Manchester United are said to be lining up a double-swoop for German duo Toni Kroos and Marco Reus in the summer, but neither star will want to join the struggling club, according to former assistant manager Mike Phelan.
Sky Sports and Simon Mullock of The Daily Mirror report that David Moyes will raid Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund as he bids to improve a squad that looks set to miss out on next season's Champions League.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, the failure to qualify for Europe's elite competition could determine whether this calibre of player will regularly wish to join the club, as noted by Phelan in an interview with talkSPORT's Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show, reported by Nick Rostron-Pike:
Playing the Champions League is always an issue. You are always going to be in competition with other football clubs for big players, whether you're in Europe or not. ...
It might turn into a situation where David Moyes has two shopping lists. He'll have one for being in Europe and one for not.
Despite suggesting United may struggle to land their transfer targets, Phelan also acknowledges the Red Devils still possess a certain lure and can utilise significant funds to their advantage: "The attraction to play for Manchester United will still be there though. They're making the sign that they'll plough money into the market this summer and pay big salaries, so it's an interesting time."
United recently captured the £37.1 million signing of Juan Mata, an important step against those who believe the club can no longer lure world-class talent.
Even so, the Spaniard had been suffering through a lack of playing time at Chelsea and was certainly an easier catch than Kroos or Reus promise to be.
Kroos' wage demands threaten to end his Bayern tenure, as suggested by Franz Beckenbauer and reported by the Mail Online:
Reus' Dortmund future appears more stable, even though Jurgen Klopp's team currently occupy a disappointing third in the Bundesliga. The pacey forward may be tempted into a change of scenery considering Dortmund are 20 points behind Bayern and appear unlikely to topple Pep Guardiola's side any time soon.
Both Kroos and Reus scored important goals during their teams' recent Champions League Round of 16 fixtures. The former curled home a wonderful opener during Bayern's 2-0 win over Arsenal, while Reus grabbed a brace in the frantic 4-2 win against Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Moyes will hope Wayne Rooney's decision to ink a £300,000-per-week contract at Old Trafford will attract big names, despite the likely lack of Champions League next season.
United hardly endeared themselves to the world with a poor performance against Olympiakos, who easily beat the English champions 2-0 on home soil.
While names such as Kroos and Reus could usher in a new era of success, Moyes must whip his team into shape before the current campaign ends if he wishes to enter the summer with momentum.