Lucas Moura, Oscar, Riquelme & the South American stars who could be moving to Europe this summer

The annual frenzy of transfer activity has already begun across the continent's biggest clubs, with the Boca veteran and Brazil's young Olympic hopefuls the centre of interest
By Daniel Edwards | South American Football Editor

When it comes to football in South America, there truly is no rest for any of the clubs across the continent. Barely a week has passed since two goals from Emerson confirmed Corinthians as the 2012 Copa Libertadores champions over Boca Juniors; and while the Brazilian season continues unabated through the South American winter, the transfer market also springs into action.

As always, the headlines from Buenos Aires to Bogota, Sao Paulo to Santiago are dominated by the futures of the top players across the region. Some transfers are still in the rumour and speculation stage, while others even at this early point in the window appear to be all but completed, with the promise of a significant windfall for both player and club.

Europe's most prestigious institutions have once more turned their eye on the brightest talents across the Atlantic Ocean; introduces the men who could be lighting up Serie A, La Liga, the Premier League and more in the 2012-13 season.

CHARLES ARANGUIZ | Universidad de Chile, Midfielder, 23

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Appearances 24
Goals 2
Assists 4
Transfer value €6m
Interested clubs Leverkusen
Chance of leaving this summer 40%

Fans of South American football have been electrified over the past 18 months by Jorge Sampaoli's Universidad de Chile side. Cavalier, fluid and all-action, the Santiago team have lifted three straight national championships, a Copa Sudamericana and recorded a semi-final placing in the Libertadores; and Europe's top teams have not been slow in plucking the best talents the U have to offer.

With a tenacious yet elegant style reminiscent of Arturo Vidal, Aranguiz could well be the next man to follow the path of Eduardo Vargas, Marcelo Diaz, Junior Fernandes and Marcos Gonzalez in finding a new home. Bayer Leverkusen have been strongly linked with a move for the talented midfielder in a bid to repeat their success with Vidal, but Universidad will be reluctant to sell more of their starlets as they look towards the 2012 Clausura.

LEANDRO DAMIAO | Internacional, Striker, 22

Read more on Damiao
Appearances 29
Goals 20
Assists 2
Transfer value €30m
Interested clubs PSG, AC Milan, Tottenham
Chance of leaving this summer 50%

The prolific striker has been a perennial name in transfer reports over the last 12 months, but the summer of 2012 could finally see the Brazil international make the jump to Europe. Damiao will be a key member of the Selecao in the London Olympics, and it would be no surprise if he ended up staying in the English capital with Tottenham confirmed admirers.

The 22-year-old would not come cheap, with Inter hoping to get a figure as close as possible to his €50 million release clause as possible. The high-profile arrival of Diego Forlan could serve to smooth the club's reservations over a sale; however, Italian giants AC Milan could also step in to sign the imposing forward as a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

LUCAS MOURA | Sao Paulo, Midfielder, 19

Read more on Lucas
Appearances 36
Goals 9
Assists 8
Transfer value €30m+
Interested clubs Man Utd, Real Madrid, Inter
Chance of leaving this summer 75%

Another player who is expected to be one of the stars of London 2012, Lucas needs no introduction to the legion of European giants keen to add him to their squads. Manchester United are known to be monitoring the nimble attacking midfielder, but Inter and Real Madrid will also not be put off by the astronomic transfer fee requested by Sao Paolo.

Lucas is more than capable of playing out wide either in midfield or as part of a 4-2-3-1 set up, but he feels most comfortable operating through the middle; something that caused no end of friction with ex-Sao Paulo coach Emerson Leao. Doubts still remain over his physique and inexperience, but he has proved for both club and country that he has a potential matched by few teenagers in world football.

LUCAS OCAMPOS | River Plate, Winger, 18

Read more on Ocampos
Appearances 39
Goals 7
Assists 5
Transfer value 15m
Interested clubs Chelsea, Napoli
Chance of leaving this summer 10%

Even though it was the Nacional B and not Argentina's top flight that saw him shine, few players made as much of an impact on the country's football scene as Lucas Ocampos. Along with Paulo Dybala, the winger was inundated with interest and rumours regarding a future in Europe; and with La Joyita on the way to Palermo, Lucas could well be the next starlet to make his way to the old continent.

River though are determined to hold on to their man, as well as fellow midfield sensation Ezequiel Cirigliano as they celebrate a return to the Primera A. Napoli and Chelsea have both been linked with the player, who models himself on Cristiano Ronaldo, but it would take a scintillating offer to tear him away from the Monumental before he plays in the top level of Argentine football.

OSCAR | Internacional, Midfielder, 20

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Appearances 20
Goals 6
Assists 10
Transfer value €30m
Interested clubs Chelsea
Chance of leaving this summer 80%

So far, 2012 has been nothing but a fight for Internacional as they strive to keep Oscar at Beira Rio. The Porto Alegre club were forced into a protracted battle for the former Sao Paulo youngster after his old employers claimed he left them illegally, and now a lucrative approach from Chelsea could once more threaten the Olympic Games lynchpin's future in Brazil.

Internacional president Giovanni Luigi and Oscar himself have both come out and denied that a move to London is imminent, but Chelsea appear determined to add him to their growing Brazilian legion - so much so that previous admirers Tottenham have dropped their interest for financial reasons.

Ramires, David Luiz and teenage talent Lucas Piazon are already at Stamford Bridge, and this elegant central midfielder could well be joining them at the end of the Olympics - if, that is, the Blues are willing to break the Brazilian transfer record to sign him.

JUAN ROMAN RIQUELME | Boca Juniors, Midfielder, 34

Read more on Riquelme
Appearances 36
Goals 7
Assists 7
Transfer value Unknown
Interested clubs Villarreal, Cruzeiro
Chance of leaving this summer 95%

The Boca legend is almost certain to seek his footballing future away from the Bombonera after a tearful farewell to Xeneize fans at the end of the Copa Libertadores final allegedly prompted by a devastating fall-out with president Daniel Angelici. There are no shortage of suitors for the playmaker's signature, with Villarreal emerging as a possible destination.

The Yellow Submarine would love to add Roman for a second stint as they hope to make an instant return to La Liga, but they will face stiff competition. Cruzeiro are admirers of the veteran, while there is also confirmed interest from both Saudi Arabia and China in the hope of tempting him away for a final lucrative spell before retiring from the game.

ALEXIS ROLIN | Nacional, Defender, 23

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Appearances 33
Goals 3
Assists 0
Transfer value 5m
Interested clubs Inter, Boca
Chance of leaving this summer 95%

Although he is two years older than Sebastian Coates, Alexis Rolin's Nacional debut actually came as a substitute for the current Liverpool defender in 2011. Rolo may not have enjoyed the same meteoric rise to fame as his former team-mate, but his brilliant displays over the past two years have meant he has proved a worthy successor to Coates in the heart of the Nacional back line.

The towering centre-back is also accomplished with the ball at his feet and his technical and physical attributes have drawn comparisons with Thiago Silva. Milan may have sold the Brazilian to PSG but it is Inter who have been linked with Alexis; although Boca are also keeping close tabs on the youngster with a view to teaming him up with fellow Uruguayans Sebastian Sosa and Santiago Silva in the Bombonera.

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