According to The Express, Manchester United are ready to beat Arsenal and Chelsea to the signature of Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira in January as Louis van Gaal plots to open his midfield search once again. The German World Cup winner is available at a bargain rate due to his contract nearing its final six months, with Los Blancos keen to get some cash in, rather than lose the 27-year-old for free.
Transfer ‘blows’ have been commonplace at Old Trafford of late, so it would be no surprise to see Ed Woodward and co miss out on Khedira this winter, with other club possessing the lure of Champions League action. Thus, it would make sense for United to have a list of alternatives, and we here at FFC Towers have mocked one up…
The top target, Strootman is seen as the man most likely to be the subject of a serious bid from United in January. The Dutchman worked under Louis van Gaal in the Holland set-up over the course of the past few years, and is a player the now Red Devils chief really admires.
A serious knee injury has limited his 2014 playing time, but with full recovery now close – December is being talked up – a January offer of around £30m-£40m is being mooted. Few teams are ready to take such a risk with Strootman’s knee injury having been so serious, so United could end up relatively unopposed should they move.
The big summer target, there’s no reason United could not go back in for the Chilean. In fact, their chances of nabbing the 27-year-old may be even greater now, with Vidal having recently been fined and barred from the first-team squad for a nightclub incident.
There are few ‘box-to-box’ players on the planet of the Juventus man’s quality, and with United lacking energy and drive in the middle of the park, he could be a wise addition.
Out of the talk of the Southampton exodus and a potential relegation fight, a decent Saints team has emerged this term. The South Coast club are currently third in the Premier League, with ‘wantaway’ Frenchman Schenidelin the hub of their XI.
With energy, industry and creativity all present, the 24-year-old is quickly becoming one of the very best players in his position in English football, and his qualities could surely help United in their recovery.
Strong, commanding and still young, Carvalho is already being dubbed as one of Europe’s future midfield stars. The 22-year-old is a regular at Sporting Lisbon and even represented his nation at the World Cup over the summer, illustrating how good he is at such a tender age.
His club also seem open to a deal, with talk of a £37.5m release clause valuation over the summer having now tumbled to closer to a £20m asking price. United have a decent relationship with Sporting on the transfer front, which could smooth the path for a deal.
He may not be fashionable, but De Jong looks to be the ideal short-term solution. The Dutch enforcer’s AC Milan contract expires at the end of the season, making him a cheap option with the Italians unlikely to be keen on the idea of letting him go for free.
De Jong has bags of experience at club and international level and is a player who is genuinely at home just in front of his own backline – which is something that cannot be said of many players at United right now.