The summer transfer window is rapidly approaching for Premier League teams—meaning that the rumor mill gathers more steam with every passing week.
For big clubs like Manchester United, that means that plenty of players are linked too and from the Red Devils in the summer every single day. The latest bout of that—or this week's news anyway—makes for some truly fascinating reading and possible transfer moves.
It doesn't mean it's locked in to happen, but the rumors are there.
Read on to see the latest summer buzz for the Red Devils.
Robin van Persie, Manchester United
We start off with Robin van Persie, who has been an absolute star at Old Trafford since making his summer move from Arsenal in 2012.
The Dutch striker has recently spoken (via BBC Sport) about his love for United, and how the likely Premier League champions could be his last club.
For the next few years I will be at United—maybe longer. United could be my last club. There is a new challenge for me every day at United.
My development is an ongoing process. That gets an extra boost when you are surrounded by new coaches and team-mates, all with their own ideas, in a totally new environment.
And whilst that's no doubt glorious news for Red Devils fans, the comments also have a profound impact on United's transfer options this summer. After all, with Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck on hand, it's highly unlikely that United will be looking to sign another striker in the summer—not without selling one of those stars, anyway.
Rooney is locked in, Van Persie is now locked in and Welbeck signed a new contract at the start of last year—making Hernandez the most likely to leave.
That's not to say that he will, per se, but more of an indication about how unlikely United are to try and buy another striker over the summer window this year.
Asmir Begovic, Stoke City
United continue to be linked with a move for Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as competition for David De Gea at Old Trafford next season.
The Red Devils reportedly sent scouts to watch the Bosnian in action over the week (per The Daily Mail). And with Stoke already picking up Jack Butland in the winter transfer window, the idea of Begovic leading the Britannia Stadium certainly isn't the craziest rumor floating around.
It's hard to see Begovic wanting to come to United and play second fiddle to De Gea—much like it's difficult to see United willing to part with the Spaniard. That seems to make this transfer rumor a little more unlikely to happen, but you never quite know with the transfer window.
Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United
After being linked with a move away from United late last year, Nemanja Vidic has again been touted as a potential departure one the transfer window.
The Serbian, 31, is entering the final year of his contract and, after featuring in only 18 of United’s 44 matches this season, manager Sir Alex Ferguson could be tempted to sell, according to Goal.com. Vidic has been at Old Trafford for seven years but has been hit by injuries this season, and was left on the bench in favour of Jonny Evans in United’s Champions League clash at Real Madrid earlier this month.
However, Milan believe he could be the perfect central-defensive partner for Philippe Mexes, who has struggled without Thiago Silva who left for Paris Saint Germain last summer. The Italian side are making a conscious effort not to pursue targets over 25-years-old, but could make an exception to land someone of the calibre of Vidic.
Ezequiel Garay, Benfica
Reports emerging from Portugal and Spain have Manchester United "signing" Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay, with the deal to be processed once the summer transfer window opens.
Garay, 26, is believed to cost United around £15 million to £17 million (per The Express) and will come into the team next season as a long-term replacement for either Vidic or Rio Ferdinand.
I broke down this rumor earlier in the week (click here to read), but in short, I'm not completely sold on this deal being wrapped up just yet. Yes, United could use defensive assistance, but there's no way that this deal is as done as the reports are making it out to be.
Garay himself said yesterday that it wasn't finalized, and with United not wanting to lose a potential transfer target, there's no way they would reveal anything about the deal until they officially announced it. Managers and clubs are usually pretty good at keeping their cards close to their chest until they've won, so I wouldn't jump at the news that this "deal" has been finished just yet.
Maybe wait until the transfer window actually opens.
Which players do you think Manchester United should buy/sell this year?
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