After their dismal season, Manchester United are planning a big summer of transfers, to get themselves back to the foot of the Premier League table. Whilst Louis van Gaal may be busy with his attempts to leading Holland into the knockout stages of the World Cup, back in Manchester Ed Woodward and his team will be busy lining up targets, just a month after the season ended.
One of the big names being linked with the Red Devils is Arturo Vidal. The Juventus midfielder scored 11 goals in Serie A last season, whilst setting up another 5 for his teammates. The Chilean continued his scoring form in the Champions League too, scoring 5 goals from their 6 group games.
One of the key players in Chile’s squad that has made it through the group stage of the World Cup, Vidal is one of the hottest midfielders right now, and would light up Old Trafford next season. So who else could move with Vidal and change United’s fortunes after their last campaign? Here are 6 players who could follow the midfielder to M16 this summer.
United have been heavily linked with the Bayern Munich midfielder even before the two teams played each other in the Champions League back at the start of April. Despite having to fight for a place with Thiago, Robben, Ribery, Shaqiri, Javi Martinez and Schweinsteiger, The 24-year-old actually made more appearances in the league for Bayern than the rest, as the Bavarians dominated the Bundesliga. It’s not just Pep Guardiola who is a fan of the midfielder. Joachim Löw has picked Kroos for all 3 of Germany’s World Cup fixtures so far, as the nation topped Group G, titled the group of death.
The 24-year-old’s current deal at the Allianz Arena expires at the end of next season, meaning this is Bayern’s only chance to receive a transfer fee for the midfielder should Kroos look to leave the Bundesliga champions. Bayern want the midfielder to extend his deal, but have refused to exceed financial boundaries in order to keep the midfielder. With United ready to pounce, could they be adding one of Germany’s best midfielders to their squad?
Another German, and another top player that could join United. Hummels is one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga, with two league titles and a Champions League runners-up medal to his name. Strong at the back and tough in the air, Hummels would be an ideal replacement for Nemanja Vidic, who has moved to Inter Milan this summer. With United looking for a new captain and new leader at the back, the 25-year-old would certainly fill the gaps left by Vidic, and secure up United’s leaky defence.
Now Dortmund’s time at the top of the Bundesliga has passed, with Guardiola’s Bayern Munich dominating the league last season, Hummels could easily be tempted to change things up and join United, especially as they are about to start a new chapter with van Gaal in charge. With everybody around Old Trafford anticipating an enjoyable future with the Dutch manager, Hummels may see this as the perfect time to try life in England.
Possibly Fergie’s biggest embarrassment, although we’re sure he had his reasons, Pogba was allowed to leave Old Trafford for free in 2012, but is fast becoming one of the hottest youngsters in world football. Vidal’s teammate at Juventus, the Frenchman has become a star player for the Old Lady, at just 21-years-old. Pogba scored 7 goals in Serie A last season, as he won his 2nd league title with the club, and Ed Woodward could be easily entertained by just watching some of the Frenchman’s stunning strikes on YouTube.
It would be a fantastic story for Pogba to return to Old Trafford, two years after leaving on a free transfer. An exciting prospect, the Frenchman definitely wouldn’t be a free transfer this summer. Juventus would be reluctant to lose such a promising midfielder, who has helped France reach the knockout stage of the World Cup. Fergie made the mistake of letting Pogba go, but van Gaal could fix things with a summer bid.
Both Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have departed Old Trafford this summer, meaning the Red Devils are light on centre-backs. But a fantastic replacement for the two would be Diego Godin. The Uruguayan has been constantly under the radar from most clubs for the last few seasons, as he’s helped Atletico Madrid win the Europa League in 2012 and the Copa del Rey in 2013. But it’s been during Atletico’s incredible campaign this year that has earned him the headlines he deserves. Godin scored the vital equaliser against Barcelona that won the club the league, scored in the Champions League final, and scored the header to beat Italy and qualify Uruguay for the knockout stage of the World Cup.
So as well as being an arial presence going forward, Godin is also one of the top centre-backs in Spain. Strong with a great eye for reading the game and anticipating danger, the Uruguayan could make life much easier for goalkeeper David De Gea. A born leader and inspiring defender, the 28-year-old would be an ideal fit for United, and a great role model for Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
The Bayern winger is lighting up Brazil as we speak, tearing up defences with his pace and trickery. Sergio Ramos is still out of breath after being left for dead by the Dutchman during Spain’s humiliating 5-1 defeat to van Gaal’s men. Robben has scored 56 Bundesliga goals for Bayern since joining them back in 2009, winning 3 league titles and the Champions League during that time. But is it time, 7 years since he last played in the Premier League for Chelsea, that he moves back to England?
With morale high in the Dutch camp at the World Cup, van Gaal could easily tempt Robben to join him at Old Trafford this summer. A new chapter for van Gaal could be made much easier by a familiar face with the pace and ability Robben has. At 30-years-old, the former Real Madrid winger will soon have to think about whether he has unfinished business in England, with the opportunity to play against Chelsea in their rivals’ colours.
The Barcelona winger has been heavily linked with a move away from the Camp Nou this summer, with Liverpool the favourites to pick up the attacker. But United could swoop in and steal their rivals’ target, adding some well needed pace and flair to their attack. The Chilean lit up the La Liga stage last campaign, scoring 19 goals for the Catalan side, enjoying the time without Lionel Messi in the side. 3 seasons for Barca, 38 goals. Not a bad return for the 25-year-old.
As he prepares to face his club mate Neymar in the knockout stages of the World Cup, Sanchez could bring some needed consistency to the attacking midfield at Old Trafford. Nani has rarely been reliable in a United shirt, whilst Kagawa has struggled to get regular first-team football, be it under the management of Ferguson or Moyes. But Sanchez could easily make himself a key member of United’s attack, linking up with Mata to cause mayhem for opposition defences.