Manchester United have finished one of their worst seasons in the last 10 years, and their first trophy-less campaign since the 2004-05.
United need improvements this summer to get back to their winning ways under Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson is a fantastic manager, but managerial talent can only go so far without the necessary players.
Having recently missed out on signing Eden Hazard from Lille, it now seems Ferguson will now turn to several alternative players in a bid to strengthen United’s depleted squad.
Sir Alex Ferguson has been performing miracles to keep his team so competitive in the last couple of years, even as the ostensible quality of the team falls behind their rivals, but it cannot continue forever.
With milestone triumphs for both Chelsea and Manchester City this season, both sides are set to push on once again, and this time it could be beyond even the legendary manager’s reach
Many United fans have expressed the feeling that this transfer window could make or break the clubs success for the next 5 years or so.
As usual United have been linked to a vast number of players. Below are what I consider to be the most realistic transfer rumours that have emerged in the past few weeks.
Shinji Kagawa – Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa has been arguably Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest target in the summer transfer window so far with the Red Devils looking to lock up his services for next season to boost their attacking options.
And whilst United are no doubt the front runners for the Kagawa’s signature, the deal isn’t just a formality with work permits and contract negotiations still ongoing between both parties. The latest from the Guardian has the deal moving closer to completion, but still nowhere near finalized.
There’s no doubt that he would be a welcome asset to Old Trafford though.
Leighton Baines – Everton
Baines is another player that I feel could be on his way to Old Trafford. For over a month, the papers have been linking the Everton left back with a move to Manchester United as a future replacement for current captain Patrice Evra.
The Everton star is currently away on international duty with the England squad and has stated he is focused on his national team for now. After the Euro’s Ferguson could make a swoop for the talented defender.
Nick Powell – Crewe
Finishing off the list is Crewe striker Nick Powell, who has reportedly agreed to a transfer fee with the Red Devils according to Inside Futbol.
Powell scored a sensational goal in the League Two playoff final against Cheltenham and was a dominant force in attack for Crewe all season long. He would no doubt assist United’s attack in the future should he sign with the Red Devils.
Although personal details are still being finalized and the deal not official to date, the fee is expected to cost United an initial £4 million with the potential for up to £2 million more through add-ons and contract extras.
Moussa Dembele – Fulham
Belgian international Moussa Dembele—currently under contract at Fulham—is under the watchful eye of both Manchester United and Chelsea, despite the striker stating that he’s “not in a hurry” to decide his future, according to Goal.com.
Dembele has been an excellent addition to the Cottagers side this season and would bring some further attacking talent at Old Trafford should Manchester United secure his services. At the moment however, the Red Devils are currently waiting to see what Dembele wants to do.
Luka Modric – Tottenham
Modric would slot seamlessly into United’s starting eleven, occupying one of the two spots in the centre of midfield. His quality would represent a massive improvement over the current players in these positions, i.e. the likes of Giggs and Carrick.
Modric would no doubt bring a creative edge to the United squad, taking a huge burden off the likes of Wayne Rooney.
In the past the Croatia has expressed his desire to quit White Hart Lane and having missed out on top flight European football with Spurs next season, could this be the year Modric leaves to join an established European side.
Nicolas Gaitan – Benfica
Gaitan showed that he indeed is a solid, up-and-coming player in world football with seven assists in this year’s Champions League. However, he recorded only three goals and seven assists in 25 league games for Benfica, and failed to make a difference over two legs against Chelsea.
Gaitan is a good player, but at the age of 24, he doesn’t look like a player that’ll one day be better than Nani, Young or Valencia.
Apparently Nicholas Gaitan is a big fan of moving to Manchester United, but it is not yet known if the feeling is mutual. But for the sake of United’s progress in the next few seasons Gaitan doesn’t seem like a wise signing, especially at the cost of £20 plus million.
Javi Martinez – Athletic Bilbao
The 23-year-old’s performances this season have seen him become one of the most coveted players in Europe. Sir Alex Ferguson, who had the chance to see Martinez close up when the Basque club knocked United out of the Europa League, is a long-term admirer of the Spain international. According to caught offside and various other sources, Fergie is prepared to spend £28m to sign the Spanish international midfielder.
As it stands, no direct comment has been made regarding a potential transfer. However, Martinez’s ability in both central defence and defensive midfield must make have a player worthy of an attempted bid.
James Rodriguez -FC Porto
James Rodriguez has been dubbed “the new Ronaldo” by the press, and 12 goals and eight assists at the age of only 20 suggests that he’s very much worth the hype.
The Daily Mail has his price-tag at a hefty £25 million, but it has been suggested that including Anderson in the deal could bring down Rodriguez’s price significantly.
If United are indeed still looking for Ronaldo’s replacement at Old Trafford, this would be the guy to go after. However, he won’t be the number one priority on United’s summer shopping list, but if all else fails, I’m sure an enquiry will be made.
Papiss Cisse – Newcastle
Papiss Cisse is thought to be of high value to Sir Alex Ferguson, with the manager greatly impressed with the striker’s performance in the latter half of the season for Newcastle United.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Cisse is being chased by both Manchester City and United, with the Red Devils perhaps finally finding the striker to complement Wayne Rooney up front.
£20 million could be enough to force Alan Pardew to sell Cisse, who at that price would be an excellent pickup for Manchester United in the transfer window.
Claudio Marchisio – Juventus
According to Caught Offside.com, the Red Devils are keeping an interest in Italian midfielder Claudio Marchisio, who is currently under contract at Juventus.
With the Kagawa transfer pending and Nani subtly suggesting that his future at Old Trafford isn’t as guaranteed as it might appear, Sir Alex Ferguson could well use the Portuegese winger to lure Marchisio to United for next season.
Klaas Jan Huntelaar – Schalke
United could be eyeing up Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as a possible replacement for Berbatov when he eventually leaves the club
The Netherlands forward has rediscovered his form this season following difficult spells at Real Madrid and AC Milan. By finishing as top scorer in the German Bundesliga, Huntelaar has no doubted made Ferguson aware of his ability.
Hopefully Ferguson will attempt to bring the Dutchman to Old Trafford, I would love to see him at the club.
Nathaniel Clyne – Crystal Palace
United have joined the queue of teams vying for highly-rated Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne, who recently rejected a new contract from the club.
Manchester United lead a host of teams in contention for Clyne’s signature, with Newcastle, Everton, Fulham, West Ham and Dutch champions Ajax all making contact for a potential move according to Sport 360.com.
The under-21 England international would continue Sir Alex Ferguson’s rich history of securing the best young English talent available and would give United some welcome defensive security in the process, should he sign for the Red Devils.
Robert Lewandowski – Borussia Dortmund
Polish Forward Lewandowski is another player being watched by various Premier League sides. Having scored 20 goals whilst helping his team win the Budesliga title, he has proved he is a formidable force in attack.
Considering Berbatov’s probable exit from the club, Lewandowski would be an inspired replacement for the ageing Bulgarian.
Please comment with your thoughts and opinions.