The World Cup is always an opportunity for many players to show off on the international stage, an opportunity to demonstrate that their level is truly excellent or to confirm their skills before the eyes of the whole world.

We saw established world class stars such as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric wow fans with yet more dazzling performances on the biggest stage of all. But the tournament also introduced us to some top prospects who made big contributions for their respective national teams in Qatar.

Football journalist & transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has joined us to discuss the breakout stars of the 2022 World Cup and where they could move to in January and beyond.

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Sofyan Amrabat - Morocco

Of course, Morocco has provided some players in the eyes of top clubs that can soon become very interesting: Sofyan Amrabat was probably the best midfielder in the World Cup, and it is real that Premier League clubs are tracking him. Tottenham already wanted him a year ago: Antonio Conte has been a big fan of Amrabat since he wanted him at Inter, then last January there was a negotiation with Fiorentina which collapsed after long discussions on the loan with buy option clause.

Now Tottenham continue to appreciate Amrabat, but Rodrigo Bentancur is doing very well; Liverpool are following him closely and he is one of Jurgen Klopp’s favorite players, but Fiorentina want €40m to sell Sofyan and there are no ongoing negotiations between the clubs yet.

Jude Bellingham - England

In the World Cup there is never a shortage of players who confirm their status as top talents, in some cases already top players: Jude Bellingham was phenomenal with England, his numbers in 2022 are excellent and the World Cup has confirmed that the ex Birmingham is already a star internationally. That’s why the race to sign him is more open than ever: Real Madrid have been thinking about it for months but don’t want to pay crazy sums, Liverpool are pushing a lot thanks to Jurgen Klopp who wants Bellingham at any cost but Manchester City are also present in the race because they consider Jude a real gem.

Borussia Dortmund will take their time to decide the price, but €100m will not be enough: the German club wants to get closer to €130/140m to sell a star who is confirming his extraordinary level. The negotiations will go on for months and will be handled on player side exclusively by his father Mark Bellingham, with no agents involved.

Cody Gakpo - Netherlands

Cody Gakpo was simply perfect in the group stage with three goals in three games, PSV Eindhoven wanted €50m in the summer to sell him but now they need to get closer to €60/65m to get the Dutch star. Keep an eye again on Manchester United: there are still ongoing contacts between the English club and Gakpo’s agents, the relationship is excellent and now we are waiting to understand if an official offer will arrive for a player who has also confirmed himself at the World Cup as one of the best talents in the world.

Enzo Fernandez - Argentina

Enzo Fernandez is also highly regarded by Liverpool, but there are other English clubs tracking the Argentine midfielder who was voted best young player in the World Cup. Everything is still open, because Benfica want to keep Enzo at least until the end of the season and there is a €120m clause in his contract. Real Madrid are also well aware of this, where they have followed Enzo since his days at River Plate.

Alexis Mac Allister - Argentina

His partner Alexis Mac Allister also had an excellent World Cup: Scaloni considered him a key player in his Argentina world champions, but Brighton have no intention of letting him go. Moises Caicedo has also done very well in his few World Cup matches for Ecuador, English clubs including Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have been monitoring him for more than 6 months but at the moment the market value remains above €65m and the club will try in any case to keep him until the end of the current season, this goes for Mac Allister as well as for Caicedo.

Josko Gvardiol - Croatia

Get ready for a crazy battle for Josko Gvardiol: Chelsea have been working on this deal for months, they’re on it since August but nothing is done yet because Manchester City and Real Madrid have also entered the race with strong interest for the summer. RB Leipzig want more than the rumored €90m to sell Gvardiol, at the Deadline Day in August they refused Chelsea €80m plus add-ons to keep the player for one more year. But it’s only the beginning of a long battle…

Azzedine Ounahi - Morocco

Azzedine Ounahi was another excellent protagonist: quality, intelligence and many clubs that have included him in their list. There is Leicester, there are also two Italian clubs and two English clubs; Angers are ready to let him go, but they want more than €35m for a player who saw his valuation explode during the World Cup. It won’t be an easy negotiation, but surely the battle is on because Ounahi wants to try a new adventure as soon as possible.

Gonçalo Ramos - Portugal

Gonçalo Ramos with a hat trick amazed everyone in Portugal; Paris Saint-Germain wanted him last summer alongside Newcastle and Wolves, many clubs continue to monitor him including Manchester United but Benfica want to keep the player at any cost at least until the summer, as for Enzo Fernandez.

Yassine Bounou - Morocco

Another big surprise of the World Cup were the goalkeepers: Bounou was extraordinary with his Morocco but Sevilla have no intention of letting him leave, Sampaoli considers him a key player for the club’s present and future. It’s never easy to find a top club for a great goalkeeper, especially in the January transfer market.

Dominik Livakovic - Croatia

The situation is still calm even around Dominik Livakovic, the Croatia goalkeeper who was incredible against Brazil but also in all the penalty shootouts that saw his national team perform another miracle up to third place. There have been many rumors of a negotiation with Bayern Munich due to Manuel Neuer’s injury, but in reality there has been no contact with his agents and Livakovic is looking forward to an opportunity in the coming weeks.

 

The winter transfer window kicks off 1st January 2023, closing on the 31st for clubs across the UK and Europe.

You can check out the latest transfer odds & football betting markets throughout the season and during the next window with BetVictor.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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