Breaking Down the Odds on Latest Manchester United Transfer Rumours
The summer transfer window has already seen activity from the top clubs in the Barclay's Premier League with Arsenal prepared to spend £70 million and Man City already breaking past the £50 million barrier on new players.
Coupled with the fact new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is likely set to dust off Roman Abramovich's well-thumbed chequebook, incoming United manager David Moyes is going to have to follow suit over the next few months if he is to enjoy a successful debut season at Old Trafford.
The watchful eyes of the media will be firmly fixed on the ex-Everton boss as he prepares to step into the biggest pairs of shoes in world football following the retirement of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, and his transfer dealings this summer will be heavily scrutinised.
Already a raft of players have been linked with a move to the Premier League champions, from Kevin Strootman to Robert Lewandowski.
But just how plausible are these potential deals?
Here, B/R asks that very question, and here, we’ll be breaking down the odds of the latest transfer rumours surrounding Manchester United.
The Barcelona midfielder has been the subject of rampant speculation linking him with a move away from the Nou Camp over the last few months.
The 26-year old former Arsenal captain left North London two years ago and despite being one of the Gunner's main assets, has struggled to nail down a regular starting berth under Tito Vilanova.
Last September, he complained about life in Barcelona citing his frustration at having to settle for a place on the substitute's bench (Daily Mail).
Then, later this year, news of his apparent unhappiness resurfaced with reports that he wanted to return to England.
Naturally, the Gunners were linked with a move for their one-time hero, while Man United registered an interest too.
Yet according to Marca (h/t The Telegraph), the man himself said recently:
"I've always said that I'm happy at Barca. Whoever says that I'm leaving doesn't know me and has never spoken with me.
"If someone says I don't want to play at Barca, it's completely absurd."
That then would seem to be the final word on the matter, and it would take a drastic change of heart now for any move back to England to come to fruition.
Back in January, the Celtic midfielder emerged as a potential Manchester United target after it was revealed Sir Alex Ferguson made a personal check on the Kenyan international and watched him in action during the Hoop's 4-0 win over Dundee.
News of a possible move to Old Trafford further intensified by the fact the player had been putting off signing a new contract at Celtic Park, which only has two years left to run.
The powerful defensive midfielder, who can also play at centre-back, would seem to be the answer to United's defensive and midfield woes. The Reds can no longer rely on Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic to stay fit all season while their engine room is equally in need of addressing due to the retirement of Paul Scholes.
Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs is nearing retirement and Darren Fletcher remains a doubt with his chronic bowel illness, while Anderson is expected to be sold.
A move for Wanyama then makes sense.
However, like Fabregas, the 21-year-old appeared to completely dismiss the rumours recently, according to the BBC.
"Will I be a Celtic player next season? Of course, I am happy and I love it here at Celtic so I will be here next season.
"I've not really spoken to my agent because I have been playing football and I'm not thinking about leaving or having talks. I'm not worried, I feel I am in the right club and I am happy."
Could it be then that Wanyama's potential move to United was yet another transfer window fable?
Manchester United's pursuit of Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski has been off-again, on-again ever since January, and at one stage, it seemed as though his move was on the verge of completion, according to a report in the Mirror.
The Polish international enjoyed a prolific campaign last season, netting 24 goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances while also firing Jurgen Klopp's side to the final of the Champions League with 10 goals in Europe.
Very few of us will ever forget his four-goal heroics as he tore Real Madrid to shreds in the semi-finals.
With the uncertainty currently surrounding Wayne Rooney, the Reds could be in the market for a new striker, but they will have numerous hurdles to overcome if they want Lewandowski.
He is wanted by a number of clubs including United's "noisy neighbours" Manchester City as well as German champions Bayern Munich, seemingly his preferred destination.
Dortmund, who have already lost influential midfielder Mario Gotze to Bayern, have publicly refused to let another of their stars join the Bavarian club, yet the forward said:
"I do not think that this is the final decision of the board of directors and I expect the situation to change shortly."
With the player apparently set on a dream move to the Allianz Arena, a move to the Theatre of Dreams is also shrouded in doubt.
The in-demand PSV Eindhoven midfielder is yet another potential Manchester United target this summer and was an integral figure in the U21 Netherland's squad that reached the semi-finals of this summer's European Championships.
The youngster has gained a reputation for himself as being a tough-tackling utility man and is capable of playing in a box-to-box role. Endowed with good vision and passing abilities, he has earned comparisons with Paul Scholes, who United need to replace this summer.
Midfield is an area of weakness at present, and Strootman would be a wonderful addition to the side.
He is close to signing at Old Trafford, according to the Express, and those representing him have spoken of his ambitions to play in the Premier League.
His agent Chiel Dekker commented:
He is focused on England because that would suit his style. He has the physique, the character and the fitness for it. I am certainly not afraid he could handle that level.
United's chief scout Jim Lawlor watched the player in action against Russia recently, and this is definitely a move with the potential to happen this summer.
The 22-year-old emerged as a transfer target for the Premier League champions earlier this month and a string of impressive performances at the U-21 European Championships, in which he scored a hat-trick in the final against Italy, have convinced new United manager David Moyes to make a move, write The Telegraph.
The ex-Everton boss has already thrashed out a £5 million-a-year contract with the player, according to the Metro, that will run until 2018, with just a fee left to be agreed.
The starlet has a £15 million buy-out clause until the end of August, temporarily reduced from Barça’s £77 million valuation.
This is because he only made first-team appearances in 60 percent of matches for the Spanish outfit last season.
Talks are expected to continue over the weekend but the expectation is Thiago will become Moyes’ first notable buy in this summer’s transfer window in what would be a huge coup for the club.
A deal that is both plausible and economical, expect this one to go through before the end of the month.