uruguay side that is projected to be in contention for their first Olympic medal in football since 1928.
With the talent on Uruguay and with plenty of teams chasing him, Ramirez could easily become the biggest football star of these Olympics. But he will in all likelihood make a major transfer sometime in the near future.
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Another talented Brazilian playmaker, Oscar will only help to further enhance a fantastic midfield in these Olympics.
Oscar has been linked heavily to Chelsea during this summer, with the Brazilian recently confirming that he had a medical with the club. Current speculation on Oscar's price is in the £25 million range.
But that price could easily increase if Oscar performs well in these Olympics. Right now, it appears that out of all the young stars that could transfer, Oscar's transfer is the most likely one to happen.
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A World Cup and European Championship winner, Javi Martinez will come into these Olympics as one of the most decorated footballers in these games.
Martinez was fantastic with Athletic Bilbao, starring as a defender (though he mainly is a defensive midfielder) for a side that were the runners-up in the Europa League. Martinez's experience and leadership will be relied upon for Spain, who will be attempting to win their first Olympic Gold in football in 20 years.
Martinez has been linked to Bayern Munich this summer, but don't be surprised to see other major European clubs make some outrageous bids to acquire the 23-year-old.
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There is no doubt that Neymar is the biggest football star in these Olympics. After hearing about him for years, the entire world will see Neymar compete in what will be the biggest competition of his young career.
Neymar has been previously liked to clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona, but he has always remained with Santos, which has allowed him to compile his craft to become one of the top players in the world.
Santos have yet to allow one of the most prized players in their history walk. But if Neymar plays at the level that we have come to expect from him, he might just warrant one of the highest asking prices in football history.