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Posted: Saturday July 10, 2010 5:46PM ; Updated: Tuesday July 13, 2010 3:14PM
Jen Chang
Jen Chang>INSIDE THE WORLD CUP

Ozil and Coentrao among players whose stock rose at the World Cup

Story Highlights

Germany's Mesut Ozil has the talent to become an elite playmaker

Japan's Keisuke Honda was described by Arsene Wenger as a genius

Portugal's Fabio Coentrao is one of the top young left-back prospects in the world

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Fabio Coentrao
Portugal fullback Fabio Coentrao is likely to be the subject of a bidding war between top clubs this summer.
Karim Jaafar/Getty Images

As with all World Cups, and despite the dangers in overvaluing players based off on good tournament performances, it remains a showcase for teams to target fresh young talent, or in some cases revise their opinions on existing targets.

One highly-regarded player has already made the move: stylish throwback Danish defender Simon Kjaer has agreed to move to Wolfsburg from Palermo for what could turn out to be a bargain $16 million fee, while Mexican winger Pablo Barrera is reported to be on his way to West Ham for $6 million.

By contrast, some players such as Uruguay's Diego Forlan or Germany's Thomas Mueller have starred, but due to age (Forlan, 31) and current club situation (Bayern would not likely sell a prize young German asset like Mueller) are unlikely to attract many suitors. Others such as Chile's Alexis Sanchez, Uruguay's Luis Suarez and Germany's Manuel Neuer, already had hefty price tags and were pre-World Cup targets for big clubs.

Here's a list of 10 players, who've raised their transfer profiles considerably and could be on the move this summer (in no particular order):

Mesut Ozil, Germany

On the verge of becoming a household name, the youthful left-footed playmaker announced his arrival on the senior stage as the key to Germany's devastating counterattack. Instinctive and pacy, the 21-year-old Werder Bremen attacking midfielder links intelligently with his forwards and constantly probes opposing defenses. Already admired by scouts entering the tournament (particularly for his display in the 2009 U-21 European Championship final when he shredded England), Ozil's price tag has gone up several more notches, probably to the $25 million-30 million range. Linked: Manchester City, Arsenal and Barcelona are all rumored to be sniffing around.

Anthony Annan, Ghana

One of several standouts on the Ghana squad, Annan has drawn rave reviews for some time now, both at international level (at the African Nations Cup) and for his club (Rosenborg). That the diminutive defensive midfielder still toils in Scandinavia is probably a result of his slight physique (he's 5-foot-9) and concerns about his one-dimensional skills. One-dimensional he may be, but he excels at mopping up and breaking up play with neat, tidy distribution. Rosenborg valued him in the $6 million range entering the tournament, but one imagines his price tag is nearer the $10 million mark now. Linked: The likes of Lyon and Manchester United are said to be interested.

Sami Khedira, Germany

Stepped in for Michael Ballack and has probably made the former captain obsolete for the national team with his performances in the holding role. Khedira's much more well-rounded and active than your usual defensive midfielder, offering a box-to-box presence and a deft passing touch. With only one year left on his contract, Stuttgart will probably look to cash in on the 23 year old for a figure in the $15 million range. Linked: Chelsea, Real Madrid are rumored to be among those interested in his services.

Fabio Coentrao, Portugal

The 22-year-old Benfica left back really impressed in the tournament, offering width and devastating raids down the flank. As a converted winger, Coentrao has an impressive technical skill-set for a fullback, and yet has shown that he's also adjusted well to the defensive side of the game. Likely to be sold for a fee in the region of $20 million. Linked: Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are the names that most frequently pop up.

Keisuke Honda, Japan

The 24-year-old Honda was snapped up by CSKA Moscow this past January for just $9 million from Dutch side VVV-Venlo. Although played out of position at striker (he's best deployed in the hole as an attacking midfielder or left winger) during the World Cup, Honda impressed with his vision, dead-ball ability and technical skill prompting admirers such as Arsenal's Arsene Wenger to call him a "genius." Should it choose, CSKA could easily cash in this summer and make twice its original sum. Linked: AC Milan and Valencia are among those reported to be interested.

Winston Reid, New Zealand

The former Danish youth international switched allegiances to New Zealand in time for the tournament and impressed with his physical presence for the All Whites' impressive defense. At 6-3, the 22-year-old Reid is capable of playing at both center back and right back. He can probably be had for a figure in the $3.5 million to $4 million range and is surely destined to leave Midtjylland for a bigger league. Linked: Cagliari, Palermo and Blackburn are reported to be among teams considering a move.

Michael Bradley, USA

Midfielder Bradley impressed at the World Cup, displaying his two strongest qualities in abundance: exceptional work rate and a never-say-die attitude. His performance against England, when he matched English duo Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, confirmed that his star continues to ascend. While it's unlikely that he'll ever evolve into the type of offensive threat that some observers imagined off the back of his 16-goal season for Heerenveen in the 2007-08 season, his technique continues to improve. He's could certainly operate in a holding role for a bigger club and has shown he's ready to make the step up from current team Borussia M'Gladbach, if someone meets an asking price of around $8-10 million. Linked: Everton and Fulham have long been admirers and could be ready to make a move this summer.

Lee Chung-Yong, South Korea

The speedy, inventive 22-year-old winger impressed in his debut season in the Premiership with Bolton, and only underlined his quality further with his performances in the World Cup -- most memorably when he made Argentina's Martin Demichelis look a fool. Part of South Korea's impressing attacking triumvirate (along with Park Ji-sung and Park Chu-young), Lee's value has skyrocketed from the $3 million that Bolton originally paid for him, and probably sits in the $12 million range at present. Linked: Liverpool was one of a handful of clubs rumored to be interested before the World Cup.

Gervinho, Ivory Coast

The French Ligue star impressed for the Elephants during the World Cup. A live wire with pace who can operate on the wing or at striker, Gervinho moved to Lille in 2009 for $10 million, but would require a fee in the $15 million range now. Linked: Arsenal and Tottenham are rumored to be considering him.

Victor Caceres, Paraguay

The 25-year-old midfielder who plays for Libertad, was a force all tournament long -- displaying great work rate and providing a defensive shield for Paraguay's back line. Not a creative passer, and somewhat one-dimensional, but would be a cheap option for a team looking for a solid defensive midfielder. Linked: Caceres has drawn cursory interest from Serie A in the past, but should receive more concrete offers this summer.

Jen Chang is the soccer editor for SI.com. He can be reached on armchairsweeper@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at Jenchang88.

 
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