Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal may have to work his managerial magic over the coming weeks in order to land Dutch centre-back pairing Bruno Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij, as it appears that he has strong competition from Everton.
Dutch publication De Telegraaf claims that Roberto Martinez continues to scout the duo as they participate in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, and is considering making a move for them as he looks to bolster his squad ahead of The Toffees’ Europa League venture next season. Such news is unlikely to go down well in Manchester, as it’s thought that both Martins Indi and De Vrij find themselves high on the list of potential recruitments for Van Gaal. The Dutchman knows first-hand what they’re capable of from his time in charge of the Holland national side, and is in dire need of new defenders thanks to the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
However in Martinez he will face a tough competitor, as the Spaniard has already proved that he is an astute negotiator. Having excelled during his first season at Goodison Park the ex-Wigan boss penned a five-year deal which is no doubt indicative of the club’s confidence that he is the right man to take them forward. As such it’s highly likely that they will be willing to back him financially, and his scouting trip to assess Martins Indi and De Vrij can go some way to informing fans exactly where a large chunk of his budget will ideally be spent.
Whilst historically Everton may not be on par with United in terms of their appeal to foreign players, the fact that they have clinched a place in European competition could give the Merseyside outfit the upper hand. With both Martins Indi and De Vrij currently plying their trade for Feyenoord one would assume that they have aspirations of taking their game to the next level, and with both men only aged 22 there’s plenty of scope for them becoming acclimatised to the physicality of the Premier League overtime.
Naturally one would assume that Martinez will fear Van Gaal’s interest nonetheless. The 62-year-old is revered by his charges within the Dutch camp, and the fact that he has shown faith in not only selecting but also playing Martins Indi and his defensive partner in Brazil will not be a favour they will forget in any haste. Both men looked comfortable during Holland’s shock 5-1 rout of Spain in their opening World Cup fixture, and the relationship they share means it would be logical for them to move to the same club.
Whether that club will be Martinez’s resurgent Everton or Van Gaal’s United remains to be seen.