Clubs up and down the Premier League are set for intriguing summer transfer windows, but Manchester United’s possible business looks to be more intriguing than most teams’.
The Red Devils are firmly on course to return to the Champions League and have been linked with a host of talented players in recent times, which, given their financial muscle, could mean that comings and goings will be commonplace in a few months’ time.
Louis van Gaal has his feet firmly under the Old Trafford table after a shaky start and looks to have settled on a system, which could see players tailored to his plans coming in, rather than big money vanity purchases such as Angel Di Maria.
Of course deadwood will be chopped, too… so here are THREE we at FFC Towers feel United should buy, and THREE they should offload.
This one looks to be turning into a transfer saga already, with both United and Liverpool chasing the PSV Eindhoven sensation.
The Merseysiders appear to be leading the way, but the Red Devils should be seriously looking at getting a deal done, as all the signs point towards him being a top talent and one suited to Old Trafford.
For a start, Louis van Gaal coached him in the Netherlands set-up prior to taking change at United, so he knows his game inside out. Second, he’s netted 21 goals this season for the Dutch champions.
Third, he’s just 21, so he has his best years ahead of him.
Hailed by many as one of the signings of last summer, Falcao has been a disaster at United.
Once prolific, the Colombian has netted paltry four goals in all competitions, with a serious knee injury having robbed him of the explosiveness that made him so feared at Porto and Atletico Madrid.
United are lucky in the fact they are only loaning Falcao, so he should be Monaco’s problem in a few months’ time, but there is the lingering issue surrounding a clause in the deal which could allow United to keep him, which hasn’t been officially rules out yet.
His struggles at PSG – competing with Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a striker berth – led many to suggest that the Uruguayan had lost his touch, however, anyone who watched the Parisians knock Chelsea out of the Champions League will testify that he hasn’t.
‘El Matador’ was excellent against the Blues, showing his pace, power and eye for goal in a compete performance, particularly in the first leg at the Parc des Princes.
United have since been linked with a £55m move, and although that’s a lot of cash, Cavani has the talent to lead the line and offer a very different threat than the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.
Although the Dutchman wants to stay put, it may be time for Van Persie to be shifted on.
The 31-year-old appears to lack the pace and physicality he once had, while his role in Louis van Gaal’s 4-3-3 looks uncertain with Rooney very much the best option the Dutchman has now.
Bringing in a substantial amount of cash for the ex-Arsenal man is unlikely, but removing his salary and freeing up space in the squad are both positives.
Although Man United fans have been screaming for Mats Hummels, Nicolas Otamendi appears to be a genuine top target for LVG.
The Argentine, albeit not as adept on the ball as the Dortmund ace, offers more physicality and leadership from the back, which have both been on show in an impressive Valencia side this season.
United lack a commanding presence at the back, which Otamendi would certainly be able to offer. He can also play at right-back, which is a bonus for LVG.
Perhaps the player to have looked most out of his depth during Van Gaal’s tenure, this summer could be the end fir Rafael.
Once such a promising talent, the Brazilian’s shortage of positional awareness, ill-discipline and general lack of development are alarming, and with Antonio Valencia regularly chosen ahead of him to play at right-back, the writing is very much on the wall.