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25 South American Players Set for Transfers in 2014

Dan ColasimoneContributor IFebruary 27, 2014

25 South American Players Set for Transfers in 2014

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    Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

    Transfer chatter is almost constant in the world of football, so it is often difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    There are certain transfer rumors, however, that gather momentum over time until they eventually become reality.

    None of the following 25 South American stars are guaranteed to move anywhere in 2014, but they are among the most likely candidates for a shift due to a variety of circumstances.

25. Rodrigo Gomez

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    Like the butterfly in chaos theory that flaps its wings to cause a hurricane on the other side of the world, transfers, or mooted transfers, often have a knock-on effect that can have consequences for several clubs.

    According to Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian, Fiorentina's possible future purchase of Tottenham's Younes Kaboul could result in the English club bolstering its own stocks by buying 21-year-old midfielder Rodrigo Gomez from Argentinos Juniors.

    The price of £3 million mentioned would no doubt represent a welcome influx of cash for the Argentine club, which would itself look to strengthen its side and keep fans happy with a big signing.

24. Ezequiel Lavezzi

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    Thibault Camus/Associated Press

    With the array of attacking talent available to Laurent Blanc at Paris Saint-Germain, including two of the world's best forwards in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani, places in the starting 11 are tough to hold down.

    Ezequiel Lavezzi is a highly talented attacker but has to play third fiddle in a glamorous PSG side. A move elsewhere could see him take on more of a starring role.

    According to Paul Gorst of the Mirror Arsenal was interested in Lavezzi leading up to the January transfer window.

    Although a move never transpired, it signals that there would be plenty of interest in the Argentine speedster should he decide to try his luck elsewhere later in the year.

23. Juan Cuadrado

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    Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press

    One of the standout performers in Serie A this season, Juan Cuadrado looks set for a move away from Fiorentina shortly.

    The zippy Colombian wide man is currently co-owned by Fiorentina and Udinese, but the Florence club is looking to acquire full ownership of the player with a view to selling him on, according to Alan Wilson of the Mirror

    Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are reportedly among the clubs interested in acquiring the 25-year-old's services.

22. Adrian Ramos

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    Michael Sohn/Associated Press

    Another sought-after Colombian attacker is Adrian Ramos, who has been linked with a move away from his current club, Hertha Berlin.

    Stephan Uersfeld, reporting for ESPN FC, says Hertha has denied claims in the German press that Ramos is about to sign for Borussia Dortmund.

    With the amount of transfer buzz that has surrounded the striker for some time now, a move seems inevitable.

21. Eder Balanta

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    Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

    River Plate's defensive powerhouse, Eder Balanta, is surely too great a talent to remain in South American football for much longer.

    The latest in a long line of superb Colombian defenders, the 20-year-old has been linked to Barcelona, per Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC, as well as several other European heavyweights.

20. Luciano Vietto

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    Eduardo Di Baia/Associated Press

    Racing Club hotshot Luciano Vietto has been earmarked as a future star for a number of seasons now, despite his tender years.

    The 20-year-old forward has all the attributes to become successful in Europe. Not only is he a goalscorer, but he is also a skillful dribbler and a creator of chances.

    Charles Perrin of the Express reports that Vietto's agent is claiming there are several big-name clubs interested in signing the youngster, including Liverpool and Real Madrid. 

    Considering it has been a quiet period for Argentine clubs in terms of exports, Racing will surely be keen to make a profit on one of its prized assets as soon as possible.

19. Marcelo Diaz

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    Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

    As a part of the Chilean national team's slick midfield unit, Marcelo Diaz has consistently proven himself to be a classy and multifunctional footballer.

    Since moving to Basel in 2012, he has shown he has the goods to cut it in European competition as well.

    At 27, Diaz is hitting his peak, so a move to one of the Continent's top leagues could be imminent, especially if he has a productive World Cup.

    In an interview with Marca (in Spanish, translated), the Chilean says he would love to play for Barcelona but finds Serie A and the Bundesliga attractive options as well.

18. Rafinha Alcantara

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    His older brother has proven himself to be a top-shelf midfielder, and now Rafinha is being courted by Europe's elite.

