Manchester United: Possible Transfer Targets
By Liam Canning
As you are all aware, the summer transfer window has opened, and the speculation is beginning to grow on whom Manchester United are going to be signing this summer.
LvG has been appointed as the new boss, and it has been made clear to him that there needs to be a mass exodus accompanied by an overhaul of new talent.
It has come the public’s attention that David Moyes, before he was sacked, was trying to conjure up deals to bring Luke Shaw, Toni Kroos and Paul Pogba to Man United this transfer window. I’m sure that the fans of Man United would have loved to see that, however, LvG reportedly has told Ed Woodward, United’s executive chairman that he doesn’t want to pursue the deals for Toni Kroos and Paul Pogba.
It may have come to a shock for United fans that LvG has passed up such a raw and young talent from Bayern Munich, but LvG evidently has other plans for Manchester United’s midfield. For the past couple of weeks, the speculation has arisen and the Red Devils have failed to complete a summer signing before the World-Cup, which has caused the fans to go into a frenzy on LvG’s plans.
However, avid Manchester United watchers should be impressed by LvG as his Netherlands side overcame the current World champions in a cruel 5-1 victory on Saturday. This gives a huge sense of belief in the new manager and that he will bring in what he thinks is necessary and not what who he is told to bring in.
Arturo Vidal, Juventus:
There has been on-going speculation of United signing Arturo Vidal for the past couple of seasons, however, United haven’t made an official bid as of yet.
The Chilean has enjoyed a superb season with the Vecchia Signora, starting 32 games he has conducted 11 goals and 5 assists. He has been dubbed as the finest box-to-box midfielder in the World with his combative approach, composure on the ball and his clinical edge in front of goal.
He is nicknamed Il Guerriero, The Warrior, by Juventus’ supports which suggests that he is doing a might job for the Old Lady for him to get such a nickname. Over the past couple of seasons, Vidal has been one of the first names on the team sheet for both, club and country.
He’s had a stellar season with Juventus claiming a third successive Scudetto, and is currently playing in Brazil which he saw his Chile side breeze past Australia in their opening game 3-1.
Gazzetta dello Sport have released a publication in saying that Louis van Gaal has always been incredibly interested in the Chilean midfielder, especially when he was managing Bayern he wanted to sign Vidal, but Arturo chose to sign with Juventus from Bayer Leverkusen instead.
GdS have quoted a surprise figure for Vidal’s quantities that figure being £40m, which seems a hefty fee, but you’re paying for the finest box-to-box midfielder in the World.
The logic behind Vidal’s sale is that; Juventus want to sell him this summer as they try to make funds available for Alexis Sánchez and Álvaro Morata, whom have both enjoyed noble seasons for Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.
As they already have Marchisio, Pirlo and Pogba as central midfielders already, they feel that it wouldn’t be too much of a blow to offload Arturo Vidal.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Bayern Munich:
Reports have come out that LvG would prefer to sign Toni Kroos’ counter-part midfielder, Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German international has spent his entire career at Bayern Munich but has said that if he was to ever leave, it’d only be to Manchester United. A wild speculation of course, but a glimmer of hope beckons.
Louis van Gaal on a number of occasions has landed heaps of praise of Schweinsteiger and converted Bastian from a winger to a box-to-box midfielder when he endured his spell with Bayern Munich back in 2009.
This season, Bastian has enjoyed 8 goals and 5 assists in 35 games, with an 89% pass completion rate in the Bundesliga, which propels him to one of the most accurate passers of the ball in not only the Bundesliga, but also in Europe.
The fee would be in the region of £25-30m to acquire Schweini’s attributes, as Bayern preferably don’t want to sell, however, with United not being in Europe next year, this could help them as Bayern will feel that Man United aren’t a direct threat.
It’d be a great signing for Manchester United and would fill the hole that both Roy Keane and Paul Scholes have left in United’s midfield since their retirements.
Miranda, Atlético Madrid:
The 29-year-old central defender has enjoyed a fantastic season with Atlético Madrid whom have secured La Liga for the first time since 1996, and also reaching the final of the Champions League, where they unfortunately lost to Real Madrid.
Miranda has been at the heart of Atlético’s defence this season and has performed to a World-Class standard without fail, he has been widely talked about and his centre-half relationship with Diego Godín has been hailed as one of the best partnerships of the season.
The Brazilian born centre-back reportedly has a release clause of £24 million, which again, according to reports, United are close to activating and will secure a deal in the next couple of days.
What can Miranda bring that United don’t have? Injury-free, that’s what Manchester United have lacked this season which other teams have exploited, with Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones at staggered points of the season being troubled with injuries.
At the age of 29, Miranda can bring a wealth of experience to Old Trafford, especially having such a pressure-enforced season, which can aid and help Smalling and Phil Jones in their progress at Manchester United’s future defenders.
Out of all of the possible targets outline from various reports, Miranda is the most likely transfer to go through this summer and he will definitely be valued.
William Carvalho, Sporting Lisbon:
A young-prospect whom has shown bags of potential this season playing in Portugal for Sporting Lisbon is wanted by both, Manchester United and Chelsea.
At the tender age of just 22, Carvalho has already been dubbed as a young ‘Patrick Viera’ and ‘Yaya Touré’s successor’, which shows just how talented this young lad is.
He is a defensive midfielder by trade, who has enjoyed a break-through season for Lisbon, and has cemented his position down in the midfield of the Portuguese side.
What immediately impressed with Carvalho is his maturity, and his calmness, very rarely do you see him panicking on the ball, but he also can oppose this with releasing the ball first-time.
As a defensive midfielder, you’d expect that he’d sit deep and dictate play from the back, however, this is not the case, as Carvalho is not slow and can bring the ball forward himself under his tight-spell.
In the last couple of days, Sporting have released a statement where their director has said that to purchase the young Portuguese international, teams would need to pay his buy-out clause of £37.5m, which is incredibly risky for a 22-year-old.
However, if he does live up to his true potential, then he will indefinitely payback the proposed amount back over the next 8 seasons or so.
Memphis Depay, Feyenoord:
Before this World-Cup, very little football fans would have heard his name and could tell you all about him, however, since his appearance against Australia, Depay has been widely talked about in a positive light.
The 22-year-old winger from Feyenoord is subject to an ‘imminent’ bid from Manchester United as they look to capture their first signing and a fresh, vibrant winger.
Louis van Gaal is obviously incredibly keen on Memphis Depay after spending time with him and improving him during this World-Cup, he has shown his raw ability in the two cameos so far and it doesn’t surprise me why United, Tottenham and Arsenal are interested in him.
The Dutch international would cost United around £15m, which after this campaign and the ability he has shown, is a fair price.
Sky Bet and Ladbrokes have a 5/1 bet on Depay joining United, and if he does do that, it will be a great signing as LvG already knows all about him and can further his progress into a top athlete.
Overall, it looks a busy summer for Manchester United as they look to offload dead wood in their squad and bring in a pair of fresh legs.