It’s time for the footballing world to weep a collective tear, as perhaps the greatest World Cup of all time has come to a bitter-fought end. In case you’ve had your head stuck in a vase for the last 24 hours, Germany beat Argentina by a 1-0 scoreline in the final yesterday evening.
But we at Football FanCast are not prepared to relinquish the memories of Brazil 2014 just yet. Perhaps we are too needy, perhaps we are seeking closure, perhaps we simply can’t accept reality, but resultantly, we’ve conjured up this list of the FIVE World Cup finalists Manchester United would love to – and realistically could – sign this summer.
So join in our reminiscence of an event that happened less than a full day ago while also discussing Louis van Gaal’s summer transfer plans.
— Sandra Goldschmidt (@SanBorussia) July 14, 2014
Following the bosman departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United have been linked with Germany international Mats Hummels yet again this summer:
Man Utd to make final take it or leave it £20m bid for Mats Hummels http://t.co/hJ3qc9sdwK
— Dave (@OleOleUnited) July 1, 2014
The 25 year-old was one of the stars of Brazil 2014, netting Mannschaft’s second goal of the tournament as well as the winner against France in the quarter-finals:
It caps off a campaign of continually strong form for the commanding centre-back, as detailed below:
The 33-cap international is famed for his ability to play out of the back and link-up with midfield, often leading to comparisons with Mannschaft legend Franz Beckenbauer, best represented by these attacking and passing statistics:
Here’s a vid showing Hummels’ impressive all-round game:
The Metro claim talks to bring the defender to Old Trafford have already reached ‘advanced stages’, but other sources speculate interest from Barcelona could stand in the way:
Barcelona set to make a move for Manchester United target Mats Hummels. http://t.co/pv91Qyvuwb
— Kabar Man Utd (@Kabar_MUFC) July 13, 2014
Amid their desperate need for better quality out wide, Manchester United are reportedly considering a bid for Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria:
— It’s MUFC (@itsmufc) July 7, 2014
The Argentina winger missed the World Cup final through injury, but netted this vital winner against Switzerland in the round of 16:
And only two players completed more dribbles than the Los Blancos star at Brazil 2014:
At club level, a surprise transition to more central role saw the 25 year-old finish up as La Lia’s top creator last season:
Whilst he also claimed the Man of the Match award in last term’s Champions League final.
The Express alleged a £48million bid last week, but recent speculation suggests United will be trumped to Di Maria’s signature by PSG:
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 13, 2014
Real Madrid appear prepared to offload Germany international Sami Khedira this summer and Manchester United have emerged as one of the more interested Premier League parties:
— TRANSFERS NEWS (@TRANSFERSP) June 29, 2014
The 27 year-old missed the World Cup final after picking up an injury in the warm-up, but remained a vital performer for Die Mannschaft throughout the tournament, as detailed below:
And netted his country’s fifth against Brazil in their famous 7-1 semi-final victory:
Here’s some of the former Stuttgart star’s highlights for Real Madrid:
Khedira would certainly address Manchester United’s absence of quality in the middle of the park, but recent speculation suggests he’s about to join Arsenal:
Arsenal set to beat Chelsea to Sami Khedira after German agrees four-year deal http://t.co/GMNsYnrsii
— Express Football (@ExpressFootball) July 14, 2014
Another Germany midfielder known to be on the Old Trafford radar is Mannschaft centurion Bastian Schweinsteiger, following rumours earlier this summer that Pep Guardiola wants to axe the Bayern Munich veteran.
The Bavarians boss allegedly views the 29 year-old as too slow for his side’s new-found tica-taca style. But a Bundesliga, Champions League and now World Cup winner, Manchester United are more than prepared to take him off Guardiola’s hands:
— Man Utd FC (@ManUtdFC_Fan) June 12, 2014
The powerful midfielder put in a committed and bloodied performance during the World Cup final…
…where he made four tackles and over 100 passes. There’s no doubting Schweinsteiger’s quality, just take a look at his Top Five Bundesliga goals:
But the £25million-rated midfielder, despite allegedly enjoying a good relationship with Louis van Gaal, could be put off by a lack of Champions League football at Old Trafford.
Mario Gotze may have just scored the winning goal in a World Cup final, and quite a sterling effort it was. But things aren’t going quite so well at current club Bayern Munich, with the attacking midfielder struggling to impact following his controversial move from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
In May, he made his disappointment over a lack of first team football – Gotze made just 20 starts in the Bundesliga last season – public, and potential suitors across Europe are hardly in short supply. Manchester Evening news claims the Red Devils have revived their interest in the 22 year-old:
United gossip: Gotze interest revived, Luke Shaw boost, Giggs future http://t.co/dd71usqN1w
— Diana (@Diana91215546) July 14, 2014
The Germany international is an impressive young talent, just take a look at some of his career-best strikes:
And despite struggling for game-time last season, Gotze still enjoyed strong form, as detailed below:
Capable of adopting virtually any position in attack and widely regarded as one of European football’s hottest prospects, the former Black-Yellows star would be a sensational addition for United.
But whether he’s prepared to quit on Bayern Munich after just a single season remains to be seen.