Manchester United are planning a shock £20million move for Joe Allen as Louis van Gaal looks to rebuild after the club’s latest humiliation.
According to the Daily Star, the Old Trafford club are running out of options and time to bring in a deep-lying playmaker before the summer transfer window shuts next week, so they have turned to Liverpool in what would be a surprising move.
The report claims Van Gaal had scouts watching the Welshman during the Anfield side’s 3-1 defeat away at Manchester City on Monday night, though he could not do anything to stop the advance of the very slick Premier League champions.
If the Manchester United manager had any doubts about needing new signings, they will have been blown away during the embarrassing 4-0 defeat his side suffered at the hands of MK Dons.
An inability to keep the ball and some shocking defensive errors saw the League One side cruise to victory at Stadium MK in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
The Red Devils have been linked with a number of central midfielders this summer, most notably Arturo Vidal of Juventus, but a move for Allen would be a huge shock and is unlikely to be done easily, if at all.
The report claims that Manchester United were interested in the 24-year-old before he followed Brendan Rodgers from Swansea City to Liverpool in 2012, but were put off by the sizeable £15million price tag.
Van Gaal was impressed with Allen when he was still in charge of the Netherlands and he turned out for Wales in their defeat to Holland in a pre-World Cup friendly in June.
Allen may have been concerned about his future at the Reds after making only 15 starts out of 24 appearances in the Premier League last season, but the reported departure of Lucas Leiva to Napoli may mean he is given a more senior role in the side.
However, the report claims that the Old Trafford club are ready to bid as much as £20million for the midfielder, which may be a sum large enough to have Liverpool thinking twice about whether to accept a deal.
Fans of either club are unlikely to be too pleased if the deal goes through; Manchester United supporters would have been hoping for a more high-profile addition, while Liverpool fans will not like any of their players joining their fierce rivals.
There was some good news for United followers on Tuesday, however, as the club confirmed they had signed Argentina winger Angel di Maria from Real Madrid for a British record fee of £59.7million.