Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal could be prepared to flog two attacking players in order to ensure that he has room for Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez, a player who he is said to covet.
The Guardian reports that the Dutchman has a keen interest in the Chilean international and, though there has been no formal enquiry made just yet, he could make an attempt to sign him for around £20million. Sanchez has been a consistently good performer at the Nou Camp since his arrival from Udinese, but finds his position as a guaranteed first-team regular under threat as new boss Luis Enrique seeks to ring the changes.
It’s said that United are more than willing to take advantage of the situation however, and Van Gaal would be interested in the idea of changing the team’s shape to a 4-3-3 formation, with Sanchez occupying one of the front three roles. The 26-year-old is a versatile player, and adept whilst plying his trade in most attacking positions.
Of course this would mean that the former Premier League champions would need to offload some of their current stars in order to ensure that competition for places does not reach a level where it’s having an effect on squad harmony. Coincidentally that could present Van Gaal with the perfect opportunity to push for the exits of any number of the players, whilst The Guardian claim that two of the following are the most likely to be given the boot.
The article in question states that if the interest in Sanchez goes up a notch it could mean the axe is brought down on any combination of Nani, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa, whilst the futures of Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez are also far from secure.
However though it may not be good for the club to have too many first-team players fearing for their futures at Old Trafford, few could argue that the purchase of Sanchez wouldn’t be an astute one.
The experience he has ascertained through playing week in week out with players of the calibre Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta possess stands him in good stead for any challenge England’s top flight could throw at him, and his ability to score goals as well as provide smart assists is a trait which was all too noticeably missing at United last term.
Following the apparent capture of Luke Shaw today, who papers claim has agreed a deal worth £160,000-a-week, United will now almost certainly turn their attentions to the pursuit of more top stars. Sanchez may not be the central midfielder or centre back that their squad is crying out for, but his arrival would go some way to letting other clubs know that the long-reigning kings of English football are far from ready to relinquish their crown with ease.