Manchester United & Arsenal must try to sign €40m star

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While the climax of the January transfer window turned out to be somewhat of a disappointing dud for those who are excited by high-profile and big money moves, this summer's window is sure to be one packed full of excitement and drama.

In the Premier League in particular, each of the top teams could easily identify a glaring weakness in their current squads and they will all presumably attempt to bolster those areas ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.

Manchester United and Arsenal are two such teams that will surely be in the market for additions at the end of the season.

The former, who have endured a miserable time since David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in the Old Trafford dugout, possess arguably the weakest squad the club has seen for many years - something evidenced by the fact that they currently sit seventh in the Premier League, well off the pace of the top four.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are clearly in desperate need of a new forward and it came as a rather unwelcome shock for many Gunners fans to see Arsene Wenger failing to address such an evident problem in January.

In addition to a new striker who will surely be forthcoming this summer, Arsenal could perhaps also do with a touch more star quality in the wider areas if they are to firmly re-establish themselves as genuine title contenders and keep pace with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, whose financial might is such that they are extremely likely to make yet more star additions of their own.

One player who has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United who I believe both clubs should be looking to sign this summer is Real Madrid playmaker/winger Angel di Maria.

Today, it was speculated that the Argentine international - who has 44 senior caps to his name - would cost €40 million if he were indeed to depart the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.

If this is indeed true, then I think each of those aforementioned clubs should pursue a deal.

Now, while that price seems fairly extravagant upon first glance, both Manchester United and Arsenal are in a position where they are simply going to have to accept that it will cost significant sums to sufficiently bolster their respective squads this summer.

Manchester United, who seemed to provide an early indication of their intention to strengthen with the January capture of Juan Mata for a reported fee of £37.1 million last month, are thriving as far as off-field commercial operations are concerned and there is now simply no excuse for not re-investing heavily in the playing squad.

Although it could certainly be argued that the acquisitions of a new central defender to replace outgoing captain Nemanja Vidic and an all-action midfielder in the mold of an Arturo Vidal or an Ilkay Gundogan are the priority, there is no doubting that Manchester United could do with an upgrade out wide.

While Adnan Januzaj has proved a revelation since being trusted to make the step up from promising reserve to become an integral member of the first-team squad, there are still severe question marks hanging over the trio of Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young.

While Valencia still appears to retain a portion of dedicated support among the Old Trafford faithful, Young has never been particularly popular and Nani is surely likely to leaving the club in the near future.

Yes, Mata is able to occupy a slightly wider position but let's not be too quick to forget it was being forced away from his preferred central role that essentially led to him becoming so displeased at Stamford Bridge.

While Manchester United tend to have moved away from their previous formations that incorporated wingers in the more traditional sense, Di Maria is extremely versatile and can operate anywhere across the frontline.

Similarly Arsenal should probably prioritise the signing of a new forward to compete with Olivier Giroud, but they will also need to dip into their seemingly vast financial reserves to continue to improve the squad.

The Gunners' purchase of Mesut Ozil last summer seemed to signify that the club was finally moving away from their period of self-imposed frugality and such progress - which has seen them become fixtures in the title race - cannot be undone by virtue of one underwhelming transfer window.

When their striker conundrum is adequately solved, Wenger would be wise to ensure that he is able to sign other players of a sufficient caliber.

Di Maria, still just 26, is a technically gifted talent who has a wealth of experience at the elite level.

If indeed he is available at €40 million, then both Manchester United and Arsenal must make their move.

There are no excuses whatsoever for either side to fail to spend in the summer and the Argentine would improve both squads dramatically.

Who do you think would win between these clubs if they were indeed to make a move for Di Maria? Let us know with a comment below...

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