Manchester United’s new era started with the hiring of Louis van Gaal. He has masterminded a similar start to David Moyes’ Man United of last season, but there is more time being offered to the former Netherlands manager.
His first transfer window was certainly an expensive one as the Red Devils spent a national record amount on Angel Di Maria, and even signed 2 defenders – Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo.
However, having now struggled with defensive injuries along with having a generally weak defensive roster, it’s a must for them to strengthen next summer year if not January. United never really replaced the loss of Vidic, Ferdinand & Evra in the same window.
But what options do they have? Well here’s 5 options.
The Borussia Dortmund centre-back has been linked with Manchester United for many consecutive transfer windows, and recently he was an integral part of the Germany World Cup winning squad.
The 25-year-old is entering his best years and although he has said that he wouldn’t ever leave Dortmund for rivals Bayern because he likes being the underdog, he may want to test himself in the Premier League. Dortmund notoriously cannot hold onto their players when big money bids are offered, so there is no doubting that United could snap him up if they are wiling to spend big.
A good player who would possibly be available as early as January. Certainly worth considering, as I’m sure they already are.
The Aston Villa captain would be a short-term fix to the Manchester defensive issue, but he is certainly a solid centre-back. He would also be available for relatively cheap and Villa could hardly expect to retain his services if the power of United arrived. There’s no doubting that Man United know all about the Dutchman after he was selected as part of Van Gaal’s World Cup squad.
The 29-year-old is into the final year of his contract at Villa Park so there’s a bargain to be had in January should United make their move before the end of the season.
Another player at a club notorious for it’s inability to hold onto top players when money comes into the equation. After leading Atletico Madrid to the La Liga title and scoring in the Champions League final, Diego may well be looking for another challenge in his career.
The Uruguayan international is a traditionally feisty South-American defender and he has all the attributes to succeed as part of a Premier League team. The 28-year-old would be a relatively expensive acquisition for the Red Devils but nothing that they couldn’t comfortably afford.
Another option plying his trade in the Bundesliga is Schalke’s Joel Matip. The 23-year-old Cameroon international is a real physical presence, standing at 6’4″. Impressively even though he’s just 23, Matip has a decent amount of experience. After making his Schalke debut aged 18, he has gone on to notch nearly 150 Bundesliga appearances.
He has become a key player for both Schalke and Cameroon and although he spent some of the early part of his career with the Schalke youth academy he’s not completely emotionally tied to the club. However, he was born in Germany and has spent his professional career in the country of his birth. With the Bundesliga growing rapidly, and arguably outgrowing the Premier League, it may be impossible to prize Joel away from Schalke.
At 23-years-old he will be a costly signing, but a good one if they could pull it off.
The New Zealand international is entering the final months of his contract with West Ham United and after much speculation he’s not likely to sign up anytime soon. The 26-year-old joined The Hammers from Danish side FC Midtjylland in 2010 and has impressed since day one, consequently making over 100 league appearances.
The East London club may be forced into a cheap sale of one of their best players if he isn’t willing to sign a new contract or risk losing him on a free once the season is finished. Reid has been linked numerous times with a move away to Arsenal but a deal has never surfaced. Reid is looking for a bigger challenge at a bigger club, and although he would move down the table as it stands, it would be a move forward for Winston.
A cheap deal for an excellent defender, a good option for the Red Devils.