Confederations Cup
Security guards walk past a banner of 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup football tournament outside the Otrkytie Arena in Moscow on June 13 KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

The 10th edition of one of international football's most ignored tournaments, the Confederations Cup, is set to begin this weekend. Essentially a 12-month precursory dry run for the World Cup, the competition pits the hosts and holders against the respective continental champions from Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Oceania.

This year's tournament takes place in Russia, where the scrutiny on preparations will be particularly intense given the well-documented fears surrounding their status as World Cup hosts, fears that were only exacerbated by the crowd trouble that marred last summer's European Championship in France.

With Saturday's (17 June) Group A opener between Russia and New Zealand in Saint Petersburg quickly approaching, IBTimes UK looks at a player from each of the eight competing nations that will be hoping to impress as they continue to be linked with summer moves...

Chile - Alexis Sanchez

An obvious one to start. The Chilean talisman's Arsenal contract saga remains unresolved and whispers regarding a potential big-money move to Premier League rivals Manchester City have grown louder.

If such a move is blocked, then Bayern Munich are set to pounce.

Portugal - Gelson Martins

Gelson Martins
Gelson Martins - a viable alternative for Mohamed Salah? JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo easily could have been Portugal's entry on this list, with widespread reports on Friday suggesting that the superstar has made an "irreversible" decision to leave Real Madrid following accusations of tax fraud.

However, Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins is also firmly in the shop window and will be keen to remind Liverpool that he is a viable alternative to Roma's Mohamed Salah.

It was reported by the BBC earlier this month that Martins, who has a release clause of around £50m ($63.9m), was the subject of talks between Liverpool and Sporting with an opening offer of £28m for Salah having fallen flat. That particular stand-off continues, with the Giallorossi said to be demanding £40m.

Germany - Timo Werner

Another player said to be interesting Jurgen Klopp, along with club teammate Naby Keita, is Werner. The two-cap 21-year-old is seeking to make his mark in a somewhat inexperienced squad selected by Joachim Low, having fired 21 goals to help unfashionable RB Leipzig finish second in their maiden Bundesliga campaign.

Timo Werner
Timo Werner has caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

New Zealand - Chris Wood

No Championship marksman hit more goals last season than Wood, whose 27-strong haul was not enough to guide Leeds United to the play-offs. Such an explosive season has certainly not gone unnoticed, with West Bromwich Albion said to be eager to re-sign the Kiwi skipper.

Could the controversial appointment of little-known Thomas Christiansen as successor to Garry Monk at Elland Road be the straw that breaks the camel's back?

Mexico - Hirving Lozano

Heavily linked with Manchester United in the past, the exciting young Pachuca forward recently attracted interest from Manchester City and supposedly now has offers from a throng of suitors including PSV Eindhoven, Benfica, Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad.

Europe beckons for "Chucky", who now appears to have outgrown the Liga MX.

Australia - Aaron Mooy

The Manchester City midfielder excelled on loan at Huddersfield Town last term, earning both Championship team of the season honours and a reputation as arguably the best midfielder outside of the Premier League as the Terriers secured promotion to the top-flight for the first time in 45 years.

Aaron Mooy
Aaron Mooy's permanent switch to Huddersfield is not yet complete Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

With a £10m permanent switch to West Yorkshire looming, Mooy will be eager to prove he is worthy of that club-record outlay and that can cut it at the top level.

Cameroon - Benjamin Moukandjo

The Indomitable Lions captain, formerly a target for the likes of Hull City and Swansea City, was unable to prevent Lorient from slipping through the Ligue 1 trapdoor in 2016-17, despite finding the net on 13 occasions.

Renewed interest from England has been mooted, although it remains to be seen to what extent Sam Allardyce's shock departure will alter Crystal Palace's transfer strategy. Out of contract next summer, Moukandjo could opt to join Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

Russia - Fyodor Smolov

The top scorer in Russian domestic football in each of the past two seasons, Smolov has excelled during a two-year stint at Krasnodar and will be crucial to Russia's Confederations Cup hopes – particularly given the absences of Artem Dzyuba and Alan Dzagoev.

Previously mentioned in connection with Borussia Dortmund, this could be his chance to reignite such a pursuit and install himself as a future successor to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Fyodor Smolov
Fyodor Smolov will be pivotal to Russia's hopes of success on home soil VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images