    Thiago Alcantara followed Pep Guardiola from Barcelona to Bayern Munich, where he has adapted admirably to the Bundesliga, while his younger sibling is now on Manchester United's shopping list, according to Ben Jefferson of the Express.

    Rafinha is owned by Barcelona but is currently on loan at Celta Vigo. His father has stated that the 21-year-old midfielder still fancies his chances of breaking into the Barcelona team, but with other clubs lurking, he may decide to try his luck in another league.

17. Bruno Zuculini

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    Eduardo Di Baia/Associated Press

    Midfield terrier Bruno Zuculini will be on his way from Racing to Manchester City in the summer, according to David Anderson in the Mirror

    Racing President Victor Blanco stated that a transfer of the 20-year-old has already been agreed on by the clubs, meaning the English club will soon have another feisty defensive midfielder on its books.

16. Fredy Guarin

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    Paolo Giovannini/Associated Press

    Despite recent statements that he is content with life at Inter, Fredy Guarin's continued association with the club has long been under a cloud.

    A recent Twitter rant from the Colombian suggested he is happy at the Italian club, but it seems his employers are not so keen to hang on to him.

    Ben Burrows reports in the Mirror that several clubs are ready to swoop should Inter eventually offload the 27-year-old, including Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United.

15. Pato

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    After finally securing a loan move away from Corinthians, Pato could be seeking to continue his career even further afield should the opportunity arise.

    An unhappy spell at Corinthians came to a jolting end recently when fans attacked him at the club's training ground. Pato, who had been linked with Tottenham and Arsenal, per the Daily Star's Nick Lustig, was immediately loaned to crosstown rivals Sao Paulo for the remainder of the season.

    Concerns for his safety may see the 24-year-old return to Europe when the loan spell ends, if there are any clubs still interested in his services.

14. Marcos Rojo

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    Armando Franca/Associated Press

    The man most likely to start at left-back for Argentina at the upcoming World Cup, Marcos Rojo has been linked to Manchester United, reports Daniel Harris of The Guardian.

    The Sporting player, who has been solid for La Albiceleste without every really setting the world on fire, may be able to take his game to the next level if he can secure a spot at a prestigious club like United.

13. Jo

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    A stint at Manchester City as a youngster may not have worked out particularly well for Jo, but since returning to his homeland, he has matured a great deal as a footballer and may be ready for a return to Europe.

    Likely to feature in some capacity in Brazil's World Cup campaign, Jo has impressed for 2013 Copa Libertadores winners Atletico Mineiro for the last two seasons and could prove a good value buy for any side looking for a capable frontman.

12. Jefferson Farfan

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Peruvian winger Jefferson Farfan is on Brendan Rodgers' wish list, according to Peter Guy of the Liverpool Echo.

    The Schalke player has experience and a proven track record when it comes to scoring goals, though at 29 years of age would not offer any long-term solutions.

11. Alex

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    Michel Euler/Associated Press

    As AC Milan looks to rebuild itself as a European superpower under Clarence Seedorf, there should be more rumors circulating about top players joining the club.

    PSG defender Alex is the latest to be linked with the seven-time European champion, according to L'Equipe (via Football Italia).

    The former Santos and Chelsea man would certainly add some steel to the Milan back line, plus bucket loads of experience.

10. Ricardo Alvarez

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    Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

    The failure of Inter Milan thus far to tie down Ricky Alvarez has ensured that other clubs are beginning to circle.

    The skillful Argentine youngster has had some spectacular matches for the Italian giant, but his performances have lacked consistency. 

    His talent is beyond question, however, with a large number of clubs bound to be interested should he be made available.

9. Esteban Cambiasso

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Veteran Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso has become a talismanic figure at Inter in his decade-long stint at the club, but his time in Milan may be coming to an end soon.

    Ed Malyon of the Mirror reports that the Italians are eager to cut their wage bill, meaning Cambiasso may be released unless he is prepared to take a massive pay cut.

    Manchester United and Chelsea will be monitoring the situation closely.

8. Angel Correa

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    Dazzling San Lorenzo forward Angel Correa is being chased by a number of European sides, and it appears only a matter of time before he makes the jump across the pond.

    The 18-year-old won the Argentine Primera last season and has already had an offer for him from Atletico Madrid rejected, according to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.  

