With Manchester United still in pole position to win the Premier League title this season, it seems a little odd to be discussing their potential transfer plans this summer.
However, the rise of Manchester City, helped by the huge financial input from their owners, means the Red Devils can never take their eye off the ball as they look to maintain their dominance in English football.
"City can afford to do that (bring in top players) but the one thing Sir Alex will do, whether he wins the title or not, is to build in the summer,” Bryan Robson is quoted as saying in the Manchester Evening News.
"He will do that to try and compete and get back above, or to stay in front of Man City, depending on what happens during the next three games."
Having spent big last summer, bringing in the likes of David De Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young, fans have been sceptical over whether further investment would be made in the playing staff at the end of the season.
But, with Ferguson already admitting interest in Eden Hazard and the club failing in Europe, it seems the Scot has his eye on a few players already ahead of the much-anticipated transfer window. GiveMeFootball looks at the players who could do a job at Old Trafford next season…
Eden Hazard – Lille
The Belgian playmaker is one of football’s hottest properties, with a host of clubs across Europe eager to add the talented 21-year-old to their ranks at the first opportunity this summer.
Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed his interest in the player earlier in the week, and recently made a personal check on the player during Lille’s clash against Ligue 1 rivals Lyon.
Capable of playing in either an attacking midfield or wing role, Hazard valuation is very much up for debate amongst the British press, but the general consensus suggests the 26-cap international could cost in the region of £30 million.
Fernando Llorente - Athletic Bilbao
The Spanish striker showed his vast potential in both legs of the Europa League, last 16 clash between the two teams earlier this season, notching at home and away for the surprise La Liga package.
Whilst plenty of talk has been about teammate Iker Muniain, it’s Llorente who could offer United the most, especially if Dimitar Berbatov leaves as expected. The futures of Federico Macheda and Michael Owen are also unsure at Old Trafford.
Llorente would provide an aerial threat, and also a more physical presence when compared to Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez. Again valued in the region of £30 million, it’s also reported that Manchester City are interested in the player.
Jordi Alba or Leighton Baines – Valencia/Everton
The performances of French international Patrice Evra have been called into questions on a number of occasions this season, and at 30-years-old it might be time for Ferguson to consider other options if they become available.
Alba has been linked with a move to Manchester in the past, with the 23-year-old recently breaking into the Spanish national side after a string of consistent performance for Valencia, with whom he’s impressed in consecutive seasons. At £15 million, the left back appears to represent good value for money.
If United would prefer to shop closer to home however, then Baines would appear to be the best option potentially available, with the Everton defender reportedly available for as little as £5 million at the end of the season.
With bags of experience in the Premier League, as well as caps for England, the 27-year-old certainly makes a good case for a big move, and would also add an attacking threat with his superb set-piece skills.
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