Manchester United target can upset Brazil’s World Cup party

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In 1990 it was Francois Oman-Biyik, while 12 years later Papa Bouba Diop was the culprit, more recently Rafael Marquez was the party pooper in South Africa, but as we near kick-off in Brazil will Croatia star and Manchester United target Ivan Perisic be the next to upset the odds?

The Wolfsburg attacking midfielder is hot property this summer, with new Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal rumoured to have added the Balkans star to his Old Trafford transfer shopping list after the player impressed in the Bundesliga last term.

Previously on the books at Borussia Dortmund, where he struggled to live up to much of the hype that surrounded his move to the German giants from Belgian side Clube Brugge, the 25-year-old now appears to have found his feet with the Wolves.

A tally of 11 goals from midfield last term was impressive and with Manchester United previously keen on recruiting the Croat, a goal against Brazil could see the former Hadjuk Split youth prospect catapulted back into the daily transfer gossip columns.

The Red Devils were reportedly planning to launch a cut-price bid to bring Perisic to the Premier League, with some sources suggesting that it could take a bid as little as £7m to prise the player away from the Volkswagen-backed club.

That valuation could be a little inaccurate though, with Wolfsburg unlikely to part ways with the midfielder for anything less than double that figure having seen compatriots Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric command more substantial transfer fees.

But if Perisic lives up to his billing with series of star turns against Brazil and in subsequent games against Cameroon and Mexico, then Manchester United and Louis van Gaal may be convinced to splash some serious cash.

The Dutchman has made no secret of his desire to overhaul the squad currently available to him, with another creative midfield option seen as a priority alongside another new defender.

Recent weeks have seen the Reds linked with a move for Atletico Madrid centre-back Miranda, while Roma’s Mehdi Benatia could also be an option.

But with neither set to feature at the World Cup, the focus could be very much on Perisic.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.