Luke Shaw's future should be decided before the World Cup with the Southampton left-back interesting Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea plus a host of elite clubs on the continent including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
The 18-year-old, who is tipped to be in Roy Hodgson's England squad for Brazil this summer, would consider a move abroad though a transfer to another Premier League club is currently Shaw's favoured option.
All of United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool have a vacancy for a top-class left-back. At Old Trafford David Moyes is conscious that even if Patrice Evra were to stay for another season he is 33 in May and so has reached the veteran bracket.
Manuel Pellegrini, the City manager, has signalled his lack of confidence in Gaël Clichy or Aleksandar Kolarov by deciding neither is an automatic selection.
At Chelsea, Ashley Cole has been dropped by José Mourinho while his replacement César Azpilicueta is actually a right-back by trade. Shaw is thought to be unconcerned by the Spaniard's status as the Portuguese's first choice.
As Shaw signed a new five-year deal with Southampton last summer the south coast club are likely to start the bidding at around £35m but may have to settle for a fee in the region of £30m.
Meanwhile, United's principal midfield target, Toni Kroos, will be left to decide his own future, according to the Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola. He said the club "will do everything to keep Toni here. But it is up to Toni. He is a young person, it is his decision."
United are offering Kroos a £260,000-a-week deal, a figure that would quadruple his current salary of £72,000-a-week with Bayern. The 24-year-old is contracted to the German champions until 2015 and has put all contract talks on hold until the summer.