One of the biggest clubs in European football, Manchester United, have a factory line of transfer speculation ready to be churned out with them on mind on a near-constant basis, regardless of how far away a transfer window may be.
With that in mind, these are this week’s biggest players to be linked with a move Old Trafford, including developments on those already associated with the Red Devils.
This time last year, Old Trafford was one of several European fortresses being lined up as a potential destination for Luka Modric, then of Tottenham Hotspur and one of the most sought-after playmakers in the game.
Fast forward a year and the Croat’s 2012 transfer to Real Madrid perhaps hasn’t been the dream move Modric would have hoped for as the former Spurs star has struggled to shine as brightly amongst the other Merengues cast.
Regardless of his minimal impact at the Santiago Bernabeu, The Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman recently reported of Modric’s desire to move to Manchester United just days after his fantastic strike past David de Gea helped knock the English club out of the Champions League.
With Paul Scholes supposedly set to retire at the end of the season (via The Telegraph), Modric might be looked into once more this summer after struggling to tie down a starting spot under Jose Mourinho.
After enjoying what has been his most prominent season in a Spurs shirt to date, Gareth Bale is once again in the headlines this week, but it isn’t for his on-field antics.
The Daily Star have suggested that Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham have responded to recent speculation linking the Welshman to Manchester United, saying the Red Devils can have their man—all for the paltry fee of £70 million.
Recent months of terrifically impressive football have seen Bale likened to former United star, Cristiano Ronaldo, and were such a transfer to go through, the Spurs winger would most certainly reach financial heights only seen by a select few.
That being said, it still remains unclear as to whether Manchester United will even play ball with that kind of sum, making it very clear just how eager Tottenham are to hold onto their star attacker, currently on course to challenge for Player of the Year honours.
Three years after the Premier League giants first showed serious interest in bringing the midfielder to England, Manchester United are once again being associated with a summer swoop for Douglas Costa.
Back in 2010, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were heavily linked with the young playmaker, but Costa ultimately decided to join the Samba revolution over at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Since then, the 22-year-old has progressed well with the Ukrainian champions in recent years, and talkSPORT suggest that the Red Devils are reaffirming their interest in signing him.
Costa plays from the wing and sometimes finds it hard to tie down a starting place at the Donbass Arena due to the level of competition there is out wide.
On top of that, Portuguese publication A Bola (via talkSPORT) have spoken on the matter, saying:
“With Sir Alex Ferguson looking to strengthen the Manchester United squad for next season, Douglas Costa is a target, but he has a contract until 2017, and is shielded by a €45m buyout clause.”
Although speculation has previously claimed that the Pole’s future move to Bayern Munich was all but sewn up, Robert Lewandowski’s move to the Allianz Arena perhaps isn’t as secure as first thought after it emerged that he might prefer a transfer to Old Trafford.
According to the Telegraph’s Mark Ogden, Lewandowski favours a move to Manchester United as it would be less controversial as far as Bundesliga rivalries go.
The same story details that the 24-year-old has already told his current club that he won’t be signing an extension on his current contract, set to expire in the summer of 2014.
This would appear to leave Jurgen Klopp’s side with the option of cashing in on Lewandowski’s signature now or losing him on a free next year, a dangerous choice when Bayern Munich are circling.
While the attacking roster under Sir Alex Ferguson is substantially stacked right now, recent rumours of a Wayne Rooney exit leave the slightest suspicion that a space may be opening up in the coming months.
One of countless Real Madrid expats to go and find success on pastures new, Ezequiel Garay is impressing greatly with Benfica these days and apparently courting the attention of Manchester United.
The Daily Mail recently alleged that Sir Alex Ferguson had sent scouts to watch the centre-back during his side’s 4-0 victory over Vitoria Guimaraes this weekend, a drubbing in which he managed to notch a goal of his own.
With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic set to start winding down in quality after hitting the wrong side of 30, defensive recruitments would understandably become a priority for Ferguson, possibly as early as this summer.
Earlier in March, the Metro reported that the Red Devils had told Benfica to name their price for the 26-year-old, such is their determination to land Garay’s signature.
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