Yesterday saw the beginning of the 43rd Copa America in Argentina where a host of the world’s finest footballers will be on display and no doubt the eyes of Europe’s top clubs will be on them.
The tournament will include some the world’s most high profile players such as, Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez and will also be a platform for some of the most wanted men in football to show just why some of the biggest clubs in Europe are chasing their signatures.
Alexis Sanchez of Chile, Neymar of Brazil, and Javier Pastore of Argentina have all been linked with high profile moves to the likes of Chelsea , Barcelona , and Real Madrid . They will see this tournament as an ideal chance to attract more suitors and demonstrate the vast amount of talent they possess.
Sanchez for example has been told by Chile that he can leave their training camp in the build up to the Championship in order to complete his much anticipated move to Barcelona for around £35m. Neymars club Santos recently declared that five major European clubs have met the £40m buy-out clause in his contract and he too could soon be on the move.
Javier Pastores club Palermo have announced in the past few days a number of top clubs have shown an interest in him before club President Maurizio Zamparini declared one club in particular have tabled a £45m bid.
Between them these three players alone could cost a combined £130m for what is relatively unproven talent in the eyes of many fans, though the Copa America is the ideal platform for them to justify such high transfer fees and prove there is foundation to the hype.
Argentinean striker Sergio Aguero is another player being linked with a big money move on the eve of the competition, with Juventus reportedly ready to spend £32m in order secure his services in Serie A.
Aguero is part of an Argentinean squad that has finished as runners-up in the past two tournaments and will be looking to stop Brazil claiming the crown for a third time in row. Both have squads blessed with a number of superstars but both also have a lot to prove.
Though the Copa America isn’t all about the high profile players, it’s also a chance for some a South America’s lesser know players to show the world what they can do in the hope of attracting a lucrative transfer to a top European club.
Take for example Columbian defender Cristian Zapata , currently with Udinese, who declared he was a transfer target for Liverpool just a couple a weeks ago and this will be his chance to demonstrate why he is seen as one of the finest defenders in Italy.
Manchester United’s Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia was discovered by Wigan in this tournament a number of years ago and he has gone to not only establish himself as a Premier league player but also as a vital part of United’s Championship winning team.
So as the competition evolves from here on in, there will not only be millions of fans watching with intrigue a number a Europe’s top scouts will be there and searching for the next South American Gem.
Article courtesy of Patrick Giffney from This Is Futbol