Manchester United currently dominate the top spot on many transfer rumour blogs and websites. With such huge and wholesale changes occurring at Old Trafford currently, both fans and the media cannot help but speculate as to who might arrive during the coming summer transfer window.
Players such as Arturo Vidal, Marco Reus and Toni Kroos have all been linked with potential big-money moves to the reigning Premier League champions. The question remains though, despite still being one of the biggest clubs worldwide, will the lure of playing for Manchester United be enough to persuade these players to join, knowing full well that they would be having a minimum of one year sabbatical away from the premier stage in Europe?
Vidal at Juventus is having an excellent season with 17 goals and five assists. Juventus are performing exceptionally domestically and a win over fierce rivals Milan yesterday will only help to cement their position at the top of the tree.
Despite a disappointing showing in the Champions League, their recent form within the Europa League would suggest that as long as they maintain their lead at the top of the league, they could still enjoy success in Europe, and at a canter.
There is no question that Vidal would add an abundance of class and bite to a lacklustre midfield at United but I currently see no reason as to why he would want to leave a team who look likely to secure a third consecutive Scudetto this summer.
Kroos is currently in the slightly unfortunate position of playing within a Bayern Munich side that is simply oozing with class. With the likes of Gotze, Müller, Thiago, Shaqiri, Schweinsteiger et al, it is understandable to see that this young man may be concerned about both his long term future and role within the team.
That being said, Bayern are currently top of the Bundesliga and have only dropped four points all season. They also secured a huge result against Arsenal in the Champions league, despite a nervous opening.
Kroos has played 36 games already in all competitions for the German champions this season, so this would hardly suggest that he only has a bit part to play. With both Pep Guardiola and Franz Beckenbauer recently confirming that the club wish to hold onto him, it would seem slightly short sighted of him to leave a side that so many tip to dominate Europe for the foreseeable future.
Again, Kroos would be an asset to Manchester United should they be able to work a deal to sign him. However, I am currently unsure as to whether the appeal of playing for David Moyes' one dimensional United is quite the same as Guardiola's all conquering Germans.
Finally, there is young Marco Reus. Eleven goals this season and sitting top of the clubs assists with eight, he clearly plays a huge part in this successful German side. A strong performance in Europe winning away at Zenit and currently sitting second in the Bundesliga, the Champions league finalists are having another strong season.
The loss of Robert Lewandowski is colossal and despite losing the likes of Gotze last summer, I fear that this will have a much larger, more detrimental effect.
When a team constantly losses it's best players to their domestic rivals, it becomes difficult not to question the drive and the direction of the board. This is no doubt something that may well be playing on Reus' mind. With Dortmund currently trailing Munich by twenty points, will it be any easier to challenge them next season, once they have lost their top goal scorer to that same side? Unlikely.
I do feel though that of all of these pipeline dreams, Reus is the most viable. Even still, would he be inclined to leave a side that is borderline guaranteed Europe's elite competition for the next few seasons for a side who may not be so lucky to say the same?
Therefore, to answer my initial question, 'Who can Manchester United look to bring in, should they miss out on Europe?', my answer would have to be, regarding the world class players.... No one.
A player's career is a short and precious thing, with everyone aiming to compete at the highest level, so players who are currently doing that and playing a vital role within their club would be foolish to change circumstances.
Juan Mata and others are the obvious exceptions. Their is no doubting his class but the droving factor behind his transfer was his unhappiness at Stamford Bridge. Therefore, it may be worth David Moyes and company sourcing more of the same.
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