SIX signings to follow Nigel de Jong to Manchester United

According to Mirror Football, Manchester United are eyeing a surprise move for former Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong.

A 73-cap Netherlands international that’s featured in both of his country’s World Cup fixtures thus far, incoming Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal knows the 29 year-old well.

The Terrier certainly fits the Orange gaffer’s template of using a no-nonsense anchorman in his customary 4-3-3 formation, and also offers significant Premier League experience, having made over 100 outings in the top flight during his three-year Etihad career.

Furthermore, following an incredibly disappointing season at AC Milan which saw the San Siro side finish in eighth place, it’s believed De Jong could be allowed to leave for as little as £6million this summer.

But with LVG reportedly privy to a £200million warchest in the coming window, it’s unlikely the Holland enforcer will be his solitary purchase of the summer.

With that in mind, here’s a list of SIX players who could follow De Jong to Old Trafford – some inspired by his arrival, others more coincidental.

[ffc-gallery]CLICK ON NIGEL DE JONG TO REVEAL ALL

Nigel de Jong (Netherlands)[/ffc-gallery]

KEVIN STROOTMAN

Kevin Strootman
Nigel De Jong could soon find himself joined at Old Trafford by Netherlands team-mate and fellow Manchester United target Kevin Strootman.

The 24 year-old has emerged as one of Serie A’s most dominant forces since joining Roma from PSV last summer, claiming five goals and six assists in 25 league outings – as well as this wonder-strike in the Coppa Italia…

But the Oranje international’s utility to the Red Devils in a box-to-box capacity is better represented by the impressive statistics below…

strootman stats

Often referred to as ‘The Dutch Roy Keane’ and also a firm favourite of Louis van Gaal, Strootman has been linked with a United switch for some time.

But sidelined with a knee injury until October, recent speculation suggests the Carrington club will wait until January to sign the £30million-rated midfielder…

DALEY BLIND

Daley Blind Due to a lack of significant progress in their attempts to sign Luke Shaw, Mirror Football have speculated that Manchester United will turn their attentions to Dutch defender Daley Blind this summer.

The 24 year-old’s stock has dramatically risen at the World Cup, in no small part due his impressive number of assists…

…including this sensational set-up to Robin van Persie against Spain…

Blinds’ World Cup form comes after an equally inspiring campaign for Ajax, where he won the Eredivisie title and the Dutch Player of the Year award. And of course, son of Netherlands assistant manager Danny Blind, Louis van Gaal knows the full-back well.

The tabloids value him at around £12million, and believe the Amsterdam outfit would be prepared to sell.

Memphis Depay

A third (and final) Netherlands international known to have caught Manchester United’s transfer attention is winger-forward Memphis Depay, often compared to a young Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 20 year-old PSV star was sensational in the Eredivisie this season, as seen below…

Depay ered

Depay also recorded the most successful dribbles and shots on goal of any player in the division…

depay shots

…and had a sensational impact for Oranje against Australia last Wednesday, finding a goal and assist in just 42 minutes, including this strike…

The Sunday Mirror have speculated that Tottenham are United’s closest competitors for the attacker’s signature…

ALEXIS SANCHEZ

Alexis Sanchez (2)
Another potent winger said to be on the Old Trafford radar this summer is Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez.

The Chile international has been in strong form this season to find 21 goals and 15 assists in all competitions, including this wonder-strike against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League…

But the feeling at the Nou Camp is that the 25 year-old hasn’t progressed as expected following his move from Udinese in 2011, and with Barca planning a summer of wholesale changes, it’s believed Sanchez is about to be thrown on the scrapheap.

Boasting a mixture of tica-taca technique, positional flexibility, raw athleticism and netting prowess, Sanchez would certainly address United’s current absence of quality out wide. Here’s a collection of the South American’s best goals during his Catalonia tenure…

However, recent speculation suggests a wealth of top clubs will be baying for the £20million-rated forward’s signature this summer…

MIRANDA

Miranda With Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand both leaving United on bosman moves this summer, the Red Devils need to source a high-quality centre-back. And according to Spanish publication AS, that will come in the form of Atletico Madrid’s Miranda…

The Brazilian made it into the Serie A Team of the Year four times during his Sao Paolo days and played a major role in the Mattress Makers’ triumphs last season, helping them claim the La Liga title and reach the Champions League final. Here’s his impressive defensive statistics from the campaign…

Miranda stats

He’s not bad at the other end of the pitch too, with 11 goals in 100 league outings for the Vincente Calderon outfit, the majority of which follow this rather predictable template…

United’s documented interest stems from the fact the 6 foot 1 centre-half has a £24million release clause in his contract, but Barcelona have also been linked.

MATS HUMMELS

Mats Hummels Another centre-back popularly mooted as a successor to Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford is long-term United target Mats Hummels.

Measuring in at 6 foot 4 and averaging five successful aerial duels per match this season, the Borussia Dortmund centre-back is a formidable force in the air. He netted this bullet header against Portugal during Germany’s opening World Cup fixture:

But the 31-cap international better known 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:

hummels stats

Here’s a vid showing Hummels’ impressive all-round game:

The 25 year-old two-time Bundesliga winner represents the right balance between age, quality and experience from United’s point of view.

His reported £25million price-tag strikes great value for money too, and the Express believe a move could be imminent…

…but Barcelona are also known admirers, and Hummels has denounced speculation that he plans to leave Westfalen this summer:

 


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