Manchester United: 5 Summer Transfers Red Devils Fans Would Go Crazy for
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With so much success in the EPL so far this season, the Manchester United faithful have very little to complain about.
Robin van Persie has proved to be worth every penny with 19 league goals, the defense hasn't allowed a goal in four games and the team holds a comfortable 12-point lead over rivals Manchester City.
However, despite that success, United should still be looking to bolster their squad.
The following five players, if acquired in the summer transfer window, would do just that.
All stats and info via ESPN FC.
Giorgio Chiellini, Juventus
Chiellini controls the ball vs. Atalanta.
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With a league-high 68 goals scored, it is clear that United don't have much of an issue putting the ball in the net.
However, they do have somewhat of an issue defending, despite conceding the third fewest goals this season behind Chelsea and Manchester City. Currently on a string of four straight clean sheets, the Red Devils' defense has been otherwise inconsistent this season, conceding three goals against the lowly likes of Reading and Newcastle.
Chiellini, the Italian central defender, could certainly help solve those woes.
According to WhoScored, the Juventus man averages about three tackles and three interceptions per game, while tallying an impressive seven clearances per contest. In addition, he averages a mere 0.3 turnovers per game and completes 90.3 percent of his passes, which shows his composure and prowess from the back.
With those numbers, WhoScored ranks Chiellini No. 14 among the best in the world.
With an inconsistent, oft-injured and aging back line—Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand are all at least 31 years old—it's no surprise that United wanted Chiellini three years ago (The Mirror).
Arturo Vidal, Juventus
Vidal waits for the ball to drop vs. Roma.
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Another player who United fans would love to see in red—and one of Chiellini's teammates—is 25-year-old midfielder Arturo Vidal.
A brutalizing central force, Vidal plays with a physical style that differs from the finesse of Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Shinji Kagawa.
Just because the Chilean would be of great help in defense, however, doesn't mean he lacks offensive skill.
He has displayed his finishing and passing ability with five goals and seven assists in Serie A play, thus showing his adeptness in all areas of the game.
With United's rumored interest in Vidal, (The Guardian) coupled with his valuable box-to-box versatility, don't be surprised if the Reds try to acquire him over the summer.
Isco with the ball at his feet vs. AC Milan.
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Perhaps the most realistic transfer target on this list, Isco has been linked with a move to Manchester United for quite some time (The Guardian).
While he is an extremely talented player, Isco's value to United is decreased because he plays the same position—attacking midfielder—as Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa.
That ineffectiveness is shown in the following per-game averages (via WhoScored):
Ultimately, Isco is an intriguing prospect for United, but may not be worth a move considering the wealth of talent United has at his position already.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid
Ronaldo shows his appreciation to the United fans.
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Aside from being arguably the best player on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo's strong affection for the Red Devils could bring him back to his former club in the summer.
The Portuguese attacker, who has 24 goals in 25 La Liga matches this season, said he was unhappy at the Bernabéu earlier this season (The Sun). Furthermore, judging by his reaction after eliminating United from the Champions League, he still has love for his former employers.
Nemanja Vidic recently said he would not be surprised to see Ronaldo return to Old Trafford (The Sun), giving United fans hope of another United spell for the fan favorite.
Meanwhile, ESPN FC has reported that United are open to selling Wayne Rooney this summer.
This may have less to do with Rooney's inconsistent form and more to do with making room for Ronaldo, though. According to The Sun, the ex-United star is willing to take a pay cut to return to Old Trafford.
At 28 years old, Ronaldo may only have a few years left as a world-class player.
The question United will have to ask themselves: how much are a few years of dominance really worth?
Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur
Bale celebrates his last-minute stunner vs. West Ham.
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Much like Ronaldo, Gareth Bale is currently one of the best players in the world.
What's more, he's only 23 years old.
In what has surely been his best season to date, the Welshman has scored 16 EPL goals, including a prolific streak of 10 in his last nine games.
With his amazing ball control, blistering speed and dazzling shooting ability, Bale is ever so close to joining the ranks of the world's elite, producing moments like this along the way.
The Red Devils have not failed to notice.
CaughtOffside reports that United are lining up a deal for Bale in the summer.
The speculation linking Ronaldo with a return to United means that Bale is possibly being looked at as a replacement at Real.
Therefore, United will be rooting for Bale to move—even if it's not to them.