Friday 15 December 2017

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

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

Mark Ogden

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


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.

Arturo Vidal has not started a game for Juventus since March due to a knee injury, which is causing Manchester United concern as they consider a move for the Chilean. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images


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.

Chile's Alexis Sanchez is challenged by Nigel de Jong of the Netherlands during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo


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.

Daley Blind is understood to be on Manchester United's transfer shortlist


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.

Louis van Gaal knows Kevin Strootman, pictured, well from his time as Holland coach

Irish Independent Sport Star Awards

Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport