Manchester United Transfer Talk: 4 Players Red Devils Must Pursue

Michael Guadalupe@The_GuadaFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2012

Manchester United Transfer Talk: 4 Players Red Devils Must Pursue

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    With transfers underway and Manchester United already picking up players Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell, speculation suggests that Sir Alex Ferguson has at least one more player targeted.

    Having said that, there are several players that the Red Devils must pursue.

    Will they be able to acquire more than one of these players? Probably not. However, if Manchester United manages to pick up at least one of these transfers, the Red Devils will see a major improvement.

    With Manchester United having a trophy-less year in 2011-12, it’s time to start looking at the areas where they need to make major improvements. Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell were two solid pickups, but if the Red Devils hope to get back to being a dominant team, they may need to do more.

    That is, specifically in the midfield and backfield. 

    Players like Patrice Evra are no longer living up to the hype, and it's time for Manchester United to shift things around so that they can return to their dominant status.

    Here are four players the Red Devils must pursue.

Robin van Persie

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    Manchester United landing Robin van Persie would easily help bring them closer to an English Premier League title.

    It might not seem like the Red Devils need RVP because of Wayne Rooney. However, pairing these two all-star strikers together would add so much more to Manchester United's attack.

    Van Persie was responsible for more than half of Arsenal's league-leading scoring output last season. Clearly, he meant a lot to his team.

    With the Dutchman announcing that he does not wish to re-sign with the Gunners, Manchester United could be the perfect landing spot for the star striker.

    There might be some concern surrounding his age at 29 years old, since Sir Alex rarely drops a lot of money on older players. However, Van Persie is certainly one that he should consider.

    So far, Manchester City and Juventus have shown interest in RVP, according to The Telegraph.

    While we could argue that offense seems to be the area of least concern for Manchester United, adding Van Persie and having him pair up with Wayne Rooney would be of so much benefit to the Red Devils.

    Robin van Persie was one of the best players in England last year, and is easily one of the top strikers in the world.  Now that he is clearly ready to move on, Sir Alex needs to watch the situation closely and be ready to jump when the bidding for RVP begins.

Joao Moutinho

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    One area where Manchester United needs to improve in order to avoid another trophy-less season would be midfield.

    Joao Moutinho could help out the Red Devils dramatically.

    At the age of 25, Moutinho brings a good amount of experience with him. He's won the Portuguese league and could help Manchester United get another Premier League crown.

    Moutinho proved that he still has a lot of soccer left in him by helping Portugal make a run to the semifinals at Euro 2012.

    Moutinho and Red Devils right-winger Nani also have experience playing together for Portugal, and they could easily bring that success over to Manchester United.

    This amazing midfielder is also no stranger to working with top forwards. If Moutinho were to end up with the Red Devils, he could easily fit into the system and be able to play alongside Rooney.

    Manchester United have already tried to acquire Moutinho from Porto, according to Metro, offering £20 million for the attacking midfielder. 

    If the Red Devils want to improve their midfield dramatically, Moutinho would be the way to go.

Javi Martinez

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    Along with Joao Moutinho, Manchester United may want to consider fellow midfielder Javi Martinez.

    While Joao Moutinho is more of an attacking midfielder, Martinez would be more of a defensive midfielder. If need be, he could also be deployed as a defender.

    At only 23 years of age, Martinez has plenty of years to grow. Speculation suggests Manchester United have been keeping an eye on the stellar midfielder for some time, and with good reason.

    While he may have distanced himself from a move to Barcelona, as noted by Antena 3 (h/t and said he would like to stay with Athletic Bilbao, the Red Devils should not give up on this great midfielder.

    Athletic Bilbao's asking price for Martinez is pretty steep at £32 million, according to ESPN Star, but if the club wants to improve their midfield, grabbing either Moutinho or Martinez would be the way to go.

    Martinez was a starter for Bilbao throughout the 2011-12 La Liga season. He is physical, young and versatile with the ability to play in midfield and defense. He is not afraid of taking his fair share of shots on goal, either.

    Martinez would be a great addition to the Red Devils.

    Bilbao's asking price might be steep. However, if Manchester United were able to convince Martinez to play for them, he would bring much needed improvement to a soft midfield.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

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    Another big concern for the Red Devils is in defense—specifically at left back.

    Patrice Evra has not been able to deliver at the level he once could. Therefore, it's time to find a suitable replacement at the position.

    One possible replacement could be Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. 

    Yanga-Mbiwa brings several different things to the table that would help out Manchester United in defense.

    Not only was Yanga-Mbiwa captain of Montpellier at age 22, but he can play anywhere across the back line, including the left-back position.

    It might be hard for Manchester United to get their hands on Yanga-Mbiwa, though. With so much talent, don't be surprised to see even more teams entering the bidding war for this young star.

    The one advantage that the Red Devils might have is that Yanga-Mbiwa has already stated he wants to play for Manchester United to Canal Plus (via ESPN Soccernet):

    "To play for Manchester United would be a great satisfaction and a dream which could become reality."

    The problem with Yanga-Mbiwa will end up being how much money Manchester United will need to put out if they try to acquire him. 

    With other big teams like Arsenal and Newcastle also in the mix for Yanga-Mbiwa, his asking price could always skyrocket.

    Still, if Sir Alex was looking for a player to throw a lot of money at, Yanga-Mbiwa would be worth it. 

    Improving the defense and finding an immediate successor for Patrice Evra would help Manchester United avoid another trophy-less year.