With Manchester United enduring a season to forget under David Moyes this term, the call has never been louder for the Red Devils to lure some talent to Old Trafford at the end of the campaign. But more importantly, they need to keep hold of their prized assets if they're to re-establish themselves amongst the Premier League elite.
United recently confirmed the departure of club captain Nemanja Vidic to Inter Milan when his contract expires at the end of the season, and Moyes needs to ensure that he's the only player creeping out of the Old Trafford exit door.
With Wayne Rooney's services wrapped up for five-and-a-half years for a reported £300,000 per week, according to Chris Wheeler of The Daily Mail, Moyes' attention now turns to his strike partner, Robin van Persie.
Despite van Persie's season being hampered by injury, the impact he's had when fit enough to don the famous red shirt has been remarkable. Following the Dutchman's assist in the 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on March 8, OptaJoe revealed the extent of his value to the Manchester United cause via Twitter:
14 - Robin van Persie has scored (11) or assisted (3) 14 goals in 16 Premier League starts this season. Classy.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 8, 2014
Put that together with his 30-goal haul last season, and you have one irreplaceable forward force.
Luckily for United fans, the 30-year-old pledged his future to the Red Devils recently, and he made it clear that he's happy with both the club and David Moyes while speaking with club's matchday programme United Review, according to the club's official website:
The truth is I’m very happy here at this club. I signed for four years and I’d be delighted to stay even longer, beyond the next two years I have left on my contract. This is how I feel, although it’s not what has been suggested in the media.
From watching Manchester United this year, it's obvious that they're seriously lacking in central midfield. With £27 million summer signing Marouane Fellaini not quite proving his worth and fans' hatred for Englishman Tom Cleverley ongoing, Moyes needs to bring in a major star to restore fans' faith in his side—and it looks like he's going on a Bundesliga hunt to find the right man.
Rumours have emerged today, via Neil Moxley of The Mirror, that United are weighing up a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus, with out-of-favour Shinji Kagawa being offered back to his former club as a part exchange.
Kagawa played a starring role for Dortmund during their Bundesliga title-winning campaign of 2011-12, but he has found chances hard to come by since joining United in the summer of 2012—the Japanese midfielder has made 46 appearances in all competitions and scored just six goals.
While Reus—a player that's scored 32 goals in 77 appearances during his two years with Dortmund—would be a strong signing for any club, the reports that Bayern Munich star Toni Kroos has been linked with a move to Old Trafford should be the one to get the fans' pulses racing.
As per David Hytner of The Guardian, Kroos is said to be eyeing a move to the Premier League, with Manchester United being his ideal suitors. Kroos said:
It is no secret that the Premier League is a possibility for me. But no one has come to any agreement with me and it will stay like this until the summer and, some time, a decision will be made. It is also no secret that the Premier League is not a bad league.
When asked whether or not Kroos would move to a side that aren't in the Champions League, with United in mind, the 24-year-old German said: "I will consider everything, if I should leave."
Kroos is exactly the kind of player that United so sorely need at the moment, demonstrated perfectly by his outstanding performance at the Emirates in the Champions League round of 16 first-leg tie against Arsenal.
The Bayern Munich midfielder tore Arsene Wenger's men to shreds for the duration, reflected in WhoScored.com's statistics and ratings—he enjoyed a 97 percent pass-completion rate and received a fully deserved 9.9 rating.
I'm sure some United fans would be looking for a completely new starting line-up based on their frustrating campaign but by keeping their core of solid players and adding one or two ounces of class, they will undoubtedly bounce back to their best. With Robin van Persie's future all but cemented and deals for Marco Reus and Toni Kroos very possible, the future at Old Trafford may well be bright.