Manchester United are ready to make a £25 million move for long-term Arsenal target Morgan Schneiderlin, after being impressed with his excellent performance at the weekend, according to the Daily Express.
It’s been made clear that Louis van Gaal is keen to add to his squad this month in a bid to ensure that their place as genuine top-four contenders is secured. Schneiderlin played a key role in the damaging defeat Southampton inflicted on the Red Devils at Old Trafford on Sunday, and many now see him as one of the most assured midfielders in the Premier League.
Indeed both Arsenal and their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur have been credited with strong interest in the France international for the past few months, with the 25-year-old himself declaring during the summer transfer window that he was upset with not being allowed to leave St. Mary’s.
Yet it’s now rumoured that United are planning to move ahead of both in the pecking order, with Van Gaal desperate to strengthen his midfield with a ball winner. A supposed move for AS Roma and Netherlands star Kevin Strootman, who played under the current Red Devils boss during his time in charge of the latter, has faltered due to his club’s firm stance that they won’t sell, and other proposed transfers, such as the one for Paul Pogba, look extremely unlikely.
Reinforcing the guard
As such Schneiderlin may be the only realistic option for this window, with clubs notoriously wary of disrupting their squads at the halfway stage of the season. The Saints star has made his name on the south coast but may decide to jump ship if he truly believes United will end up qualifying for the Champions League at Southampton’s expense.
Of course that looks unlikely given how well Ronald Koeman’s side have conducted themselves thus far. In contrast to United, who are only one point ahead of Arsenal in fourth, the Saints have put daylight between themselves and the Old Trafford outfit by way of winning the weekend’s encounter, and their form hasn’t looked like deserting them.
Plans for the future
Whether or not Van Gaal really will prioritise Schneiderlin’s capture remains to be seen, given that the 63-year-old has other problems to address. Many fans of the club would be eager to welcome a new central defender, whilst another striker might be on the agenda given the relatively poor form of both Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie.