Call it reactionary, call it knee-jerk, call it anything you like, but Manchester United are set to change their transfer approach over the coming 10-12 months. From signing multiple players – LVG has been present for no fewer than 12 arrivals – the Red Devils are looking for quality over quantity, opening the door for ‘marquee’ stars.
True, United have been trying for some time to snap up the best players available, yet their turbulent recent years have led to a rather embarrassing state of affairs with the likes of Sergio Ramos having appeared to use the club to secure a fresh contract.
Alas, with money to spend and a strong chance of being back in the Champions League for 2016/17, the Manchester giants could once again be the appealing option they were, and here are FIVE of the very best players around they could sign next summer (or even in January)…
Yawn… We’ve been here in almost every week of every transfer window for the past 18 months, but things could change between now and next year. As of next summer Bale will have been in Spain for three seasons, and if his situation is as uncertain as it was for much of 2014/15, he may opt to call time on his Bernabeu stint.
It’s likely that a figure of around the £86m Los Blancos paid Spurs in 2013 will be needed to lure the Welshman back to the Premier League, however the financial muscle United have and Bale’s proven record in English football may make such a swoop appealing.
Perhaps the most bizarre rumour of the end of the summer was a £140m move to take Neymar from Barcelona to Manchester. Although such a headline-grabber of a deal failed to come to fruition (shock) it has since been claimed that the discussions taking place were being held with a view to a serious offer in the coming few years.
But why would the Brazilian want to leave the Nou Camp? Well, maybe United are operating in the hope that Neymar himself will be keen to move out of Lionel Messi’s shadow, thus making ‘main man’ status at Old Trafford appealing… Who knows?
Unsettled for much of the summer, Bayern Munich’s Germany international was linked with a host of big clubs as the transfer window ticked towards its close. Despite being an international hero for his World Cup winning goal in 2014, Gotze isn’t really a vital player at the Allianz Arena, with other names loved by the fans and valued to a greater extent by manager Pep Guardiola.
At United he could operate as the ‘No.10’ Van Gaal has been looking for and would surely be a regular first XI fixture.
Reports of United baulking at a £60m-ish fee for the German on deadline day have been doing the rounds, but in just under a year’s time, or even in January, such a sum could be more appealing for United. Reus has long been talked about as one of the top talents in Bundesliga football, with his pace, finishing and positional versatility all worthy of praise.
Such characteristics could make him a key player in Van Gaal’s side, with United currently lacking explosiveness in the final third and a game changing influence.
Goalies aren’t traditionally ‘marquee’ players, but next summer United could well need a new ‘No.1’ with David de Gea’s contract, as things stand, due to expire at the end of the season. As far as options go, Spurs’ Lloris is right up there, with the agile stopper very much in the upper echelons of goalkeeping talent on the planet.
As France’s captain and an experienced Premier League campaigner, Lloris represents a low-risk addition, however he may prove to be costly with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy known to be a fearsome negotiator.