We all mull through transfer rumours every day, be it reading a newspaper on the train home, on the iPad while grazing over a bowl of cereal, or a quick gander at Sky Sports News before bedtime. But we all know that the vast majority of them are complete nonsense, dreamed up by some overworked journalist scared they’re about to get the sack from the Daily Mail.
But every now and then, should one be able to mine the wealth of misinformation in front of them, a transfer rumour eventually proves true.
So with that in mind, here’s FOUR January transfer rumours involving Manchester United that we at Football FanCast think might actually happen.
Admittedly there’s plenty of evidence to suggest Mats Hummels won’t be moving to Manchester United in January, such as the Borussia Dortmund centre-back accepting the club captaincy during the summer to deter Old Trafford’s interest, or recent reports claiming he’d prefer a move to Arsenal.
But the Black-Yellows have just named their price for the German World Cup winner, according to the tabloids:
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) November 16, 2014
And although that sum would be just £3million shy of David Luiz’ record-breaking move to PSG in June, Manchester United demonstrated during the summer their willingness to pay any fee required to land the world’s top talent.
Hummels certainly falls into that category and is a known favourite of Louis van Gaal, having briefly worked together at Bayern Munich. Here’s a clip of the 25 year-old in action:
He’d resolve United’s limited quality and leadership at the back too, but whether the 6 foot 4 Beckenbauer-esque defender would actually quit on the Black-Yellows in January remains to be seen.
Manchester United’s interest in Netherlands international Kevin Strootman is no secret, with Louis van Gaal admitting as much back in the summer.
Often referred to as the Dutch Roy Keane for his competitiveness and tough tackling, the 24 year-old seems like the perfect acquisition to add some bite and tenacity to United’s midfield.
He’s also well acquainted with LVG through the Oranje set-up, even captaining the Netherlands under the United gaffer on occasion. Here’s a clip of Strootman in action:
The Red Devils would have likely signed the Roma star during the summer, had he not been sidelined with a long-term knee injury.
So, after making his first appearance of the season against Torino just ahead of the international break, its likely United will return for Strootman when the transfer market reopens.
Roma clearly don’t want to sell however and have already mooted some outrageous fees for the industrial midfielder:
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) July 27, 2014
Thus, United may be forced to wait until the summer when the Italian side are feeling a little more reasonable.
Juan Mata only joined the Manchester United ranks last January for a then-club-record £37million deal, but rumours linking him away from Old Trafford have persisted ever since:
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) September 6, 2014
The Spain international’s form has been decent for the Red Devils, amassing nine goals and five assists in 24 league appearances – including this winner against Crystal Palace just before the international break:
Yet, both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal have struggled to find a regular spot for the 26 year-old in their starting Xis, unable to usurp Wayne Rooney at No.10 and lacking the athleticism to play out wide.
Equally, as Jose Mourinho had prophesised at the start of last season, his lack of defensive contribution can place an almighty burden upon the rest of the team.
So after a year without a clear role for the second-largest signing in United’s history, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the Red Devils decided to try and get some of their original investment back in January.
They’ll likely have to sell at a sizeable loss however, which could convince LVG to hold onto Mata for now.
The second Dortmund player on this list, it appears virtually every major club in Europe will attempt to prize Marco Reus away from Westfalen this January, following news that he’s ended contract talks with the German side.
His £20million release clause isn’t set to come into effect until the summer, but that combined with their poor start to the season means the Black-Yellows will be unable to turn down more lucrative offers in the New Year.
The Red Devils need another winger – with Antonio Valencia now seen as a more defensive option and Adnan Januzaj yet to rekindle his form from last season – and the Germany international’s credentials are undoubted, having won two Bundesliga Player of the Year awards in the last three years. Here’s a clip of Reus in action:
With Real Madrid already privy to a wealth of world-class, likeminded attacking midfielders and Barcelona now banned for the next three transfer windows, it seems the Premier League is the only viable destination for the winger-forward.
That makes an Old Trafford switch all the more likely, but Reus has been linked to Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea too. Recent speculation even suggests a swap deal involving the Blues’ Andre Schurrle:
Borussia Dortmund want Schurrle to replace Reus, according to reports in Germany http://t.co/HQ5FlmGI3u
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) November 10, 2014