“He is a very good player, the Manchester United fans have a fantastic player,
“He could play in any team, anything could happen. One hundred percent, he will be at one of the best teams in the world, if it’s United or not. But time is needed, we’ll see what happens.”
Well, the words of ‘super agent’ Jorge Mendes, as quoted by the Daily Mail, in regard to his client and life at Manchester United beyond this season are puzzling. The Colombian is currently on loan from Monaco, but clauses are in place to allow the Red Devils to make the deal a permanent one for a fee of £43.5m. Over the past few weeks there have been suggestions both ways regarding Falcao’s likelihood of staying, but with the sums involved, we think United could be better off with other targets… and here are FIVE alternative ways Louis van Gaal could spent the fee needed to keep the 28-year-old.
Available for £45m, a little above Falcao’s value, Muller is a player believed to be on LVG’s radar. The versatile German attacker helped his nation to World Cup victory over the summer and is a player that Van Gaal’s is known to be an admirer of.
In terms of stats, there is only one winner between Muller and Falcao, with the Bayern Munich man better in front of goal and more creative. Although £1.5m extra may be needed, the gap could easily be bridged by the difference in wage, with the 25-year-old unlikely to command a salary in the region of the Colombian.
According to reports from The Telegraph and The Mirror, both Schneiderlin and Clyne are targets for United. Deals this month may be tricky, but the pair, who will cost around £45m combined – £25m for the Frenchman and the English right-back at £20m – and would address two problem areas.
Van Gaal has tracked a number of holding midfielders and right-backs since taking charge of the Red Devils, and it’s fair to say that both positions are in greater need of strengthening than the Dutchman’s forward line.
Widely hailed as the very best centre-back around, Hummels is a long-term United target. Dortmund are, naturally, opposed to selling their man, but offers of around £45m may be too good to refuse for the Bundesliga strugglers.
There’s little doubting that the World Cup winner would be an upgrade on the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans, with his experience and sheer quality placing him firmly a few leagues above the United trio. An end of season move is seen as the most likely scenario, with BVB desperate to keep their man this month to battle the shock threat of relegation.
Another way to splash the cash could be on a couple of other Dortmund players. Marco Reus’ well-publicised £20m release clause kicks in at the end of the season, while Gundogan is understood to be available for around £15m – with Arsenal interested.
Rues would be a more versatile and youthful upgrade on Falcao, while Gundogan could help to inject new life into United’s midfield, which has been the subject of much criticism this season.
Strootman of Roma is another long-term United target, with Louis van Gaal having been linked with Dutchman on an almost weekly basis since the summer. The Italian giants are reluctant to sell, especially this month, but bids of around £32m at the end of the season may be too good to refuse for a player that missed much of 2014 with a serious knee injury.
Van Gaal worked with Strootman in the Netherlands set-up before taking the United role, and his knowledge of the enforcer’s abilities could make for a smooth transition.