The World Cup may only be a matter of days away but while much of the focus remains firmly on host nation Brazil, plenty of Premier League clubs will be keeping a close eye on their South American rivals Argentina.
Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero may take the majority of the headlines at present, but with La Albiceleste’s squad boasting plenty in the way of talent, here are four of the biggest names being linked with move to the Premier League.
Ezequiel Garay – Benfica
Though once the subject of some interest from Manchester United, it’s cross-town rivals Manchester City who have emerged as the favourites to land the defender after a season in which the Argentine helped O Glorioso to a domestic treble and the final of the Europa League.
Confident on the ball and possessing plenty of aerial presence, Garay could be the ideal addition to a City squad that struggled for defensive cover at times last term. Question marks do remain though, given that Garay failed to make the grade at Real Madrid, so a good World Cup is crucial.
Marcos Rojo – Sporting Lisbon
Seen by some as the weak link in the Argentina back-line, Rojo has nevertheless enjoyed a breakthrough season in Portugal, helping Sporting back to the top table of European football with a runners-up finish in the league.
Liverpool had been linked with a move for the 24-year-old but now that the Reds look set to sign Alberto Moreno from Sevilla, Tottenham could be the team to come to the fore, having previously pursued the Spanish left-back before he seemingly opted for Anfield over White Hart Lane.
Ricardo Alvarez – Inter Milan
The Argentine may have signed a new deal with the Nerazzurri in recent times, but with Inter keen to balance their books and give fellow wonderkid Mateo Kovacic more playing time at the San Siro, Alvarez could be the man to make way, having struggled to adapt to life in Italy.
Manchester United have been linked with a bid for the midfielder but it’s Arsenal, the club Alvarez nearly signed for before Inter, who lead the race. With the Gunners previously resurrecting the careers of Serie A outcasts Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, it could be a match made in heaven.
Ezequiel Lavezzi – Paris Saint-Germain
Impressive for so long at Italian club Napoli, Lavezzi has failed to hit the same heights at PSG, with manager Laurent Blanc preferring to play the forward out wide rather than through the middle, a decision that has left Lavezzi feeling unhappy with life in Paris.
Help could be at hand though in the form of a potential move to Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho keen to bolster the Blues’ forward line ahead of an all-out assault on the Premier League next term.
Competition for a starting spot at the World Cup will be fierce so Lavezzi will need to be at his best when he does make an appearance.