The 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament that begins in Russia next month will serve as an audition of sorts for players who want to use the open transfer window as an opportunity to seek fortune and fame, emphasis on the fortune, with other clubs.
Massive movements are often hard on the heels of a World Cup tournament, so players view the World Cup as an opportunity to showcase their abilities and convince one of the deep-pocketed clubs that millions in currency are just desserts.
In the past, James Rodriguez for one and Mesut Ozil for two are some of the names who have parlayed World Cup heroics into World Class pay envelopes.
Brazil’s Neymar, despite having just around a year on a huge salary with PSG, could see his value rise even further, with Read Madrid and Manchester United poised to dangle lures.
Real knows no limitations, it seems, as they are also linked to Chelsea star Eden Hazard, whose signing would present no real risk to Real and England may not have the financial wherewithal to keep him as the time remaining on his contract ticks down.
Hazard needs a good showing from his appearance with the Belgium National Soccer Team and he has been linked to Real Madrid for several years.
Atletico Madrid could potentially find themselves missing Antoine Griezmann if he has a good showing from his role with Les Bleus, with Barcelona the probable beneficiaries, so his departure would be a double-edged blow.
A good FIFA World Cup showing would bring out the bidders for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who will represent Serbia and the chequebooks will come out for Manchester United, PSG and Real Madrid.
“Interest in Sergej is enormous,” said his agent recently, and should he live up to expectation in Russia, it could grow even larger.
It is thought that he could command something in the neighbourhood of $100 + million, a princely sum that would render LeBron James’ salary as pauper-like.