The World Cup is not only football's biggest tournament, but it also serves as a shop window for players to impress onlooking clubs.
Manchester United's shocking season is finally over, and their fans can look forward to the summer with excitement. Manager David Moyes was sacked in April after a dismal ten month stint in charge at Old Trafford, and it appears that Holland boss Louis van Gaal will be chosen to replace the former Everton man imminently.
Van Gaal must first complete his duties with the Dutch national team at this summer's World Cup, where he will get to see some of the finest talent around first hand. Some of those players on show could be potential targets for the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona coach, so here are five players in Group A who could be on United's radar.
Bayern Munich centre back Dante was inked with a move to United in the January transfer window, but could still choose to leave the Allianz Arena this summer. Pep Guardiola's men are looking into the possibility of signing Freiburg defender Matthias Ginter and Athletic Bilbao's Aymeric Laporte, and with United desperately seeking defensive reinforcements following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, Dante could be back on the radar - even if he may not start at the World Cup.
Dani Alves, Brazil
Barcelona's plans to rebuild this summer will involve allowing many first team players to leave the club, and one of those appears to be right back Alves. The 31-year-old has been a mainstay of the Barca team ever since his £23.5m from Sevilla back in 2008, but will seemingly head for the exit this summer. United were tentatively linked with a move for Alves in January having had no fixed right back for some time, and his performances at the World Cup will go a long way to showing whether he still has what it takes to compete at the top of the game.
Alex Song, Cameroon
The former Arsenal midfielder is another player poised to leave Barcelona this summer, having struggled to break into the first team at the Camp Nou. The powerful midfielder will have the chance to show what he can do with Cameroon this summer, but was expected to be a £12.5m target for United under David Moyes. Since the Scot was sacked, the deal has been thrown into doubt and the Red Devils may want to see how he gets on in Brazil before making any commitment to signing him.
Dejan Lovren, Croatia
As mentioned with Dante, United really need to shore up their defensive having allowed long serving duo Vidic and Ferdinand leave the club. With Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans as the only recognised centre halves at the club, the new manager - probably Louis van Gaal - will have to bring in new bodies, and one of those could be Southampton star Lovren. The Croatian has been excellent for Mauricio Pochettino's side this season and was recently linked with a switch to Old Trafford.
Luka Modric, Croatia
The final player on this list is something of a shock; after all, Modric has been outstanding for Real Madrid this season. However, United still need help in midfield and could resurrect their bid for the former Tottenham star having made enquiries over his availability last summer. With money to spend at United and Sami Khedira returning for Real, a deal could be struck between the two clubs if Modric fancies a return to the Premier League, where he impressed so much at White Hart Lane.