Even though Manchester United have spent around £80m to snap up some top stars and have now followed their splurge with a move for World Cup finalist Sergio Romero, there is still much work to be done at Old Trafford. With the transfer window stretching into the new season (it closes at 6pm on September 1st) there is still plenty of time for Louis van Gaal to carry on splashing the cash – which he may plenty of with Angel Di Maria nearing a move to Paris Saint-Germain!
All of this got brains into gear in Football FanCast HQ. United can attract almost any player they so desire through their reputation and vast financial backing, but who do the fans actually want on the pitch at Old Trafford? Well, using our unique ‘up/down’ voting stem over 10,000 Red Devils have had their say on which players they want, and which they don’t… and here are the FIVE that came out on top.
A saga born from the David de Gea ‘will he? Won’t he’ Real Madrid episode, the centre-back has emerged as a major target for LVG in recent times. Although there are now suggestions that Ramos will indeed stay at the Bernabeu, he’s still a wanted man among the Old Trafford faithful.
A capable, experienced and commanding enforcer, the 29-year-old Spaniard’s talents are clearly appreciated by the fans, who are, perhaps, hopeful he could bring out the best in Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
In at No.4 is Muller. The Germany international has not truly been celebrated as one of the world’s best strikers, but his talents deserve greater recognition than some names floating around the rumour mill. With a fearsome record in front of goal for Germany almost one in two for the reigning world champions he knows how to convert chances and with 10 in World Cup action to his name already, he’s proven on the very biggest stage – he needs only six more across his career to level compatriot Miroslav Klose’s record return.
His presence at United would give Van Gaal another attacking option and, potentially, allow Rooney to drop into a more reserved role.
Taking the bronze medal we have another World Cup winner in the shape of Pedro. Not so long ago the Spaniard would have been nearly impossible to lure away from the Nou Camp, but Luis Suarez’s arrival last year has pushed him down the pecking order, and a new contract, penned not long ago, has reduced his release clause to around £22m – well within Van Gaal’s budget.
Although a striker is obviously needed, United fans seem to appreciate the 27-year-old’s talents from wide on the right or left flank, where he is, if not a truly glamorous name, massively effective.
Even though he’s a certified Old Trafford legend, Ronaldo comes in at No.2. The Portuguese attacker has been linked with a return to United in almost every window for the past two to three years, yet he, for pretty obvious reasons, remains the talisman at Real Madrid.
Even though he’ll be 31 in February, ‘Ronny’ is still in absolute peak physical condition, and could easily lead the line at United, or operate from his favoured left-flank role, for years to come. However, he would not come cheap… but that’s not the fans’ problem!
Aaaaaaaaand in at No.1 is Otamendi. Even though the glamour of goals and tricks seduces many, United fans are clearly in agreement that a genuine leader at the back is needed if their side are to be serious title contenders. The Argentine appears to be a major target, even though Valencia’s £36m price-tag is an issue.
A full Argentina international and a heroic defender, the 27-year-old is about to enter his peak years and is surely motivated for all the right reasons to make a move to United – which is a debatable subject with Sergio Ramos.
Of the eight names we put forward Fernando Llorente proved about as popular as David Moyes, while Alexandre Lacazette and Jasper Cillessen also received minimal attention.