As Manchester United mull over potential summer targets hand picked by Louis van Gaal, rivals both European and domestically are making statement signings to strengthen their squads for next season. Despite a host of players being linked, one of those which has stood out and seems fairly realistic is Barcelona and Chile winger Alexis Sanchez, who has shone during the current World Cup.
Sanchez, who moved to the Catalan giants in a €26 million deal in 2011, is a two footed, quick, tricky winger who's ability to dribble and score is akin to some of the best around. He has been relatively successful in his time in Spain, winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa with Barcelona. In his 88 appearances over his three seasons there, he has hit an impressive 39 goals.
Whilst Sanchez has been in good form when played, first-team chances have been scattered, especially during last season when he was dropped for important games like Barcelona's rival matches with Real Madrid.
His role has been weakened too with fellow winger Pedro seemingly further up in Barcelona's thoughts ahead of Sanchez, and it appears both the club and player are ready to part ways. Some papers claim that a deal could be reached for as little as £25 million.
This is perfect news for Manchester United, who's fans will be the first to admit their wingers have been less than impressive for the past few seasons. Antonio Valencia has been disappointing since his impressive start to his Red Devils career, with his one-footed nature being exploited now on a regular basis.
Nani and Ashley Young too have been inconsistent and both would agree their time at the club is coming to an end.
Sanchez could the ideal replacement to these likely summer departures and would add some much needed flair to the Old Trafford attacking ranks. Van Gaal has publicly stated his admiration for two-footed wingers who can beat full-backs or bag a few goals in a game - the Chilean winger fits the bill and is surely a target for the Dutch boss.
Manchester United have been lacking an exciting winger ever since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure back in 2009 and with such an appealing price tag and willingness to move on from Catalonia, the club must move for Sanchez sooner rather than later, especially if his price tag rises during the World Cup.
With Juventus and Arsenal also credited with an interest in his services - an unusual from Manchester United's perspective anyway - quick transfer has to be pulled off in order to secure his signature.
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