    Arsenal, Barcelona and Manchester City are all chasing the youngster, however, and there is little chance that the Saints will be able to resist that kind of bidding war to hang on to their prized asset.

7. Hulk

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    Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press

    With Robert Lewandowski set to leave Borussia Dortmund for Bayern Munich at the end of the current campaign, Brazilian Hulk has been strongly linked with the German club.

    The 27-year-old recently denied he is planning a move to the Champions League finalists from Zenit St. Petersburg in an interview with ESPN Brasil, as reported by Paulo Freitas on SkySports.com, but rumors also persist that a transfer to a Premier League club might be on the cards, as reported by Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.

6. Erik Lamela

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Having gone from potential superstar to fringe player in six months, Erik Lamela is reportedly hoping for a return to Serie A in an attempt to revitalize his career.

    The Argentine shone brightly for Roma before transferring to Tottenham in August 2013, but his time at the English club has only produced a handful of bright moments as he struggles to earn a first-team place.

    Martin Lipton of the Mirror reported in January that the 21-year-old was a target for Juventus, which wanted to offer Mirko Vucinic as compensation in any deal.

5. Javier Mascherano

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    A key member of Liverpool's squad for three years, Javier Mascherano opted to take on a new challenge with Barcelona in 2010.

    Though his time at the Catalan club has been anything but a failure, he has nonetheless failed to establish himself as a sure starter over the last four years and has also had to adapt to the role of central defender instead of his natural midfield position.

    Indications are that the Argentine's Barcelona adventure may be coming to an end, with a move to former club Liverpool a possibility, along with a potential reunion with former manager Rafael Benitez at Napoli.

    Skysports.com reported on the Liverpool rumor, while Sport cited a Tutto Napoli article (in Spanish, translated) with regard to the Benitez link.

    While neither transfer went through in the January window, if Barcelona sign a centre-back later in the year, it is likely that Mascherano will be on his way.

4. Angel di Maria

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    When Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid on a mega-money deal, there was speculation that Angel di Maria would leave the club to make way for the Welshman.

    The skinny Argentine opted to stay, however, and fight for his first-team place. Thus far, he has done an excellent job of proving his worth to Carlo Ancelotti and the Bernabeu faithful with a string of commanding performances. 

3. Diego Costa

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    Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

    There are few hotter strikers in world football at the moment than Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa.

    The Lagarto-born hit man has 21 goals in La Liga already and has been the subject of a tug of war between the Brazilian and Spanish national teams.

    Atletico has a history of bringing brilliant forwards to the fore before selling them on at a huge profit, and Costa could be the next to follow that trend.

    Barry Glendenning of The Guardian maintains that Chelsea could tempt the Spanish club with a swap deal involving goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois plus cash.

2. Radamel Falcao

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    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    In what would be a monster transfer story, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is apparently also interested in poaching Monaco gun Radamel Falcao.

    According to The Guardian, the prickly Portuguese manager was scathing in his assessment of the principality club in an interview with French television station Canal Plus, indicating that he thinks Falcao would be tempted by a "bigger" team.

    Mourinho said:

    The problem at Chelsea is that we are missing a striker.

    I have one in (Samuel) Eto'o but he is 32, possibly 35, who knows?

    I don't have Falcao but Falcao doesn't have a club. Who wants to play in front of 3,000 supporters?

    If I was one day to go to Monaco it would be the end.

    If Mourinho is right, the 28-year-old striker could soon be on the move.

1. Luis Suarez

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    After plenty of transfer talk last European summer, Luis Suarez ended up staying put at Liverpool for another season, and Reds fans will be delighted that he did.

    The Uruguayan forward has been in sensational form, appearing unstoppable at times on his way to scoring 23 goals so far in the Premier League.

    Indications are strong, however, that he will part ways with the Anfield outfit at the end of the current season, with Atletico Madrid joining his list of suitors.

    Arsenal failed in its attempts to sign him last summer, but Real Madrid is also reportedly interested, according to the Metro's Gavin Brown.

    With so many giant clubs putting pressure on Liverpool, it may prove impossible for Brendan Rodgers to hang on to his star man for much longer.

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