With the World Cup officially coming to a close, Manchester United can finally switch their attention fully to the new season with Louis van Gaal set to make his switch to Old Trafford a proper one.
The experienced coach will have to see out the Oranje’s claim for third place after semi-final defeat, but even with the loss to Argentina there has been plenty that’s positive about his managerial antics in Brazil.
Although the 62-year-old’s focus has been with the Netherlands, signings have been welcomed through the door at the Theatre of Dreams, with Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw now officially Red Devils. Despite spending £60m for the pair, United are likely to make further moves, with getting back to the summit of the English the aim on the back of a frankly embarrassing 2013/14.
With Nemanja Vidic now no longer a United man and Rio Ferdinand also gone, a defensive leader is an absolute must. LVG is said to be readying a 3-4-3/3-5-2 formation for use at Old Trafford, and he will need at least one top class centre-back to slot in with the names already at the club.
Various reports suggest talks with Dortmund for Hummels are on-going, and at £30m he could be just the player needed. The German is, arguably, the best defender on the planet in an era where enforcers are in short supply and would surely be just the man needed.
If Herrera is to be the creator, then LVG will need an destroyer to accompany him. Vidal is by far the best candidate around, with the Chilean able to break up play while contributing to attacks.
The best box-to-box man out there is available for around £40m, with Juventus said to be willing to do business if Nani is made a part of a deal… No-brainer, Louis.
He can take a penalty with a giant insect on his arm. Composure at its best. All joking aside, Rodriguez (or Hamez) has really emerged as one of the planet’s best attacking midfielders on the back of his World Cup showings, leading to links with United.
The Colombian will cost well over £60m, with Monaco in no need of cash, but for that money the club would be getting one of the brightest young players around. United were linked with Rodriguez earlier in his career, but instead signed Bebe…
Could an Angel save United? We think so! For reasons beyond our comprehension in FFC towers, Real Madrid are willing to offload Di Maria. The winger starred for Los Blancos in a central role towards the end of last season, helping the club to a 10th European cup but is still for sale at around £40m, according to multiple reports.
A forward line of Rooney, RVP, Mata and Di Maria would be truly devastating, and would give van Gaal all the firepower he needs to get United back to the top.
Janmaat is well known by van Gaal after becoming a key member of his Holland set-up and would solve a problem area, right-back. Rafael is an able performer, but the Brazilian is a little unpredictable and defensively shaky, which was exposed on numerous occasions last term, while Chris Smalling is by no means an orthodox option.
Janmaat is said to be available for around £7m from Feyenoord, which would leave funds free for other purchases. LVG is looking, and could well make his interest concrete soon.
Midfield general. That’s how we’d describe Scweinsteiger, who has really emerged as one of the planet’s leading central players since he was converted from a promising wide-man to an all action star… by van Gaal! The Dutchman was a big influence on the experienced campaigner while at Bayern Munich, and could persuade him to swap the Allianz Arena for Old Trafford, according to reports.
The World Cup finalist would certainly bulk out United’s midfield and bring bags of big game know-how.