David Moyes’s successor has already been busy this summer, putting pen to paper with both Ander Hererra and Luke Shaw, but what other new faces are likely to arrive at Old Trafford this summer?
Lets take a look at some of Manchester United’s transfer rumours and determine which players are likely to be in red this season, and which rumours are no more than overhyped fantasies.
Likelihood: 35% Chance
Estimated Transfer Fee: €42.5m
Chilean international Arturo Vidal has been a well known target of Louis van Gaal for some time now, but it seems unlikely that Juventus will be willing to part with their best player without a sizeable offer.
Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has made it clear that he has no intention of selling any key players this transfer window, and Arturo Vidal most definitely falls into that category.
In that same interview however, the Serie A giants' boss said that even Vidal had a price, so the question is: is Louis Van Gaal willing to match it?
Probably not. Manchester United have their sights on other options to strengthen their midfield in both Ajax’s Daley Blind and AS Roma’s Kevin Strootman, Vidal is by far the least economically friendly choice.
Although Vidal is one of the strongest in the world at his position, it is unlikely that the Red Devils will shell out the cash to sign him this summer.
Likelihood: 20% Chance
Estimated Transfer Fee: €25m
World Cup winning centre-back Mats Hummels has been linked with a move to Old Trafford since the January transfer window, but the Dortmund player now seems unlikely to join the Red Devils.
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken decisively on the matter, with the Dortmund boss having said the following during a recent broadcast of 'Black and Yellow Talk'.
“I can assure everyone that there is no evidence that the two want to leave. Marco and Mats will play for us next season. What was said today? Mats to Man United? For how much? €20m? Such numbers you can forget.”
It has become evident that if Louis van Gaal wants to sign Hummels he’s going to need to raise his offer, but with the impending signings of Dutch duo Stefan De Vrij and Daley Blind Man U is most likely to drop the pursuit of the Dortmund defender, despite Van Gaal’s admiration for the player.
Likelihood: 85% Chance
Estimated Transfer Fee: €22m
Dutch international Daley Blind rocketed into the eyes of more than a few major clubs during this summer’s FIFA World Cup, with bids already having been made from both Manchester United and FC Barcelona, but it is commonly thought that the Red Devil’s are favoured to win the Ajax man’s signature.
Blind impressed Louis Van Gaal during the Dutch run to 3rd place in Brazil, earning himself 3 assists and a goal during their campaign. Blind usually plays in a defensive midfield role for his club Ajax and it’s generally thought that this is where the 22 year old Dutchman’s game is at it’s finest, however, Van Gaal decided to use the playmaker in a more defensive role at the World Cup, using him as both a centre back and a wing back throughout the course of the tournament.
Blind proved himself a key player in each of the positions he played, and that will surely convince the Man U boss that Daley would be the perfect addition to his squad.
Likelihood: 30% Chance
Estimated Transfer Fee: €23m
Another alternative to Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal would be AS Roma’s Kevin Strootman. Strootman proved himself a world class midfielder last season, and clearly impressed Louis Van Gaal with his performances.
The ex-Netherlands boss World Cup plans had been heavily revolving around the Serie A talent before he suffered a cruciate ligament injury in May, and the Dutch manager was forced to change his oiled and perfected 4-3-3 formation to a less practiced 3-5-2 setup.
Strootman’s injury is likely the only thing holding back the Red Devil’s from snatching up the midfield man’s signature, as he is not likely to be match-fit until November, and it’s unknown if he will be able to return to his excellent pre-injury form. Van Gaal may choose to wait until the January transfer window to bring Strootman to Old Trafford.
Angel Di Maria
Likelihood: 40% Chance
Estimated Fee: £45m
James Rodriguez’s arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu seems to have sealed Argentinian star Angel Di Maria’s fate, and his future doesn’t look bright in Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Di Maria is indeed available should the right offer be made, and it appears to be a two man race between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United to recruit the star playmaker. Although both clubs have more than enough cash at their disposal to make the signing, PSG have been hailed as the slight favourites to recruit Di Maria to their squad.
Manchester United doesn’t have a particular need to bring in more attacking talent and should probably focus their time on replacing defensive pair Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who have left to QPR and Inter Milan respectively.
Likelihood: 20% Chance
Estimated Fee: €16m
Athletico Madrid’s Arda Turan has been one of the finest wingers in La Liga for a couple years now, and it’s rumoured that Louis Van Gaal is interested in the Turkish international as a potential replacement for an out of form Nani.
Turan was one of Athletico Madrid’s standout performers in their road to becoming La Liga champions last season, and the Spanish club will be hesitant to part with yet another star this summer. Athletico have already lost key men Filipe Luiz, Diego Costa and Thibault Courtois to Chelsea this transfer window, so Man United will need to make a sizeable bid to lure the playmaker to the Premier League.
Likelihood: 30% Chance
Estimated Fee: €66m
If Paris-Saint-Germain succeed in signing Di Maria, they will likely no longer have a need for last year’s signing; Edinson Cavani.
Cavani is reportedly unhappy at the Parc des Princes, as the French side have repeatedly played their budget breaking striker out of position in favour of prolific goal scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Cavani was also left out of PSG’s squad travelling to Asia to compete in the Champion’s Cup, which furthers the notion that Paris are preparing to sell the young striker.
The Uruguayan international won’t come cheap however, and with a price tag estimated at around 66 million euros Van Gaal may think twice before signing yet another forward.
It’s also unknown wether or not Cavani would be in favour of a move to Old Trafford, as he would be in tight competition with two-time Premier League golden boot winner Robin Van Persie to be the Red Devil’s lone striker. Should Van Persie out-perform Cavani, he would likely be once again pushed to the wing, negating the very reason he would be leaving PSG.
Likelihood: 55% Chance
Estimated Fee: €12m
It has yet to be seen wether or not Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen will make his departure from the Emirates this summer, but should he decide to, Old Trafford looks to be his most likely destination.
As the Red Devil’s are searching desperately to find replacements for Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, they will be open to paying a hefty fee to secure the services of the Belgian international.
Thomas Vermaelen is reportedly unhappy with the Gunner’s, which is most likely as a result of Arsene Wenger turning to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker as his go-to defensive pairing, a decision that leaves his captain on the sidelines.
If Van Gaal succeeds in acquiring the Belgian centre back, it will be the second Arsenal skipper to jump ship in favour of arch-rivals Man United in only 3 seasons, the first being the favourite to wear the armband at Old Trafford this season; Robin Van Persie.