5 Players Manchester United Fans Should Be Watching at the World Cup

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2014

5 Players Manchester United Fans Should Be Watching at the World Cup

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    Peter Dejong/Associated Press

    Planet Manchester United is about to burst as it waits for news of its new managerial appointment.

    The excitement is palpable, as Louis van Gaal prepares to take over the Reds and succeed David Moyes, per Ian Ladyman of the Mail Online.

    And with the World Cup on our doorstep and knocking loudly, United fans will watch the competition with bated breath, wondering which superstars the new coach will buy.

    Here we take a look at five players the United faithful should track through the summer tournament.

    Will these players be Red Devils come the new Premier League season?

Mats Hummels

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    This year saw the dissolution of one of the greatest centre-back pairings of all time as Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand both shook hands, waved goodbye and sailed off into the sunset.

    Both of the wonderful defenders were always going to leave Manchester United in the very near future, and as with Sir Alex Ferguson's announcement that he was to leave, the club's hand is now forced to replace them. 

    And it seems that United will make a move for Borussia Dortmund's impressive Mats Hummels, per Liam Prenderville of the Mirror. 

    Hummels is rated in the £20 million bracket and has the Champions League pedigree that the Reds are searching for.

    Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling will all be given their chances to be the heirs apparent to Vidic and Rio, but it is essential United do not overlook this position and think they already have sufficient cover.

    Hummels will be at the heart of Germany's defence for the World Cup, and if they do well, his value will rocket.

    A move for him now would be shrewd before Europe's top sides circle above him, like vultures.

Alberto Moreno

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    Much has been written recently about Manchester United's courting of Luke Shaw from Southampton, but we must not forget the same thing happened with Leighton Baines in previous transfer windows.

    If United cannot secure Shaw's signature, they need look no further than Sevilla's brilliant full-back Alberto Moreno.

    Moreno is being tracked by a host of Europe's big clubs, per Jamie McLaughlin of the Metro, and if United fail with Shaw, they will need to move fast for the Spaniard.

    Moreno has impressed for Sevilla this season as they won the Europa League, and the 21-year-old Spaniard looks more than likely to become a world-class talent.

    His reputation could explode at the World Cup and make him a household name overnight.

    At £20 million, he will not come cheap but would be worth every penny. 

Bruno Martins Indi

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    He is a player that many casual fans of the game will not have heard of but Bruno Martins Indi might figure in United's transfer plans if and when Louis van Gaal is appointed Manchester United manager.

    David Anderson of the Mirror reports that the Dutch coach rates Martins Indi very highly and has used the defender throughout Netherlands' World Cup qualification campaign.

    Van Gaal has already given the player 22 caps, per Anderson, and he has lauded the 22-year-old stopper.

    As with Mats Hummels, Martins Indi would refocus the United defence after the loss of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

    United fans should watch for Martins Indi's progress through the tournament as the Feyenoord man might be a Red Devil come next season.

Cesc Fabregas

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    From the Catalan boy who returned home, to the scapegoat of the football club.

    "'Of course it hurts to see Cesc jeered. You try to ignore it and hope it does not happen, but these situations are not comfortable."

    Those were the words of Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta, per Simon Jones of the Mail Online, responding to the strange hate campaign that has been directed at Fabregas by the club's own supporters.

    And as Barca have flattered to deceive at times through the year, the fans have blamed Fabregas for his part in the proceedings. 

    You could not have failed to witness the very public flirting between Fabregas and Manchester United last summer, with David Moyes strutting around as if he already had signed the player.

    But the deal collapsed as Fabregas decided that home was indeed where the heart is, but United have been monitoring the player's situation at the Camp Nou all year.

    Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star recently wrote that United were plotting a new £45 million bid for the player now that his own homeland support has diminished. 

    A new project in Manchester, under Louis van Gaal, might be something that interests Fabregas greatly, especially if he is feeling unloved in Catalonia. 

    If he becomes available, and the Dutch coach wants him, United will undoubtedly move aggressively for the player.

    At 26 years old, there are many miles left on the Spaniard's clock and he could be central to United's new look midfield, especially if Toni Kroos sees his future at Bayern Munich. 

Arjen Robben

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    The Dutch revolution is almost upon us.

    And the capture of one of Europe's most devastating attackers would be a statement of intent from Manchester United.

    Arjen Robben is well known to United fans across the globe and if the 30-year-old were to join the club he would be welcomed with open arms.

    James Dickenson of the Express reports that Louis van Gaal will move for his Netherlands talisman when he takes the reins at Old Trafford.

    Robben has had Premier League experience with Chelsea and might like the idea of joining his international coach in English football.

    The Dutch international was on the brink of joining United in 2003 and expressed his desire to join the team.

    Robben said at the time, per Republik of Mancunia for The Metro: "It would be fantastic if I could play for Manchester, but at the moment I just have to wait."

    And Robben’s father backed up his son's words, saying: "My son will go to Chelsea over my dead body. United is the only place he wants to play. He’d rather play in PSV’s reserves than for Chelsea."

    History shows that the player's father was wrong but maybe Robben has unfinished business with United?

    Van Gaal might be the trigger that finally sees the player wear the red shirt of Manchester United.