The World Cup Stars Now Heading for Major Transfers This Summer
The greatest show on earth has come to an end, but as we move on from the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it is time to consider the impact made by some of the standout players.
For some of the talent in Russia, it was a chance to showcase their ability to a global audience and elevate their own standing in the game.
And with transfers about to kick on ahead of new domestic campaigns, deals will soon start clicking into place.
Here, we run down some of the names who could be on the move in the coming weeks following their impressive displays at the tournament.
Hirving Lozano confirmed his potential as the tournament's breakout star with a goal against Germany that turned the head of just about every fan on the planet.
Now his agent, Mino Raiola, is busy working on a deal that would take the PSV Eindhoven winger to the next level.
At just 22, the Mexico international has been tipped for a while to follow former PSV director of football Marcel Brands to Everton. But such was his impact in Russia that a host of other clubs have now expressed interest, including Barcelona—as confirmed by his own father to ESPN (h/t Marca).
Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco are also potential landing spots, but most experts in his homeland seem convinced that a move to the Premier League would best suit him.
Alonso Cabral of Televisa Deportes told Bleacher Report: "He's perfect for the Premier League because he's very fast and doesn't get frightened by big defenders. Big defenders hit him and foul him—and he goes back and tries again. He doesn't back down. I see him as a little bit like Luis Suarez. He doesn't have the same goal threat but he is very persistent."
Alan Nunez of Vavel Mexico told BR: "I think a move to the Premier League is more likely, but he has the level to grow up as a player in a bigger team. The speed at which he can conduct the ball and how many one-on-one opportunities he can capitalize on is tremendous.
"Because of his nature, counter-attacking teams right now would suit him more. But he definitely has the capacity to improve as a player on a positional game style."
Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham are now being linked as well as Barca—it might yet be possible he will make a sudden leap to an elite cub, just as Javier Hernandez once did.
Chelsea are planning to step up their pursuit of Russia star Golovin—and they will have to move quickly, as Monaco have now made a bid for the player.
Maurizio Sarri has been appointed as the new Blues boss and, interestingly, also targeted the player while he was in charge at Napoli last year.
Golovin was already on Chelsea's radar, but his World Cup performances confirmed his pedigree. He scored one goal over his four appearances at the World Cup and seems to have convinced recruitment staff in west London that he fits into their future vision.
B/R sources explained how the 22-year-old is seen as a creative link from the centre of the park, an area they are looking to enhance. The fact he is Russian is also believed to be key as owner Roman Abramovich is eager to push through with the deal for one of his country's brightest prospects.
Chelsea are confident a transfer will be concluded, though it will cost around £26 million to complete a deal for the man from CSKA Moscow.
A remarkable display in Denmark's heartbreaking defeat to Croatia was tough on Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel, but it may yet lead to a significant moment in his career.
Already on the radar of numerous UEFA Champions League clubs, this looks like the time he gets a big move.
Sources inside the Danish World Cup camp told B/R there is a desire from the 31-year-old to test himself at a bigger club and prove he is in the same bracket as David De Gea and Thibaut Courtois.
Recent Liverpool links can be ignored, but pay attention to interest from Chelsea and AS Roma—something big may happen.
Chelsea are waiting to discover whether Courtois will join Real Madrid, and Alisson is top of their list to replace him. That would see a spot open up at Roma, and Schmeichel could be ideal to replace the Brazilian.
The one thing that could hold him back is that Leicester value him at over £50 million.
Wilmar Barrios and Yerry Mina
Colombia's combative trio of Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez at the back and Wilmar Barrios in midfield proved to be a key element of their World Cup campaign.
Sanchez won't be leaving Tottenham Hotspur, but there are plenty of clubs trying to snap up the other two.
It's Boca Juniors midfielder Barrios who seems most likely to make a move, and third-party agents close to the situation are convinced the 24-year-old is desperate to move to the Premier League.
Tottenham are among the clubs in England that have touched base about a deal, and while it is not quite as close as some outlets have reported, there is a possibility of a switch.
Barrios would seem decent value at around £15 million initially, with top-ups to come depending on his success. His high-energy game fits in with how Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino expects his players to work.
Mina's game time at Barcelona has been limited, but discussions are expected to outline where he fits in. Fenerbahce, West Ham United and Everton are among the clubs interested in him if the 23-year-old becomes available.
One of the early stars of Russia 2018, Juan Quintero's flashes of brilliance for Colombia have not been forgotten.
Most recently plying his trade with River Plate on loan from FC Porto, it should perhaps come as no surprise that the man leading the race to sign him is Spurs' Argentinian boss, Pochettino.
It is going to cost £22 million to sign the attacker, but he would seem to fit into the type of play encouraged by the north London outfit.
Insiders at Tottenham insisted a deal is not close at this stage but he is a player around whom discussions have taken place.
A twist in the tale could be Cristiano Ronaldo's move from Real Madrid to Juventus. It means the Spanish giants are on the lookout for exciting new talent, and reports have begun to emerge that the 25-year-old is on their shortlist.
He shone as the creative link for Iran, and it is no surprise that a move to the Premier League could now be his reward.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh is considered to be his country's shining light, replacing Sardar Azmoun as a fans' favourite and the man with the most potential to become a name recognised across the world.
Leicester City have been looking into a move to sign him.
The club have just lost Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City and want a replacement who is full of drive as well as flicks and tricks.
Sources believe the Foxes are willing to reinvest around £20 milllion of the Mahrez cash in the 24-year-old, who also made huge strides with AZ Alkmaar last season.
Milad Mohammadi will be remembered most for his acrobatic throw-in attempt in the final seconds of Iran's match against Spain.
With the game into injury time and the scoreline at 1-0, Iran had a chance to force a late equaliser—but his bizarre flip-and-throw failed.
Nevertheless, the 24-year-old full-back enjoyed an impressive tournament, and Scottish clubs Celtic and Glasgow Rangers are both being linked with a move to sign him.
Rangers, coached by Steven Gerrard, were first to inquire over the Akhmat Grozny player and discovered he could be purchased for around £2 million.
But now Scottish Premiership champions Celtic are ready to challenge for his signature too as they are fond of his versatility.
Domagoj Vida and Ante Rebic
As Croatia pushed their way towards the World Cup final, Domagoj Vida became a significant figure in their success.
Now the Besiktas defender has some of Europe's biggest clubs on his tail, with a potential £20 million in the offing.
Sources close to the 29-year-old suggest he would be keen to take advantage of his new profile by making a switch, and Liverpool appear keen.
The opportunity to link up with Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk could make for an intriguing new dimension to the Reds' back line, but Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are also checking on his situation and could make offers.
A move to the Premier League could also be on the cards for international team-mate Ante Rebic, 24, who is being linked with a £44 million switch from Eintracht Frankfurt to Manchester United.
As one of the best goalkeepers at the tournament, a bright future awaits South Korea star Jo Hyeon-Woo.
The 26-year-old is now back in South Korea's K-League playing for Daegu FC, but he has been linked with Liverpool since his summer heroics for his country.
He has made it into discussions at the club as they think about what to do over their goalkeeping situation.
The problem right now is that Liverpool sources insist nothing will happen until either Loris Karius or Simon Mignolet is sold.
The most likely scenario is that Jo stays at his current club for the time being but makes a big move in 2019.