Confederations Cup 2013: Players on Transfer Market Who Must Perform Well Sunday
The 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup is all about playing for national teams on Sunday, but some will also be looking to improve their stock for the upcoming transfer window.
While a championship is on the line between Spain and Brazil, and third-place bragging rights will be decided by Italy and Uruguay, some with uncertain futures have their sights set on what's to come in the club offseason.
As transfer rumors swirl, it's increasingly important that these players put a good name out there for themselves in what could be one of the biggest moments they get.
Let's take a look at players who need to perform well to boost their transfer stock for this offseason.
Edinson Cavani, Uruguay
The Napoli striker has emerged as Uruguay's choice to start up top in the traditional attacking post, but he hasn't really stood out in the Confederations Cup.
Other than his goal against Brazil, a ball that somehow found his foot just inside the box, Cavani has been somewhat invisible.
This isn't exactly coming at an ideal time, as he's being courted by Chelsea of the Premier League in a £45-million bid for his services, according to Rob Draper of Daily Mail.
Uruguay have already been eliminated from championship contention, but they'll be able to close out their experience in Brazil with a win against Italy in the third-place match. It would certainly put the icing on the cake for what was a successful tournament for the Uruguayans, but one that came up just short.
If Cavani doesn't want to be remembered as one of the reasons for Uruguay's struggles in the Confederations Cup, he'll need to score at least once against Italy. Not to mention that it wouldn't exactly hurt his ability to get a good deal.
Stephan El Shaarawy, Italy
Before I get started, it's important to note that Italian forward Stephan El Shaarawy has only played in one match so far in this tournament, and he was substituted in for that performance.
However, if Italy knows what's best for them, they'll go with the 20-year-old phenom in their matchup against Uruguay so they can further determine how he can help them moving toward next summer's World Cup.
El Shaarawy has been the subject of much transfer speculation as of late, and a move from AC Milan may be in the works.
The Azzurri seemed to still possess a threatening offensive attack without Mario Balotelli against Spain, but couldn't figure out how to score. Perhaps inserting El Shaarawy would help spearhead their ability to put more balls in the netting.
The last thing El Shaarawy needed, other than him becoming out of favor with playing time for his national team, was his head coach coming up with a public critique of him. Italian coach Cesare Prandelli went as far as to tell SW Lim of Goal.com that El Shaarawy "needs to show more character."
Maybe El Shaarawy won't even get the chance to do so, but he really needs to get out on the pitch against Uruguay and show what he can do.
Luis Suarez, Uruguay
There hasn't been a player more subject to scrutiny over the past calendar year than Luis Suarez, and his public falling out has played a huge role in his potential departure from Liverpool (via the Guardian).
As of late, Suarez was reported as close to a deal with Real Madrid from a Spanish newspaper, and it has made his current club furious, according to Luke Edwards of the Telegraph.
Meanwhile, Suarez just continues to play football for Uruguay and that has worked out quite well for the striker. He's proven his case as the team's clear superstar force, showing prowess from everywhere. From free kicks to attacking from the wing to slipping past defenders, Suarez can do it all.
However, another strong performance against Italy in the third-place match would only cement a massive number next to his name for a summer move. You can bet that Liverpool, as much as they might want to hold onto him, is hoping that he comes out with a dominating performance that will allow them to increase their asking price.
Suarez may be staying put; he may not be on the transfer market at all. Perhaps Liverpool will be furious that I'm even insinuating that he is. But after the latest firestorm of reports, it's obvious that he's out there as much as anyone right now.
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