As if by clockwork, the summer transfer window is the next big opportunity for European clubs to conduct their transfer business, and eyes are naturally turning towards Manchester United.
Just as they are every season, the Red Devils are likely to be involved in their fair share of transfer gossip, and whether or not such rumours come true, it won’t stop the masses from speculating as to just who is moving where.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side may already be a titan to contend with as they continue their romp towards recovering the Premier League title, but the following five stars would all contribute something in improving the English club’s ranks even further.
With Michael Carrick having passed that dreaded age of 30, Manchester United must now consider just whether the former Tottenham talisman has the longevity to last at Old Trafford.
Although there are undoubtedly others who will rise as candidates to the Carrick throne, Yohan Cabaye perhaps offers one of the safer options as an alternative, having impressed massively for Newcastle United in recent seasons.
The Frenchman has already shown that he has what it takes to succeed in England’s top flight and could arguably thrive further amongst a more talented roster—something the Metro have reported on of late.
In truth, Carrick has had an impressive campaign thus far, inconspicuously going about his business, quietly pulling the Red Devils’ strings but allowing others to function as the more offensively-orientated.
That being said, not everyone can operate at optimum level in such a demanding part of the pitch into their late 30s, meaning an eventual replacement might be on Ferguson’s summer shopping list.
The latest ex-Real Madrid starlet to find his calling outside of the Santiago Bernabeu, Ezequiel Garay is reportedly on the radar of Manchester United and others after impressing during his spell with Benfica (via Mirror).
The Red Devils have a healthy relationship with some of Portugal’s giants and could conduct more business with Benfica should Ferguson deem a centre-back as needed for the cause.
As things stand, both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand find themselves in quite precarious parts of their careers—31 and 34 years old, respectively.
Although the pair are getting Manchester United’s job done right now, there’s no telling as to just how long they’ll be able to stay injury-free, both struggling with various recurring problems in the past.
Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all wait in the wings for their chance to shine as part of a consistent Red Devils starting XI. But a player such as Garay, who has slightly more experience at the top level, might be preferred to a completely youth-filled back line.
A player who has been constantly linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent months, James Rodriguez is one you can bet will appear more and more in the Manchester United gossip columns as we enter another transfer window (via Daily Mail).
The 20-year-old has been highly impressive for Porto this season and, despite his meagre age, has already established himself as one of the club’s strongest assets.
It’s no secret that Sir Alex Ferguson is a fan of buying players in their youth, nurturing them as much around his own philosophies as possible.
This season, Manchester United’s wings have perhaps been one of the Red Devils’ most disappointing areas, and regardless of the huge talent they possess there, the likes of Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani have largely struggled to fire on all cylinders.
As a result, the English giants may just look for reinforcements in that area of the pitch, and Colombian Rodriguez would certainly seem to fit the bill.
Porto have really proven themselves as a production line of talent in recent years, plucking potential superstars from relative obscurity before watching them grow and then selling them for a big profit.
If speculation is anything to go by, Manchester United are certainly interested in making that the case once more, but the Red Devils will need to shed out a large sum for the youngster.
For much of his Manchester United career, David de Gea has been scrutinised in great detail, whether his performance be to a high standard or below that of which the club expects of him.
However, since making the move to Old Trafford, the youngster has managed to maintain a relatively well-respected profile, leading to speculation that Real Madrid sees the 22-year-old as a successor to Iker Casillas (via Mirror).
As a result, rumours have begun to fly regarding just who might come in to replace De Gea as Manchester United’s No.1 should the Red Devils indeed choose to sell, and it appears that Asmir Begovic is a prime candidate.
Begovic has plenty of Premier League experience and has contributed well to the Potters’ fine defensive record in recent seasons, marking himself out as one of the division’s most consistent shot-stoppers.
With Anders Lindegaard still challenging for a starting place, Begovic would be a fine player for the Red Devils to sign this summer, and one within their price range at that.
Not much needs to be said about the possible return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, except that it would be one of the biggest coups of the 21st century so far; not just for the club, but the Premier League as a whole.
The Metro have supported the idea of Ronaldo making an Old Trafford comeback this summer, four years after moving away from the Theatre of Dreams for a fee of £80 million.
TalkSPORT reports ex-Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon as saying that the Portuguese star will consider his future at the Bernabeu at the end of the current campaign, and there’s not a single doubt that Ronaldo would improve the Manchester United squad.
With central midfield, and in particular defensive midfield, a focus for Manchester United to strengthen, Victor Wanyama would be a good, low-budget option for Sir Alex Ferguson to pursue this summer.
The Kenyan international has been a key component in the Celtic squad so far this season and has been particularly impressive in the Hoops’ Champions League campaign.
Able to fill in at centre-back when required, Wanyama offers the perfect amount of versatility based on the Red Devils’ requirements and could be open to a summer switch, according to the Daily Mail.
A youngster on just about every major European club’s lips right now, Isco has lit up La Liga single-handedly at times in recent months, helping fire Málaga to a surprisingly good standing in the division and European competition.
The 20-year-old is capable of playing either out wide or tucked behind the forward line, and the Daily Star say that the attacker could be available for the right price.
St-Etienne might be helpless in seeing one of their biggest starlet’s leave this summer, and Kurt Zouma is said to be interesting some of Europe’s biggest clubs after impressing in his Ligue 1 campaign (via Independent).
The teenager is said to have not opted for a move abroad so far due to his parent’s beliefs that he’s not quite ready for the limelight, but that could all change in the coming transfer window.