Whilst Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young and Jose Mourinho are busy working away in Russia playing and covering the World Cup, there’s a lot of hard work going on at Old Trafford. Despite finishing second last season, Manchester United disappointed – not winning a trophy, and finishing 19 points behind their City rivals.
Here we’ll take a look at some of the players being linked with United this summer and analyse their chances of turning out at Old Trafford next season.
Diego Godin – Atletico Madrid
The bold Uruguayan centre-back is rumoured to be high on Mourinho’s wish-list, and his signing would be a major coup for United. Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof with the greatest respect, are nowhere near Godin’s level.
The Atletico man has been imperious at the World Cup, marshalling his defence to 3 clean sheets in the group stages as was a major factor in his club’s solid defensive record last term – Atletico only conceded 8 goals at home all season. He also has a touch of shall we say, mischief, to his game and on paper seems like the perfect Mourinho player.
Gareth Bale – Real Madrid
The Welshman scored a brace as Los Blancos won the Champions League last season, with his first goal – a stunning overhead kick– being touted as the best European final goal ever.
However, despite that moment of magic he has fallen down the pecking order at the Bernabeu in recent times. Bale spoke out about his frustration at a lack of starts recently and United are rumoured to be weighing up a £176 million deal to bring him back to the Premier League.
Toby Aldeweireld – Tottenham Hotspur
The 29-year-old Belgian centre-back is currently locked in tedious contract negotiations with the notoriously stingy Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. According to sources close to Aldeweireld, he doesn’t feel like the North London club match his ambitions.
This has put United on standby, however somewhat unsurprisingly the two clubs valuations of the player don’t align. Spurs see £75 million as a fair fee whereas United are only prepared to offer £55 million.
If Spurs refuse to budge on price then the Red Devils will undoubtedly pursue Diego Godin with more vigour.
Marco Veratti – Paris Saint-Germain
Super-agent Mino Raoila is thought to be the man behind a deal to take 25-year-old midfielder Marco Veratti to Old Trafford. In recent weeks he has been offered to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus for £75 million.
There’s no secret that Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho don’t exactly get on, and the underperforming Frenchman could be a make-weight in this deal, meaning United don’t have to fork out with a large-sum for Veratti.
What can United do next season?
Progression must be made next campaign, not just in terms of trophies and league position, but in performances as well. Much has been made of United’s poor performances last year, particularly against Sevilla in the Champions League.
Better defensive recruits might prompt Mourinho to put more trust in his side to defend well, which in turn could translate into more attacking football. The Red Devil’s are currently 6/1 to win the Premier League next term, and that could be a possibility if Jose brings in the players he needs this summer.