World Cup 2014: Five Group A transfer targets for Liverpool – featuring QPR flop

Mateo Kovacic Croatia

The World Cup is not only football's biggest tournament, but it also serves as a shop window for players to impress onlooking clubs.

Liverpool's title challenge ultimately fell short as Manchester City stole in to take the crown in the final week of the season. Regardless of that late disappointment, Champions League football is finally returning to Anfield, and manager Brendan Rodgers will need to strengthen his squad if Liverpool are to compete domestically and in Europe.

There is bound to be a large transfer kitty at Rodgers' disposal this summer, and with the World Cup on the horizon, there will be a number of players catching his eye. Here are five players who will be playing in Group A that could be on Rodgers' radar this summer...

Marcelo, Brazil

There are some questionable rumours linking Liverpool with a summer move for Real Madrid left back Marcelo, and whether they were true or not, the Reds should certainly be keeping an eye on his situation. Madrid are looking to sign Sevilla starlet Alberto Moreno this summer, and if they land him then he could replace the Brazilian in Carlo Ancelotti's first team. Liverpool have been left short at left back since the injury to Jose Enrique, and he can be upgraded upon anyway - making Marcelo a big name target.

Stephane M'Bia, Cameroon

The links connecting QPR flop M'Bia with a move to Anfield seemed somewhat bizarre given how poor he was in the Premier League, but the former Marseille man has enjoyed something of a renaissance in Spain with Sevilla. Impressive displays in La Liga have made him a desirable target again, and with Liverpool needing depth at both centre back and in midfield, M'Bia could kill two birds with one stone. The 27-year-old even recently said how much he'd like a move to join Rodgers' men, so he's one to monitor this summer.

Ivan Rakitic, Croatia

Liverpool's need for midfield help - particularly with Steven Gerrard now coming towards the end of his career - has seen them linked with a blockbuster move to sign another Sevilla star. This time it's Croatia's Ivan Rakitic, who has enjoyed a superb season, scoring 13 goals and racking up 12 assists too. With his outstanding passing range, long distance shooting and ability from set pieces, the former Schalke could be an ideal replacement for Gerrard in years to come - but would cost around £33m.

Mateo Kovacic, Croatia

After falling out of favour at Inter Milan, starlet Kovacic has been strongly linked with a move to Anfield. Rodgers has already got the best out of another former Inter playmaker in Philippe Coutinho, and swooping for former Dinamo Zagreb youngster Kovacic could follow the same path. With close control and excellent dribbling, Kovacic is a technically gifted player but at just 20, he needs to be gaining experience and it seems Inter boss Walter Mazzarri isn't a huge fan of the Croat. At the World Cup, he is expected to show just how good he can be after a frustrating season.

Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico

Reds stopper Simon Mignolet has had an up-and-down first season at Anfield, often culpable for some of the goals that Liverpool conceded which ultimately cost them the title. It seems Rodgers is looking to bring in some competition for the Belgian having been linked with a move for Michel Vorm, but Ajaccio goalkeeper Ochoa is out of contract and could be had for free. He is fighting Jesus Corona for the starting spot in the Mexico side, but if he does start, then he will show Europe what he can do after his under the radar spell in France.

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