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 today's announcement that Louis van Gaal will be the new manager has supporters looking forward with optimism.
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 B who could be on United's radar.
A reported long-term target of the Red Devils, Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke has capped off a wonderful season with a place in Spain's preliminary World Cup squad. Having starred for Diego Simeone's men, he's widely expected to make it into the final 23-man squad. With United needing help all across their midfield, Koke would be a versatile signing who could play in the middle or out wide, and at just 22, his best years are ahead of him.
Cesc Fabregas, Spain
United's chasing of Fabregas has been going on for almost a year now, but they have been given renewed hope of landing the former Arsenal captain as rumours circulate that Barcelona are looking to cash in on the 27-year-old. United were devoid of goalscoring and creativity through the middle last season and Fabregas can offer that in droves, but will need to bounce back at the World Cup from an underwhelming season with Barca.
Jordy Clasie, Holland
New manager van Gaal is known for bringing Dutch players to the clubs he manages, and Clasie is an integral part of his midfield with the Holland national team. With energy and ability on the ball, the 22-year-old has starred for Feyenoord for a number of years and with United desperate for any sort of ability in the heart of their midfield, van Gaal could turn to Clasie, having used him with the national team.
Joel Veltman, Holland
Another up-and-coming Dutch star with a big future ahead of him is Ajax defender Veltman, who has really emerged over the past season. The 22-year-old has established himself in the Ajax first team and finished off a great campaign with his first cap for Holland. United have allowed Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand to leave the club, and with limited options in defence, Veltman could be a realistic option.
Arturo Vidal, Chile
The recurring theme here is that United need an injection of quality in midfield and a marquee signing would be Juventus' Vidal. The former Bayer Leverkusen star his 18 goals from midfield last season and would be a superb addition to the midfield. Just as adept at defending as he is in attack, Vidal is a true box-to-box player who will be Chile's driving force at the World Cup - and he's recently been linked with a big money move to Old Trafford.