Jack Beresford picks out five players set to appear in the World Cup opener who could also be in line for a move to the Premier League this summer.
The likes of Luka Modric and Neymar may be taking centre stage for Croatia and Brazil respectively, but away from these two La Liga superstars there is a host of players who could soon be heading to the Premier League.
Julio Cesar – Brazil and Queens Park Rangers
Recalled from his recent loan spell at Toronto FC and set to start for Brazil, an impressive showing from the 34-year-old could prompt Arsenal to rekindle their interest in the Selecao goalkeeper. Robert Green occupies the number one spot at QPR so a move could be on the cards with the Gunners out to replace Lukasz Fabianski.
Ivan Perisic – Wolfsburg and Croatia
The Wolfsburg midfielder is coming into this World Cup off the back of arguably his best ever season, having scored 11 goals for the Bundesliga side last term. Manchester United were linked with a move for the 25-year-old and if he impresses against Brazil, Louis van Gaal may just take a look.
Bernard – Shakhtar Donetsk and Brazil
Previously rumoured to be heading to the Premier League, eyebrows were raised when Bernard instead opted for a Ukraine switch. He’s since grown unhappy at Shakhtar and having made the cut for Luis Felipe Scolari’s squad, a good performance could get Arsenal back on his case.
Mateo Kovacic – Inter Milan and Croatia
The Croatian playmaker is a work in progress and while he’s currently on the books at Inter Milan, it’s thought that Tottenham would be keen to recruit the player who is one of a handful of Balkans stars already being compared with Luka Modric. Shine against the Selecao and Spurs may swoop.
Hulk – Zenit St Petersburg and Brazil
Tottenham previously launched an audacious bid to bring the Brazilian to White Hart Lane on loan and while they may have been priced out of a move on that occasion, Hulk’s desire to leave Russia, coupled with a goal against Croatia, could see him back on the Lilywhites’ radar.