New Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal can breathe a large sigh of relief now that he has practically sealed the deal with regards to his first signing of the summer.
Reports in the Daily Mail indicate that the club have agreed a colossal £100,000-a-week deal with Southampton youngster Luke Shaw ahead of a proposed transfer, and will do their best to conclude negotiations once he returns from World Cup duty with England. It is stated clearly that United won’t be held to ransom when it comes to the fee, but with the 18-year-old rated as one of the best young players in the world Van Gaal will surely consent to paying close to the £30million his current club are holding out for.
Other potential full-backs have been mentioned, and Dutch defender Daley Blind is also in the equation, but there's no getting away from the fact that Shaw is the No.1 target for the position. The Saints youngster has proven Premier League pedigree and is looking to take his career to the next level, though the idea of paying him £100,000-a-week may not go down too well with United fans who might question his experience. Nevertheless they need a replacement for Patrice Evra, and it looks as though they've found one.
On other fronts however United haven't been as fortunate, as it’s believed they’ve been knocked back in their attempts to land Atletico Madrid’s Miranda for £25million. Diego Simeone is keen to keep hold of his Brazilian centre-back, and even an improved offer could fall upon deaf ears.
The 29-year-old is certainly the type of defender that Van Gaal needs, and his age and experience would go some way to cushioning the blow dealt by the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. However his status as one of Atletico's senior stars means that it's highly unlikely he will be at all transferrable, and Simeone will be wary of letting too many first-team players go, with Diego Costa and Filipe Luis already edging closer to the exit door with each passing day.
Such a rejection may prompt Van Gaal to move instead for Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala, with rumours circulating today that Barcelona have dropped out of contention to sign him due to the £36million price tag on his head.
The Manchester City target has become a sought-after asset due to his performances for Porto and France, though his valuation is proving to be a major stumbling block that Van Gaal may not wish to try and navigate.