With it looking increasingly likely that Paul Scholes will hang up his boots come the end of the season, Manchester United will be looking for midfield reinforcements to provide the creative spark that they will undoubtedly miss in his absence. Here, we look at five potential candidates to replace the Old Trafford legend.

Thiago Alacantra | Barcelona

The Barcelona youngster looked set to make waves at the Nou Camp when he burst onto the scene, but has so far failed to command a regular first-team berth for the La Liga champions elect with just 16 starts to date. Stories broke of interest from United in the 21-year-old, who looks set to move on to pastures new.

Frank Lampard | Chelsea

Maybe not the most popular choice, but the experience Scholes takes with him would be replaced with Lampard. The England midfielder has produced some top-drawer performances for Chelsea this term, including 12 league goals so far, but is yet to be offered a new deal at Stamford Bridge amid reports that he will be allowed to leave for free in the summer.

Isco | Malaga

The Spanish playmaker put in another impressive turn for Malaga against Borussia Dortmund this week and looks set to leave the cash-strapped club in the summer. Just 20-years-old, Isco is believed to have a £30 million release clause and is rated as one of the most exciting prospects in Europe.

Mario Gotze | Borussia Dortmund

Probably the hottest talent in Europe at the moment, Mario Gotze is a wanted man. Clubs across the continent are queuing up to secure the services of the latest wonderkid and United are no exception. Dortmund are known to be keen on keeping hold of their rising star and Gotze himself has made it clear that he is in no rush to leave Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Nick Powell | Manchester United

Closer to home, United may feel they’ve already got Scholes’ position covered. Last summer Sir Alex Ferguson was quick to secure the services of 18-year-old Powell, the latest talent fresh off the Crewe Alexandra production line. An attacking midfielder with an eye for goal, Powell has all the abilities to step into Scholes’ accurate shoes and may get his chance to show as much next term.


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