Manchester United need another summer of financial excess. Here’s what breaking the piggy bank could get them.
Although Manchester United have been hovering around the automatic Champions League places this year, holding 3rd or 4th position since match day 11, it is clear that there is still something missing from the team. The fans want to push for the title every year, yet not many of the United faithful would bet on them lifting the silverware this year. It has become obvious that Manchester United need balance in midfield, from a creative and controlling midfielder, as Louis Van Gaal has openly highlighted. The lack of talent in the defence is also no secret.
Manchester United have been linked with a host of players (Koke, Axel Witsel and Ilkay Gundogan to name but a few) and have also overlooked some highly suitable prospects. So who are the perfect solutions to the problem? Let’s look at the options.
PSG’s playmaker has previously been linked with Manchester United in summer of last year, along with Arsenal, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. It was predicted that after failing to entice the Italian starlet away from Paris during the summer, these clubs would try again in January. However, this was not to be. It would be unwise for Manchester United to overlook this player again this summer, as he has shown his abilities again and again this season. We saw how he virtually controlled the middle of the pitch against his recent European clash against Chelsea, which is exactly what Louis Van Gaal would love to see in his squad. One warning though, don’t expect PSG to release him for less than €50 million.
Nigel De Jong
A strong, controlling defensive midfielder would prove invaluable to Louis Van Gaal if he were to purchase one this summer. Nigel De Jong has shown tenacity and energy time and time again for AC Milan this season, and would be an excellent arrival on the steps of Old Trafford this summer. His holding style would allow the likes of Angel Di Maria and Wayne Rooney to focus their energy forward, safe in the knowledge that the Dutchman would be covering the ground behind them. He is showing no signs of entering in to a new contract in Milan, so if Manchester United got him for free then he may be the best business of the summer.
Daniele De Rossi
The Roma midfielder strongly offended everyone and everything connected to Manchester United early last year, claiming that he would have been driven to suicide if he arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2013. He was clearly ruthless in assessing the clubs situation, and was quick to shoot a tasteless comment in their direction. However, the clubs fortunes are improving ever so slightly, and he is exactly the type of player to solve their midfield problems. Roma are currently outside of the European places in Serie A, unlike Manchester United. If Daniele De Rossi has a change of heart don’t rule out talks come summertime.
Disclaimer: this would be a highly controversial move in terms of the race for the Premier League title in 2015/16. But who doesn’t love a shock move in the summer to really spice things up. Although he has a well-publicised ban hanging over his head, there is no denying that the Serbian national has been a revelation in Chelsea’s midfield. The defensive midfielder has become arguably the best player in the Premier League in that position. His strength, vision and ability to hold possession under pressure are stunning. The opportunity to weaken a rival team while significantly strengthening your own is always an ideal opportunity to capitalise on. However, the nature of this move is the main deterrent, especially if Manchester United cannot even challenge Chelsea’s position by the end of the season.
The Borussia Dortmund defender is the most obvious solution for Manchester United’s defensive woes. He has been consistently linked with a move; however no huge offers have been presented by Manchester United in past windows. This summer may finally see a decisive move being made with both the fans and the manager signalling their desires to see the German come to Old Trafford. Some reports suggest that the deal may have been provisionally agreed, but nothing has been definitively confirmed. Reports suggest though that he is the number one priority this summer, and the figure being offered will be huge.
Reports also suggest that the Barcelona right-back may be donning a red jersey next season. It has been revealed that Barcelona are yet to approach the defender with a new contract, despite the fact this his current deal expires this summer. The opportunity to sign a player of his calibre while not making a dent in their huge purse should not be overlooked. It’s no secret how dire of a need there is to sign a right-back.
In what initially started as a wild rumour somewhere in the twitter-sphere, reports have now hinted that a deal to sign the young defender from Real Madrid may now be coming to fruition. Latest reports suggest that Real Madrid have put a £22 million price tag on the player, stating that they would agree to sell him if this amount was tabled by those in charge at Manchester United. This deal would of course by quite lucrative considering that the 21 year old is arguably one of the most flexible and most promising young talents in world football. Surely, this is the investment that would yield the greatest return.
Manchester United fans. Close your eyes, ignore the reality of Tyler Blackett featuring in defence and dream about this possible XI. Then, feel free to come back to reality in September and assess who was actually signed.
A fan can dream, right?
Eoin Lyons, Pundit Arena