Jack Beresford is back to profile another five big names set to compete in the World Cup clash between Croatia and Mexico.
It’s winner takes all in Croatia vs Mexico with the victor set to seal a place in the knockout stages of the World Cup while, baring a Brazil collapse against Cameroon, the loser will be heading home.
With that in mind, we’ve profiled five of the biggest stars on show who could also be set for moves to the English Premier League once the football festivities die down.
Mateo Kovacic – Inter Milan
One of the hottest young stars at this World Cup, the 20-year-old is definitely one for the future, having impressed since moving to Italy in January 2013 from Dinamo Zagreb.
Best when playing as a classic no.10, Kovacic has been linked with moves to the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool in the past few months, though the Premier League duo may have to move fast for the midfielder, amid reports suggesting Real Madrid as set to launch a €25 million bid.
Guillermo Ochoa – AC Ajaccio
Without a club after deciding to see out his contract with the Ligue 1 strugglers, Ochoa is likely to be among the most sought after free transfers of the summer following a string of impressive saves for Mexico against Cameroon and Nigeria at the World Cup.
Liverpool had previously been linked with a move for the 28-year-old but with Arsenal also keen to recruit a new goalkeeper, we could be set for a titanic transfer tussle between the clubs.
Mario Mandzukic – Bayern Munich
Another player who has long been linked with a move to the Premier League following reports of unrest at Bayern, Mandzukic underlined his importance to Croatia with two goals against Cameroon in their second group game, having missed the opener against Brazil through suspension.
Arsenal are, once again, the club being linked with a move for the striker though they could also face Premier League competition in the form of Chelsea, as manager Jose Mourinho looks to bolster the Blues’ attacking options.
Andres Guardado – Valencia
Previously a star with Deportivo La Coruna, Guardado has struggled to hit the same heights with Los Che and was even sent out on loan to Bayer Leverkusen earlier this term, where he failed to earn a permanent deal with the Bundesliga club.
The 27-year-old has looked good for Mexico at the World Cup though, and with the likes of Everton previously tracking the marauding midfielder, don’t be surprised to see Roberto Martinez recruit another star from the Americas.
Ivan Perisic – Wolfsburg
Another of the goalscorers in Croatia’s 4-0 win over Cameroon, Perisic was previously a target of Manchester United, though that situation may have changed with the appointment of Louis van Gaal as manager.
The Croatian is nevertheless thought to be on Everton’s radar, with the Toffees rumoured to have made contact with the German club over a potential summer move.