The World Cup always leads to a number of transfers as players burst onto the scene or show that they can perform on the biggest stage. It is usually heading into the summer transfer window, but the winter World Cup in Qatar could lead to a mad January transfer window in Europe.
The tournament also allows clubs who have got their eyes on certain stars to see them up close and in another environment. That is going to be the case for Manchester United who are always one of the major protagonists in every transfer window.
The areas where United could be looking to make moves are up front following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, the midfield can always be looked at, and depth is needed in central defence and at right-back.
Let’s just get Jude Bellingham out of the way. He will be leaving Borussia Dortmund in the near future and essentially, every big club wants him.
He would improve any midfield and can United really afford to let him join Liverpool or Manchester City after missing out on Erling Haaland. Erik ten Hag would certainly welcome the move and would do what is needed to make space for the Englishman.
Theoretically, Inter are one of the easier big clubs to buy from. They are not in great financial shape and the owners need cash. Lautaro Martinez is one of their prime assets.
The Argentinian striker can be very patchy, but he could take to the Premier League really well and United really need a starting striker to challenge the injury-prone Anthony Martial. A deal would likely cost around £70-80m.
A lesser-known striker, but you can do much worse than shopping at Benfica. Goncalo Ramos is behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the pecking order for Portugal in Qatar, but should get some minutes.
The 21-year-old has got nine goals and three assists in the Primeira Liga this season and, including qualifiers, has scored five Champions League goals.
He’s not going to say it publicly, but Ten Hag would surely be okay with the idea of United selling Harry Maguire. That would open the door for one of his old colleagues.
Jurrien Timber was linked to United in the summer, along with everyone else at Ajax. At 21 years old, he could be a very smart signing to slowly replace Raphael Varane over the next two to three years.
Gakpo announced himself in Qatar with a goal for the Netherlands against Senegal and he could be in for a very good tournament.
If Ronaldo had left United in the summer, it is likely Gakpo would now be a Red Devil. The PSV Eindhoven striker is destined to leave and United could be the perfect place.
We’re back at the Estadio da Luz to potentially poach another supremely talented 21-year-old. Enzo Fernandez is a midfielder who looks destined for the top.
He is fast, agile, and has an incredible passing range. He didn’t start the game against Saudi Arabia but after that defeat, he should feature more prominently in the next group game for Argentina.
Diogo Dalot has done really well to make the right-back spot at United his own, but now he needs some competition.
Brighton’s Ghanaian star Tariq Lamptey could be just the player to pressure Dalot and even surpass the Portuguese defender. It wouldn’t be a cheap deal, but he is a serious talent.
If Erik ten Hag decided to take a modern striker-less approach to his time at United, he could do a lot worse than taking advantage of Joao Felix’s unhappiness at Atletico Madrid.
The Portuguese-speaking contingent is already big at United and Felix is a deeply talented player who could be the focal point of United’s attack.
Atalanta and Denmark wing-back Joakim Maehle may not quite be at the quality level that United need but he would provide depth on the left and right.
He would be a cheap signing as Atalanta may not fight the deal too hard, and he is capable of moments of brilliance. Being surrounded by United’s attackers and midfield could help him find a new level.
Kim Min-jae was relatively unknown at Fenerbahce but since joining Napoli in the summer he has become the key defender for the team eight points clear at the top of Serie A.
Napoli are always happy to turn a profit on a player and that is exactly what they could do with the South Korean in the summer, especially if Harry Maguire does leave United.