Strootman, Robben, Alves All Linked
The Guardian reports today that United will follow Real Madrid’s example and recruit an ‘elite’ player for each position. That will necessitate another transfer spend to match the £150million spent this summer.
The newspaper names Strootman (pictured), Robben and Alves as three potential targets.
United’s links with Strootman pre-date Louis van Gaal’s time at the club. The Dutchman was a target for Sir Alex Ferguson as far back as 2012, but United refused to match the £14million offered by Serie A side Roma and he headed off to Italy in the summer of 2013.
Strootman’s reputation was enhanced in Serie A last season before a cruciate knee ligament injury ended his season at the end of March. He has only just returned to action. A January bid from United is still being speculated upon but a summer move is more likely. However, United should expect some stiff competition as Roma’s American owners seek to hang on to their player.
Robben is a more difficult proposition. United were linked during the summer, but the Dutch star insisted he wasn’t interested in moving away from Bayern Munich. There could be similar resistance to a Manchester United transfer next summer for a player who by then will be 31-years-old. That’s beyond the age where United tend to only give one-year contracts and will mark a departure from the transfer policy set out under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Another player over the age of 30 is Dani Alves. The Barcelona full-back turns 32 in May but he is also being linked with a Manchester United transfer.
Alves is out of contract next summer and there are no plans to offer him at Barcelona a new deal as things stand. But that situation may change if the Court Of Arbitration For Sport upholds a Fifa transfer ban on the Catalan side.
Barca are banned from signing players over the next two transfer windows as things stand. If that ban remains in place then Alves may well be offered a new deal as Barca won’t be in a position to replace him.
The Brazil international insists he is leaving, though, and that England will be his next destination. The Guardian claims Alves could be signed for £15million in January, which is feasible but which would be an odd move by Barcelona for a player who has started ten of their 13 league games this season.
Mats Hummels can be added to the Manchester United transfer wishlist, especially if, as seems likely, Borussia Dortmund fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne is also being linked with a move to Old Trafford, according to today’s Sun.
But such a transfer policy is likely to lead to a number of exits. On loan Tom Cleverley, Javier Hernandez and Nani are likely to quit the club, though any move for the latter will be dependent on somebody matching his £80-90,000-a-week wages. Nick Powell, Anders Lindegaard, Reece James and Michael Keane may all find their United careers curtailed next summer.
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