With Manchester United regaining their Premier League crown from Manchester City on Monday night, fans can now look forward to the summer and all of the rumours and joys the transfer window can bring.
In terms of realism, United need a centre-midfielder, or two, as well as a winger, albeit having signed Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace in the January transfer window.
Who will come in?
Kevin Strootman is probably the most likely of the two be wearing a Manchester United kit at Old Trafford next season. He has developed into PSV’s most important player along with Dries Mertens, leading them to second in the Eredivise.
In Strootman, United should see an accomplished Dutch national team player, who still has a few years until he reaches the peak of his game. His marauding runs from defence to attack, with an eye for a pass, as well as a shot, make him the complete box to box midfielder, which United have been shouting out for over the last few years. With Strootman costing no more than around £17m.
It would be a low risk transfer with the money available and the deal would seem even more likely in the fact that PSV signed Sweden’s impressive under-21 central midfield captain, Oskar Hiljemark, a perceived replacement for Strootman himself in January. It seems all but likely that Strootman will depart Eindhoven in the summer for pastures new, and he may yet be heading towards Manchester. Michael Carrick in currely United's constantly fit defensive-minded central midfielder.
The signing of James Rodriguez, at the moment, seems more of a luxury than a logical choice. One way this transfer could happen is that if the desire of other clubs to sign Rodriguez increase, resulting in United having to take action in trying to secure one of the brightest talents in world football, like they did with Angelo Henriquez in the summer of 2012.
One other way is if one of the current United wingers are sold with either Ashley Young or Luis Nani being the most likely candidates. Rodriguez would cost £36m, as it is current release clause, however one is unable to know for sure.
With Rodriguez able to play on either wing or in the attacking midfield role, his signing would without doubt help with the depth of the squad. There is no question that Rodriguez would be a step over all the current wingers, especially with the dire form of all three.
Who will go out?
With his contract situation not coming to a clear solution any time soon, it seems as if Nani will be heading out of the Theatre of Dreams. Being given the task of becoming United’s left-wing magician ever since Ronaldo left has been unfair on him.
Although he is nowhere as good or as consistent as Ronaldo, he is still a top quality winger who is capable of a moment of magic to decide a game. With only a year to go on his contract when the season finishes, any club that will try to sign Nani would be faced with a £15m+ fee, which would make him more desirable to clubs around Europe.
Ashley Young may also leave Old Trafford in the summer. His £18m signing from Aston Villa two years ago has been nothing but a disaster. His predictability make him an easy opponent for oppositions to mark and other than two games against the north London clubs last year he failed to stand out throughout the season and failed to find a level of consistency that enabled him to be the feared winger he was while at Aston Villa.
His departure seems more likely with the signing of Wilfried Zaha who would seemingly replace Young’s squad status as an under-21 as well as being a qualified homegrown player.
Ever since his move from Porto as an 18-year-old, Anderson has also failed to find a level of consistency, like Young, to guarantee a place in the first team in trying to displace Michael Carrick or Tom Cleverley.
Also, in the last year or so, his weight and fitness problems have been documented, none more so than in the League Cup game against Chelsea in October, where he managed to rack up three assists in an hour but then got substituted after the hour as his fitness levels were not adequate enough to last the whole game. T
he game also highlighted his ability, which is undeniable, but the moments in which the talent comes up is too far and in between to declare himself to level he, and we, know he can.
I believe this summer will be used as an opportunity to strengthen the depth of the squad, especially in the midfield, so a marquee signing, such as Crisitano Ronaldo or James Rodriguez won’t be too likely.
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