According to recent reports, Thomas Vermaelen has agreed to a contract with Manchester United, with the current Arsenal captain unhappy with his lack of minutes at the Emirates.
If this goes through, it will be the second time in three summers United have landed Arsenal’s club captain. The squad at Old Trafford is in need of plenty of surgery this summer and Vermaelen would be a good replacement for Rio Ferdinand, provided, of course, he returns to his best form.
Louis van Gaal is said to have a transfer budget of around £200 million this summer. Plenty to work with in order to get this team back to its best.
With a lot of talent on display at the World Cup in Brazil, these are six players who could follow Vermaelen to United this summer.
Manchester United were last week rumoured to have placed a bid for Edinson Cavani, who hasn’t always looked happy at PSG. The Uruguayan forward has had an indifferent season by his standards but would be a great signal of intent by United if they were to land his signature. Cavani has won trophies, has the experience of playing at the highest level in the Champions League and is a regular with his national team. This is certainly a player who could help deliver the league title to Old Trafford next season.
Daley Blind starred for the Netherlands at left-back in their 5-1 win over Spain, but the 24-year-old’s future may lie in the centre of the pitch. Blind arrived in the Ajax first team as a full-back but was converted to the central holding role under Frank de Boer, where Blind has blossomed and arguably performed better than he has in the back four. What is certain, based on his game against Spain at least, is that Blind is more than able in either position, two positions Man United are in need of strengthening this summer. It wouldn’t be a surprise is Louis van Gaal used his connections to the player to make him one of his first signings as United manager.
This World Cup is sure to be an important point in the career of Ricardo Rodriguez. Even though Wolfsburg are building a strong team in the Bundesliga, the growing reputation of Rodriguez has led to plenty of attention from around Europe. The Swiss international is considered one of the most talented left-backs on the continent and could comfortably take over from Patrice Evra at United for the long term. Rodriguez had a good game against Ecuador, showing his quality at both ends of the pitch and providing assists for both of Switzerland’s goals. He certainly won’t come cheap, but he could offer better value for money over Luke Shaw.
Another twist has emerged in the Toni Kroos transfer/contract saga: Chelsea are said to be interested. That’s Chelsea, Real Madrid and Man United, obviously, who have sounded out the Bayern midfielder. Kroos’ major issue at Bayern is wages, where the club aren’t happy to meet the player’s demands. But with his current contract up in a year, Kroos would comfortably get what he wants at either Chelsea, Real or United. Bayern therefore have a decision to make: sell now, agree to his demands, or lose him for free next summer. Considering they’re yet to come to any sort of resolution, expect Kroos to be out the door at some stage in the next year. This is without question something United should take advantage of.
Granit Xhaka was said to be on Manchester United’s radar before his move to Borussia Monchengladbach, having been a part of the Basel team who knocked United out of the Champions League in 2012. The young Swiss midfielder had a difficult first season in Germany but really found his form this past year. He’s energetic, knows how to play a possession game, has a good range of passing, and works extremely well on the defensive side. At 21, he’s exactly the kind of midfielder who will help to breathe life into the United squad.
A lot has been expected of Juan Cuadrado heading into this World Cup, with the Fiorentina winger impressing throughout last season. The winger, who can play through the middle as a forward and as an attacking full-back, has drawn a lot of attention from around Europe, with Barcelona most recently said to be interested. But United, in need of an overhaul on the flanks, could do with a player of the Colombian’s quality. He’s extremely quick, has plenty of tricks in his locker and is able to score from long range. It’s no great surprise he’s considered such an integral part of this talented Colombia side.