Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal may have to choose between trying to sign either Gareth Bale or Memphis Depay this summer, not both.
According to the Manchester Evening News the Dutchman is gearing up to unleash another transfer war-chest to the tune of £150 million in the close season, and has a list of targets he is set to pursue. On that list are both Bale and Depay, although with both men experts at occupying the same position, there’s only room for one.
Van Gaal plans
It’s believed that Van Gaal wants whomever he opts for to slot into an attacking position in his 4-3-3 position, adding both pace and yet another reputable name to the final third of his starting XI. Depay is the younger and cheaper of the pair, but that might not be the be all and end all given just how much financial power United can wield.
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Bale is, on his day, a world-class athlete and a game-changing performer who already knows the Premier League and has already proven that he has no difficulty in cracking it.
Bale or Depay?
This season he’s struggled under the weight of expectation in Madrid, finding himself booed on more than one occasion and locked in an increasingly difficult battle to prove he can step out of Cristiano Ronaldo’s gold-rimmed shadow.
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Given that they tried to hijack Real’s initial move for him in 2013, United would surely be sorely tempted to give it another go, although the fee required would consume a large portion of Van Gaal’s budget.
Meanwhile Depay, valued by PSV Eindhoven at around £25m, is a far more economical choice. On top of that he has worked with Van Gaal before - at the 2014 World Cup with the Netherlands - and so knows his system and ways of working.
The right move
The factors combine to make the 21-year-old arguably the better option moving forward, particularly when it’s considered Van Gaal could then use the money left over to fund moves for the likes of Mats Hummels and Kevin Strootman, both of whom have been on his radar since he first assumed control of United last summer.
From a neutral standpoint Depay is not only far cheaper but also considerably easier to get his hands on. If Van Gaal wants to avoid the inevitable back-and-forth with Real that could end up seeing them turn their noses up at any deal anyway he’d be wise to forget Bale soon and focus on restoring the rest of his squad.
United fans, do you agree? If given the choice do you go for Bale or Depay? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.
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