Call it an early season blip, call it an indication of the woes yet to come or call it a mere fly in the ointment whilst Louis van Gaal sets about implementing his refined style of play.
Dress it up however you like, but by the Dutchman’s own admission things need to improve at Old Trafford. The onus is of course on the defensive options available in the Manchester United squad, following their morale-slamming defeat against Swansea on Saturday.
But, far from agreeing that it’s simply an experienced centre-back that needs to be acquired, former assistant manager Rene Meulensteen has told Van Gaal he needs to sign four players if he’s to take his team to the top level.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s former right-hand man revealed that he believed the new United boss needed to take maximum advantage of the opportunity to strengthen, both in this transfer window and in January, and that at least four new additions were required to adequately compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.
Meulensteen believes that the the central midfield role and central defensive role could be improved, which few will argue with following United's loss on Saturday. The back three of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Tyler Blackett failed to impress when it mattered most, and a natural leader is required to replace the experience lost with the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
Di Maria offer
In other related news it’s claimed that United are set to make an unprecedented assault in order to land Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria, with a package of £100 million said to be being prepared.
The proposal amounts to a figure of £50 million to be paid to Real, with the Argentina international set to receive a similar amount in wages. The winger was named as the man of the match during the Champions League final last term, but his future is becoming increasingly uncertain at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Whilst on the subject of contracts it’s only right that we turn our attentions to perhaps the biggest news from the weekend, with rumours inferring that Tom Cleverley is set to be offered a new Old Trafford deal worth £70,000-a-week. The Englishman was a perennial under performer under David Moyes and many were calling for his head. It would appear that he has a future under Van Gaal though.
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