With all the doom and gloom surrounding Manchester United at the moment, it’s easy to forget the Red Devils sit third in the league and just one point off top spot.
Manager Louis van Gaal is barely presiding over a rampant return to the good times at Old Trafford, but the Dutchman is winning games – just not a lot of friends.
As dull and methodical as some of the outings have been, van Gaal has at least formed a solid foundation. Up until the trip to Watford a fortnight to go, the Red Devils had not conceded in the Premier League for ten hours. When Jamie Vardy made history at the King Power stadium, it was the first time David De Gea had been breached during open play in 641 minutes.
The defence is fine, just everything in front of it is found wanting. The players are playing at one pace, other than skipper Wayne Rooney, who is playing at no pace at all. Despite the best efforts of Anthony Martial when he first arrived, the striking department at the club is not doing an awful lot to excite fans.
It’s hard to see the possession based, plodding, methodical approach outright winning the league. Especially considering noisy neighbours Manchester City are quite a spectacle when in full flow. Though that’s become increasingly infrequent, to be fair.
Bearing all this in mind, here are five bold transfer rumours that could win the Red Devils their first league title since Fergie called it a day…
Though the heartstrings are tugged at when picturing a Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford, the sheer cost of the deal does not make an awful lot of sense. Even for Man United. Even for Ed Woodward.
Despite both Lionel Messi and Neymar flirting with the prospect of leaving Barcelona, either of those deals look unlikely too, especially anytime soon. So, with that in mind, we must look to the next level of superstar to spruce up the attack.
Enter, Thomas Muller. The German forward is one of the most feared in Europe and has a trophy cabinet beyond his years. Thought to be a long term target of the club’s, the 26-year-old is arguably the best signing United can possibly hope for and could be their talisman for years to come.
Let us remind you, these are BOLD transfer suggestions….
Linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent days, the Uruguayan forward would certainly fill the role of a big name striker to compete with Martial. Despite playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic since arriving in the French capital, the former Napoli front man has notched an impressive 42 goals in 66 starts for the Parisians.
While he is probably a level or two below Muller or Gareth Bale, he has the pedigree to fire the club to success and provide a killer instinct in front of goal. Should he be available, he is certainly someone worth looking into.
Could it finally happen? Bayern Munich superstar Arjen Robben has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford ever since Louis van Gaal was installed at the helm.
Reports suggest the Dutchman has become disillusioned with his role at the Allianz Arena and fallen out with star striker Robert Lewandowski in recent months, so could be seeking a move.
Granted, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid man is now nearing 32 and unlikely to be a stalwart of any future success but remains one of the most lethal wide men in football. For a team who have often looked short of ideas when in possession, the speed he somehow still has into his 30’s could be an effective outlet.
The Bavarian giants are not opposed to selling their most loved players as they age and the close relationship he and van Gaal share could be the key to unlocking a stunning deal for the Dutch ace.
Another PSG star now, and another player who has previously been linked with the Theatre of Dreams.
The Brazilian speedster was thought to be a target for the club under Sir Alex before he moved to PSG, where he has struggled to truly impose himself on first-team proceedings.
A lightning quick forward with the ability to cut inside and fire from range, or take players on up and down the wing could be the perfect remedy to the North West snooze fest fans currently see.
Understood to still be on the radar of the Manchester outfit, the 23-year-old would be a longer term option than the likes of Robben while providing many of the same qualities.
Though the backline has been sorted out to an extent, mainly thanks to Mike/Chris Smalling, van Gaal could do with another centre back to partner the England international. John Stones is the talk of the town currently, but another long term target could finally be on his way.
Germany stalwart Mats Hummels is thought to be considering his future with Borussia Dortmund after falling out with new coach Thomas Tuchel. The defender has suffered a drop in form after repeated arguments with his boss and is said to be close to handing in a transfer request.
The addition of a World Cup winning centre-half can never be a bad thing, for the most part anyway. A solid, classy defender, the 26-year-old is yet to hit his peak and could form a wonderful partnership with Smalling in the years to come.