Four Defenders In United Links
This time the speculation surrounds United’s defensive plans with The Independent suggesting van Gaal will spend £100million next summer on four defenders. The four are Mats Hummels (pictured) of Borussia Dortmund, Aymeric Laporte of Athletic Bilbao, Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid and Nat Clyne of Southampton.
However, the news comes as van Gaal blasts the press for speculation over a similar spending spree next summer to that during the summer of 2014 when the club spent £150million.
“I think it’s disgusting always writing about numbers. I don’t think Ed Woodward said anything about it and nor have I,” said van Gaal at his press conference on Friday evening.
But fingers are already pointing to various sources inside Old Trafford. It seems the press were briefed on Thursday about another summer spending spree as the same report appeared in pretty much all Friday’s newspapers. If that’s the case then it appears to have been done without the knowledge of van Gaal who suggested that the effect would be to push up prices for United targets.
“When Manchester United comes, the club are always asking for more money because we are Manchester United. Maybe you recognise that when I’m saying it,” he told reporters.
Hummels is a long-standing target for United and is likely to quit Dortmund if they fail to reach the Champions League. The side currently lie in 14th place in the Bundesliga having lifted themselves off the bottom with last night’s 1-0 victory over Hoffenheim. But they are only seven points off Augsburg in fourth place.
Laporte has been linked with Arsenal but there was speculation last month about a possible Manchester United transfer after claims scouts from Old Trafford have watched him on a number of occasions this season.
The main problem with Laporte is his release fee at £35million for a player aged just 20. United have experience of dealing with Bilbao when they signed Ander Herrera last summer and the Basque side will demand every penny of that £35million.
Godin also has a release fee of £28million – a high price for a player aged 28 who will not have any residual value should he move to Old Trafford on a four- or five-year deal.
Clyne has worked his way back on to the Manchester United transfer radar having been linked with interest from Old Trafford when he was a youngster at Crystal Palace.
Trio Heading For Manchester United Transfer Exits?
Meanwhile, with a raft of new additions expected at Old Trafford next summer, there is the inevitable speculation over departures.
Anders Lindegaard, Nani and Anderson all seem to be at risk, according to today’s Daily Star. The problem is whether United can find anybody to take on the highly-paid trio without costly compensation payments for breaking their contracts.
Nani and Anderson in particular are both highly-paid players, though Anderson’s contract expires at the end of the season. Nani is currently on loan at Sporting Lisbon but at zero cost to the Portugese club and United face the prospect of letting him go with a huge redundancy cheque or keeping him on at the club.
Lindegaard has already been linked with a departure if the club sign Victor Valdes. The former Barcelona keeper is still rumoured to be training with United despite reports last week to the contrary.
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