The transfer window is a process, that much we all know by now, but Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has a couple of moves up his sleeve yet, with the Red Devils boss claiming that there is one ‘surprise’ signing yet to be made.
According to the United manager, the club will play Rooney up top next season after the media told him to utilise the United skipper in that way, because paying attention is a two way street for the Dutchman, but that still leaves them with at least one vacant spot for another forward.
Pretty much every top player in Europe has been linked with the club, and if you cost over £30 million and can get the ball into the back of the net, you’re in with a chance according to the press – oh, and after his image rights were sold by Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo is also being linked with a shocking and unlikely move back to Manchester.
While United fans are best left dreaming about Ronaldo, there are some far more likely candidates to be the ‘surprise’ Van Gaal hinted at, and here are five options – that for once, don’t include Karim Benzema or Gonzalo Higuain.
Is it a surprise when you’re linked with a move every single day? That remains to be seen, and no one quite knows what is going on with Cavani at the minute. You have to imagine his future is linked with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who could well be set for a return to Serie A, leaving PSG without one of their star names – and paving the way for Cavani to be their main man.
That might be too little, too late for the forward, who has made no secret of his desire to challenge for the biggest and best trophies in the world, and the Premier League is right at the top of that pile. United fans may be a bit cautious about signing an expensive forward who has gone off the boil – Radamel Falcao anyone – but Cavani hasn’t suffered the same injury issues and you have to imagine will be bang on form if he gets the chance to prove himself in the Premier League.
A name that would have United fans lauding it above Liverpool, and someone who would put the Benteke move firmly in the shade.
When the German press broke the news that United were set to make a €100 million bid for the forward, shock wasn’t the word, but think about it for a second. In the market we now operate in, £69 million is obviously a huge amount, but it isn’t as unthinkable as it might have been five seasons ago.
If Raheem Sterling is worth £49 million, David Luiz worth £50 million and even the likes of Juan Cuadrado going for £26 million, not to mention Gareth Bale’s price tag, someone with the record Muller has isn’t going to be sold for peanuts. Add to that the fact that Bayern Munich will not sell one of their prized possessions without saving at least some face, it begins to look slightly more reasonable. Note the slightly.
At 25 years old, Muller is nowhere near at the end of his career and has at least a couple of big contracts left in him – he has never exactly relied on pace to get goals either, so you have to imagine he will only become better with age, and not do an RVP and decline so suddenly people are left wondering what on earth happened. A title winning transfer, there are no two ways about it.
It would be worth it to see the meltdown Spurs fans would have alone.
Kane is their darling, the player they think can lead them to a top four finish, but let’s be honest, would he really be able to resist the lure of Manchester United should they seriously come calling? For that matter, would Daniel Levy? That would be a no more weighty than the real Ronaldo after he hung up his boots. Spurs are a selling club, end of.
Kane would cost serious cash, but all ‘top’ players do these days, and there would be a danger of shelling out on a player who has only had one good season – but United are no strangers to doing that, or even buying players after seeing a clip of them on YouTube.
While Bebe is better left in the back of everyone’s minds, Wayne Rooney was purchased for big money at the time on the back of a relatively short successful period with Everton, and look how that gamble worked out. Pretty well for all involved.
The world and his wife seem to want Pedro according to the press this summer, and with Jose Mourihno ruling out a move for the versatile forward, that does leave the way clear for United. To sell Di Maria for £43 million and then bring in Pedro for half that would be a good bit of business for the club, and given the way they have gone about things this summer already, you would not put it past them.
Someone who would add another dimension to the side, but isn’t an out and out forward – which fans will probably want in all honesty, you could see a move for Pedro and then another transfer swoop coming off, with Van Gaal bringing in a recognised number nine and then a winger as well to replace the outgoing Di Maria.
Pedro boasts a goal to game ratio of around one in three, and that’s not bad going for someone who would only be expected to chip in around 12 goals a season in all competitions, with his link up play and assists being where he really shines.
How it would kill both Liverpool and Arsenal fans to see 24 year old Lacazette to rock up at Old Trafford. One of the best young forwards around, there is no doubt about that. Lyon and Lacazette may claim they are happy together for another season, but the right offer would see the forward on his merry way and both parties happy.
It would cost a huge sum of cash to bring the forward to the Premier League, but it would be worth it tenfold. To pay £34 million for a 24 year old star who scored 31 goals last season would represent a better move than paying £70 million for Gonzalo Higuain, who is older and while he can put the ball in the back of the net, the peak of his career has passed. Lacazette is just getting started.
As with many players who flourish in Ligue 1, the Premier League big boys are waiting, and United would suit his style of play far better than the other alternatives – and be able to offer him Champions League football to boot. Why would he leave Lyon for Liverpool and the Europa League? In short, he wouldn’t. United however are a different story.