Manchester United could be set to commence a raid on Serie A as the next step in the rebuilding process under Louis van Gaal.
The Premier League giants spent over £150 million on new recruits in the summer after a miserable season under David Moyes, and could look to Italy in order to bolster the squad when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.
Rumours have been rife of moves for superstars of Juventus, Inter Milan and AS Roma, and if they were to sign some of the biggest players in the league it could see them return to the summit of the English game sooner rather than later.
As champions of Italy, Juventus was always going to be a place for Van Gaal to explore potential new additions, with three key targets reportedly identified. The most surprising is a mooted return of French full-back Patrice Evra, who only left last summer following the arrival of Luke Shaw from Southampton.
He had previously signed a one year contract extension, and despite being a regular fixture in Massimiliano Allegri’s squad could be tempted to leave the Old Lady for another crack with the club in which he spent eight years.
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Arturo Vidal was linked with a move all throughout the last window, but doubts over his knee scuppered a move and he has found consistency hard to come by this term. Paul Pogba is another who has been linked with a move back to Manchester, but it is thought fierce rivals Manchester City are in pole position for his signature.
Evra is not the only ex-Red Devil being lined up for a return, with Nemanja Vidic another who is being strongly linked with a move back to the club. The Serb also spent eight years at the club, but announced his departure to Inter Milan back in March amid the wreckage of the disastrous Moyes campaign.
His previous time at United had seen him claim the majority of gongs in the game, and under Sir Alex Ferguson was awarded the captaincy in 2010 despite Rio Ferdinand predominantly donning the armband in the past.
With injuries forcing the likes of Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett to make their debuts and Ashley Young to play at wing-back, United are in the market for a central defender but could instead turn their focus to Mats Hummels and Diego Godin who have both shone at Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.
The most likely transfer to happen is that of Kevin Strootman to United, a move that could now be fast-tracked after the Italian giants’ shock Champions League exit to Manuel Pellegrini’s City.
Daley Blind, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini are all capable of fulfilling the same role, but it is thought his positive relationship with Van Gaal will see him end up at Old Trafford in the foreseeable future.
He has recently returned from a serious injury however, and the United manager should steer clear if he endures the same difficulties that have marred Radamel Falcao’s short stint at the club.