The 10 most sought-after Euro 2008 players

Goals and glory for some, misses and misery for others. Club managers have been watching, says Jason Burt, but have they seen enough to splash out?

The football may not have been cautious at Euro 2008 – but the transfer market has been. Arsène Wenger's famous maxim – never buy a player based on his performances in a tournament – appears to have caught on, even if the Arsenal manager himself declared, somewhat mischievously, that he had arrived in Switzerland not just to commentate for French television but armed with his chequebook. And not just because the cost of living is so high in the cantons.

In truth, Wenger's targets were already set. He didn't learn any more about Samir Nasri because of France's appalling showing and it certainly hasn't put him off pushing through a £13.5m deal for the 20-year-old winger. And, similarly, if he reignites his interest in Lyons' Karim Benzema then it won't be because of how he performed for Les Bleus.

Wenger knows the dangers though. He was asked his opinion, as part of his role as a TV summariser, on Turkey's Arda Turan and spoke admiringly about the winger – then suddenly Arsenal are linked with a move for Arda with his club, Galatasaray, quoting a £10m transfer fee. Indeed, the Italian agent Claudio Pasqualin identified Arda – along with Andrei Arshavin – as the player who had increased his transfer value the most this past month.

Another telling comment by Wenger in the past week was when he said that the difference between a World Cup and a European Championship in terms of scouting players is that in the latter virtually all the performers are well-known to managers. In a World Cup players can emerge, primarily from the African nations, although that is happening less and less also. In this competition the exception has been the Russians – partly because only one of them, the Nuremberg striker Ivan Saenko, plays outside their own country.

Their reputations have grown and, as the agent Alexei Safonov has pointed out, so has the cost of buying and employing them. Also this summer, with Jose Mourinho arriving at Internazionale and Pep Guardiola taking over at Barcelona, along with Real Madrid's continuing ambition, the Premier League clubs are facing stiffer competition, again, from the rest of Europe.

The Portsmouth manager, Harry Redknapp, is one of those who agrees with Wenger's maxim (although Arsenal did break it themselves in 2002 in buying Gilberto Silva after Brazil won the World Cup). "I've been watching the European Championship, but I don't know if I will be going for players out there," Redknapp admitted.

He said that the stagnant transfer market was partly due to the Euros taking place. "There may not have been a lot of movement for players so far because of the competition," Redknapp explained. "But I don't know how many players there are out there who we could go for, who would make a difference.

"It's difficult when it comes around to a tournament and you are looking to bring in people. You turn up and see a player play brilliantly in one game. Just because he does enough in one game doesn't mean he's the right player. Someone may have a brilliant European Championship, but that doesn't mean he will be right for the Premier League.

"We've seen it happen so many times before. Someone plays well in the competition and lots of people are interested in him. His value goes through the roof and he ends up going for a lot of money, but doesn't do anything again," Redknapp explained. The name of Karel Poborsky springs to mind.

It doesn't stop managers from watching. Maybe they are also looking for tactical innovations but the busman's holidays – sometimes, such as in the case of Martin O'Neill, combined with media work, or with Roy Hodgson in his capacity as a Uefa technical director – have been taking place. It's even more vital for those stepping into the Premier League, such as West Bromwich's Tony Mowbray, who has spent a lot of time in Switzerland and Austria over the past three weeks. "The trick is to try and identify them before the tournaments and get them signed before they hit the rest of the world," he said.

Some reputations have soared – such as Switzerland's midfielder Gokhan Inler, many of those in the Turkish squad and the Russians – some have been restored, such as Portugal's Deco, while some, such as Germany's Mario Gomez have seen theirs slump. The Stuttgart striker will hope that managers follow Wenger's maxim. And don't make their decisions whether to buy or sell based on how he has performed this month – even if, tomorrow evening, Gomez may end up with a winner's medal.

Most Wanted Who's in demand – and where they could end up

1 Andrei Arshavin (Russia) Striker, 27

Background: Barcelona have now made their move for the Zenit St Petersburg playmaker, who has been one of the stars of the tournament, even if his burgeoning reputation took a dip in the semi-final defeat to Spain. Fantastic dribbling ability, combined with an eye for a pass, both short- and long-range, and a knack for scoring goals make for a rare talent. And he's quick. Only question mark is over his temperament.

