Where it was initially thought Manchester United had convinced Southampton to part with Luke Shaw for £34 million, the Saints are now said to have rejected that offer and are holding out for something closer to £40 million.
You can’t really blame them. Not only is Shaw a key figure in the team, he’s also generated prolonged interest from two of the biggest clubs in the Premier League. Hiking up the price should be considered a smart move.
But United should be looking elsewhere. Not only is the teenager not worth that price, this World Cup is also showcasing a number of talents who could offer just as much as the England international.
With Louis van Gaal set to arrive at Old Trafford later this summer, these are six alternatives to Shaw he and United should consider.
Ricardo Rogriguez has impressed many at the World Cup for Switzerland. The left-back may only be 21, but it’s thought that he could eventually become one of the continent’s leading full-backs, such has been his rapid development while at Wolfsburg.
The Bundesliga club are under no pressure to sell, while a couple of good additions this summer would see them as title contenders for next season. but they may eventually have to accept that Rodriguez will eventually move on, with this World Cup acting as a potential springboard for his career.
The Swiss international would be a fine addition to Manchester United’s squad this summer, and with Patrice Evra still on board for another season, he’d be well equipped to take over by next year.
Liverpool emerged as a surprise destination for Alberto Moreno, and despite Brendan Rodgers’ interest in the Sevilla full-back, nothing has been completed yet. It gives Manchester United the chance to move in for the 21-year-old, who is highly rated in Spanish football and was thought to be on his way to Real Madrid later this summer.
Moreno has very little experience at the highest level, but he took part in Sevilla’s journey through the Europa League to the final and was also the first-choice option for the Spanish U21 side last summer.
There are high hopes for Moreno’s future, and United would do well to make an offer on a player who can offer just as much as Luke Shaw.
Leighton Baines came close to joining Manchester United last summer, with David Moyes failing with bids for the Everton defender. But United could look to Baines as an option this summer. He’s been exposed for England at this World Cup, but the Everton left-back knows the Premier League well, and the England national team may not be the best means to measure a player’s quality.
The only issue is Baines’ age, at 29. Louis van Gaal has always had a preference for signing and coaching younger players, while United’s squad as a whole needs to get younger, with the view to the long term.
Daley Blind has become a fan favourite at this World Cup, with praise pouring in for the Ajax defender after Holland’s opening game against Spain. Blind looks set to move on from the Dutch champions later this summer, with interest from a number of Premier League clubs.
Blind would be a smart buy for Manchester United this summer, with the 24-year-old able to play at both left-back and defensive midfield. He’s far better value for money over Luke Shaw, even though the Southampton defender has an enormously bright future ahead of him.
Fabio Coentrao initially looked to be heading for the exit at Real Madrid, with Marcelo the preferred choice at left-back. But the Portuguese saw some game time at the end of last season with Marcelo out injured, performing well for the most part.
There may be a distorted view of Coentrao at Real Madrid, likely forced due to him playing second fiddle. But he’s very good at both ends of the pitch and is far more reliable defensively than Marcelo. If he becomes available and for the right price, he’d be a good buy for United this summer.
Marcel Schmelzer missed out on the World Cup this summer due to injury, but that could work in Manchester United’s favour. In the past, it would have been unthinkable for Borussia Dortmund to sell their left-back, regardless of what has been said of him as the team’s weak link. The emergence of Erik Durm will allow Jurgen Klopp to consider the sale of Schmelzer, provided the right offer arrives.
Schmelzer is 26 and has plenty of experience in the Champions League, as well as with Germany in international competition. He’s unlikely to cost as much as some of the other names on this list, but he’s a reliable defender who can offer a lot to United’s defence.