Manchester United Should Make a Bid For This Real Madrid Star
Like most clubs during this summer's transfer window, Manchester United will probably bid for a ton of players.
Of course, they won't get all of their targets, and a lot of bids will be made just to test the water, but there are some players the Red Devils should make a good effort to sign.
After all, there are a few players the Premier League leaders could do with—an experienced right-back, a replacement for Rio Ferdinand, a striker to replace the departing Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen, a new winger and, of course, a creative midfielder.
That's not to say United desperately need such new players, but they could do with them if they are to continue matching Manchester City in the league and the likes of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
There is debate as to whether United actually have the funds to sign big players in the next window, but it's more than likely they do have the money.
So here are 10 players Manchester United must bid for this summer to remain at the top in the Premier League and be competitive once again in the Champions League.
Mathieu Debuchy, linked with Manchester United, could be the perfect player to sort out the team's issues at right-back.
United's options in that position consist of Rafael, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones—the problem? One "full-time" right-back, no experienced player.
26-year-old Debuchy, who has made 280 appearances for his team Lille, could be the solution.
After all, he's experienced, he gets forward well—scoring five goals in the league this term—he knows how to put a good cross in, and most importantly, he can defend—having made more tackles than any of his teammates and the third-highest number of interceptions.
Debuchy is everything that first attracted United to Patrice Evra when he played for AS Monaco.
And if there's one thing United could do with next season, it's a right-sided Evra (who remembers how to defend, of course).
Possible fee: £8 million
Failing a bid for Mathieu Debuchy, if there's any other experienced right-back Manchester United should target, it's Lukasz Piszczek.
The Borussia Dortmund defender, also 26, is another player who can attack and defend brilliantly—making seven assists and scoring three goals in the Bundesliga this season, along with winning 80 tackles and 57 interceptions.
Piszczek hasn't been linked with United yet, but he'd certainly be a great option for the Red Devils if they can tempt Dortmund to sell, especially since he plays the United way with his keen eye to pass and always get involved on the wing.
And if United do want him, they'll have to make a bid before Euro 2012, as his valuation will no doubt soar following the tournament.
Possible fee: £9 million
Rio Ferdinand is getting old, and with it unclear whether Nemanja Vidic will return to his past form, Manchester United could do with a new hard-man centre-back.
Mehdi Benatia, the 24-year-old linked with United, could be that player.
His tough-tackling approach has seen his side concede the third-fewest amount of goals in the league, with intimidation factor aplenty in the Morocco international.
If United are not to be dominated by any strikeforce next term, they could do with Mehdi Benatia.
Possible fee: £10 million
If Manchester United are to stick with a 4-4-2 next season and deploy two deep-lying playmakers, then Villarreal talisman Bruno Soriano could be the man to fill the gap left by Paul Scholes.
The 27-year-old holding midfielder is one of the most underrated players in Europe, does the defensive work better than most in La Liga and is easily the best defensive mid, barring Xabi Alonso, in Spain's top-flight.
He wins more tackles than almost all of United's players and makes twice as many interceptions than United's best in that area—Michael Carrick.
And in terms of acting out that playmaker role, Bruno pings around 5.5 long balls per game on average, better than all of United's players apart from Scholes (of course) and Wayne Rooney.
However, with an 82 percent success rate, the Spaniard has better accuracy with his long balls than any United player.
So all in all, he'd be a good improvement on the current team.
Possible fee: £15 million (release clause £22 million)
Nuri Sahin, who's been linked with a move to Manchester United, could be the perfect option to fill the gap in midfield.
As another deep-lying playmaker, the 23-year-old Real Madrid star has struggled with a lack of game time this season but proved his quality last term with Borussia Dortmund, where he was by far the Bundesliga's best player.
So it's important to look at his form in the previous campaign to judge his ability.
And in 2010-11 he was sensational. From defensive midfield he scored six league goals and made eight assists in 30 games.
He also created, on average, 3.5 direct goalscoring chances for teammates every game, put in 2.6 crosses per game which teammates connected with and combined that with winning 3.7 tackles per game and making 2.7 interceptions per match—all of which has been better than United's players.
He'd make a huge impact on the United team and, having not played much for Madrid this season, could be sold at true market value.
Possible fee: £16 million
Perhaps out of anybody in world football, Modric could be the perfect man to replace Paul Scholes.
After all, he currently hits more accurate long balls than the legendary Scholes (and any other United player) and creates more goalscoring chances for teammates than any of United's players.
Plus, he's set up 13 one-on-ones for teammates this season, better than any player in the Premier League barring David Silva and Alex Song.
Modric should be United's No.1 target this summer, but whether they actually get him is another story altogether.
Possible fee: £35 million
Manchester United will no doubt want to gain revenge on Athletic Bilbao for that drubbing they received over two legs in the Europa League.
And whilst some might predict they'll go for Javi Martinez, Iker Muniain, Fernando Llorente, and maybe Andoni Iraola, the best player they could sign from Athletic would be Markel Susaeta.
Because out of all of Los Leones' players, 24-year-old Susaeta is the most adapted to United's style of play.
An old fashioned winger who likes to get to the byline and cross, Susaeta is reminiscent of Antonio Valencia, and if there's a replica United player the Red Devils need in their team, it's one like Valencia.
Susaeta has been Athletic's most consistent player this season—scoring 10 goals and making 12 assists—and is already a player with a ton of experience, having made over 270 professional appearances in his career thus far.
United could do with a fourth winger, given that forever-man Ryan Giggs has to retire at some point, and the apparently forever-underrated Park Ji-Sung hasn't hit the ratings this season.
And the Old Trafford club would be very wise indeed to snap up Markel Susaeta, who also has a very good potential resale value.
Possible fee: £8 million
To maintain their status as having one of the best scouting networks in world football, as well as the new market that's opened up for them in Mexico, Manchester United could do with signing the next Javier Hernandez.
Right-sided winger Javier Aquino could be that player, with the 22-year-old one of Mexican football's top upcoming youngsters.
This season in the league, the six-capped Mexico international has scored a goal and made seven assists in 15 appearances.
But what's remarkable about that is the fact he's done it from just four starts—proving not just how efficient he can be but also the sheer potential this man has.
There'd be a plethora possibilities, both on and off the field, open to United if they signed Javier Aquino.
Possible fee: £4 million
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has been in the form of his life at the moment, scoring 40 goals in 38 games so far this season.
His goal tally speaks for itself, while the veteran Netherlands' forward has also chipped in with 13 assists this term.
Given that he'll also be available at an affordable price, fits into United's system, has the right style and technical ability to be a success in the Premier League and would receive a plethora of chances from the midfield, Huntelaar would be a perfect acquisition for the Red Devils.
If there's any chance to sign him this summer, Sir Alex Ferguson should go for it.
Possible fee: £18 million