Price £20m – which has gone up in last few weeks.

Suitors Barcelona, Arsenal always linked but Arsène Wenger may deem him too old, plus Manchester City, Everton and Newcastle United.

Prediction He'll join Barcelona unless they get cold feet.

2 David Villa (Spain) Striker, 26

Background: His hat-trick in Spain's opening game made everyone sit up and take notice but Villa's reputation is well established. Valencia will sell, but only at the right price. He has all the attributes needed for a top striker, although his lack of height and physical presence may concern some.

Price £20m.

Suitors Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool.

Prediction He'll stay in Spain. Either join Barça or Real Madrid or, less likely, remain with Valencia.

3 Arda Turan (Turkey) Left-winger, 21

Background: Galatasaray have dismissed claims that the new golden boy of Turkish football is for sale – at the same time placing a price on his head. The player's agent has said that he is keen to go and would prefer a move to Italy.

Price £10m.

Suitors Newcastle United, Juventus, Milan, Arsenal.

Prediction Newcastle appear to be in the lead but may get gazumped as bigger clubs are now circling.

4 Roman Pavlyuchenko (Russia) Striker, 26

Background: Spartak Moscow have said he is not for sale – but their resolve should be tested. Been top scorer in Russia for past two seasons and has struck vital goals in this competition – as well as the two that beat England in qualifying last year. His tireless work rate and bravery caught Wenger's eye.

Price £8m.

Suitors Celtic, Manchester City, Barcelona, Seville, Arsenal.

Prediction Barça could take him – may make sense if they want to help Arshavin settle.

5 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Netherlands) Striker, 24

Background: Ruud van Nistelrooy's understudy at the Euros but has scored 87 goals in 97 league starts for Ajax in last three seasons and many feel it's time for him to move on, although Marco van Basten's imminent arrival at the Dutch club may change that. Believed to have set his heart on joining Manchester United.

Price £25m.

Suitors Internazionale, Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Roma.

Prediction Has already rejected a move to Inter. Appears set for the Premier League, if he leaves Ajax but it may not be United.

6 Karim Benzema (France) Striker, 20

Background: His club form has been astonishing; his international form a disappointment. Although he signed a new contract with Lyons in the spring, and appears set to stay for another year, especially as the French club have sold Hatem Ben Arfa, a huge offer could sway things. Another powerful, quick striker with an eye for goal and a powerful shot, he would certainly prosper in the Premier League.

Price £30m.

Suitors Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Milan.

Prediction Price is too high and may have to stay where he is for another year. But United may go for it.

7 Miguel Veloso (Portugal) Midfielder, 22

Background: Has declared he wants to leave Sporting Lisbon and, although he had a disappointing Euro 2008, and there is a high buyout clause in his contract, he should be granted his wish.

Price £20m.

Suitors Milan, Arsenal, Juventus, Manchester United.

Prediction Will leave – probably for Italy.

8 Yuri Zhirkov (Russia) Left-back, 24

Background: Or is he a winger? Hard to tell with his bombing runs forward, willingness to attack and high energy. Always the caveat that it's hard to know how a Russian player will perform in another country, and is highly paid at his present club, CSKA Moscow.

Price £12m.

Suitors Roma, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Bayern Munich, Celtic.

Prediction If one of the big clubs – especially Chelsea really do come calling – it will be hard for him to resist.

9 Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) Winger, 20

Background: Quick, tricky winger who plays for Schalke in the Bundesliga. Has said he will honour his contract, which runs until 2011, but is attracting interest across Europe after his confident displays, especially against Germany. Can play on either flank but mainly on the left.

Price £10m.

Suitors Juventus, Internazionale, Chelsea.

Prediction Would be hard to resist a move – with Juve the most likely destination.

10 Valon Behrami, (Switzerland) Right-sided midfield, 22

Background: Unhappy at Lazio and desperate to leave – he's even talked about exploiting the so-called Webster Clause – he's a talented player who still performed well, along with Gokhan Inler, despite Switzerland's disappointing campaign.

Price £5m.

Suitors Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Seville, Sunderland, Liverpool.

Prediction Will come to Premier League.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice