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 the 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 C who could be on United's radar.
Santiago Arias, Colombia
United have had problems at right back for many years since the retirement of Gary Neville, and Rafael has had a poor season. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have filled in admirably but are better in the centre, and PSV Eindhoven's Arias is a reported target. The youngster could be called upon by Jose Pekerman this summer, and impressive displays could intensify United's interest.
Fredy Guarin, Colombia
Another problem area for United is in the centre of midfield, where £27.5m summer signing Marouane Fellaini has failed to live up to his price tag. Van Gaal may look to add another midfielder this summer, and Guarin was a reported target for the club in January. A powerful midfielder who can get forward as well as defend, the 27-year-old will be the driving force in midfield for Colombia this summer.
Jackson Martinez, Colombia
Javier Hernandez is looking to leave Old Trafford this summer after a lack of opportunities in the first team, whilst Robin van Persie had a disappointing season. Adding another striker has to be a priority for van Gaal, and Porto hotshot Martinez has hit 60 goals in the last two seasons to establish himself as one of the top strikers in European football, and will be called upon heavily for Colombia if Falcao is out injured.
Gervinho, Ivory Coast
A somewhat strange link that emerged earlier this week, former Arsenal flop Gervinho was linked with a move to United after an impressive season with Roma in Serie A. The Ivorian winger has now rebuilt his career in the Italian capital but could leave the club after demanding a new contract. With United needing pace on the flanks, they will be monitoring Gervinho's World Cup performances closely.
Kostas Manolas, Greece
With Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand allowed to leave this summer, van Gaal must bring in defenders to strengthen his back line. Greek youngster Manolas was linked with the club earlier this season following impressive displays for Olympiacos, and has a growing reputation around Europe. He should partner Borussia Dortmund's Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the heart of the Greek defence - which we called upon heavily this summer.