Friday 19 December 2014

Who Man United could splash out on next before transfer window closes following Angel di Maria signing

Mark Ogden

Published 27/08/2014 | 10:52

Catching the eye: United could move for Nigel Jong, Kevin Strootman or Arturo Vidal before the transfer window closes

Having smashed the British transfer record for the signature of Angel di Maria, Mark Ogden looks at four other potential signings this summer

1. ARTURO VIDAL

Why it could happen:

The Juventus midfielder starred at the World Cup with Chile and Van Gaal has been made aware that a deal with the Italian champions would be relatively straightforward.

Vidal offers the combative, box-to-box qualities that United lack and the top quality experience to instantly improve the team.

Why it won't:

United have genuine concerns over the state of the player's knee following pre-World Cup surgery. Vidal has not completed a game since March and, with memories still fresh of Owen Hargreaves's injury-ravaged time at Old Trafford, senior figures share Van Gaal's misgivings over the player's fitness.

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2.  NIGEL DE JONG

Why it could happen:

Van Gaal is a huge admirer of the former Manchester City midfielder having made him a key figure of the Dutch World Cup squad. Van Gaal regards the 29-year-old as possessing the leadership qualities and ball-winning ability to stiffen the midfield and believes AC Milan will sell for the right offer.

Why it won't:

There is little appetite among the United hierarchy to move for a player approaching his 30s and with a recent long-term Achilles injury on his fitness record.

With United preferring to recruit players in the mid-20s, with the ability to provide long-term value, De Jong does not fit the Glazers' identikit profile of a value-for-money signing.

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3.  DALEY BLIND

Why it could happen:

The Ajax midfielder can play in a holding role and on the left, while also being able to operate at left-back and on the left of a back three, so his versatility suits Van Gaal's philosophy.

At 24, Blind is ready to leave Ajax, who have made no secret of their readiness to sell players for the right fee.

Why it won't:

United have other priorities, with a combative midfielder regarded as the primary objective ahead of the transfer deadline next week. United scouted Blind during Ajax's encounter with PSV Eindhoven last weekend, but the player could be forced to wait until January for his move overseas.

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4.  KEVIN STROOTMAN

Why it could happen:

Van Gaal forced his Dutch squad to change from a 4-3-3 formation to 3-5-2 ahead of the World Cup after losing the Roma midfielder to a cruciate ligament injury in March.

The United manager is a huge fan of Strootman and made no secret of his admiration prior to the pre-season friendly against Roma in Denver last month.

Why it won't:

With Strootman sidelined for another six-to-eight weeks due to his injury, Van Gaal has admitted that the 24-year-old will be monitored once he returns to action in Serie A.

If United fail, or choose not, to land Vidal this month, then a move for Strootman is likely in January if he shows no ill-effects from his injury.

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