Manchester United Transfer News: Why United Should Not Pursue Ilkay Gundogan
The most consistent piece of Manchester United transfer news of late has David Moyes eyeing Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan. But three key factors suggest that fans at Old Trafford should be hoping United don't pursue the Borussia Dortmund player.
Gundogan is an all-action midfielder. This article is not an attempt to play down his skills as a player, because he could answer a lot of the questions being asked of Manchester United's midfield.
If Arturo Vidal is in fact the best in the world at his position, as he told German paper Bild (via Football Italia, h/t ESPN FC), then he is simply holding the title until Gundogan returns from injury to challenge for it again.
There are other factors that must be brought into the equation for a Manchester United team that are rebuilding their squad while rebuilding their reputation after an unsuccessful summer transfer window in 2013.
Here are three things that must be considered.
It Could Become a Transfer Fiasco
Gundogan is a Borussia Dortmund player, and before anything else is considered, the new deal he has been offered, via Simon Austin of Mirror Football, must be dealt with by the club and the player.
A recent report by Ben Jefferson of The Express suggests that Barcelona's team doctor met with the German to assess his back injury.
Gundogan's future is still very open, via Alan Wilson of Mirror Football, which might lead you to believe that he is using the various clubs he has been linked with as negotiating tools against each other. He is a much sought-after asset, and he knows it.
The last thing Manchester United need is to be drawn into a battle against clubs that can offer more in relation to Champions League football, only to be left wanting when the decision is finally made.
The Ander Herrera saga and the failed 11th-hour bid for Fabio Coentrao in the summer left a bad vibe surrounding United's transfer policy and activity, and the courting of Gundogan only for him to sign with another club could ruin their position in the market.
Manchester United need to invest heavily in their midfield this summer—that is not debatable. Gundogan is on their radar, but another transfer fiasco should be avoided at all costs.
There Is a Wealth of Talent Available Elsewhere
There are several other midfielders who have played regularly this season and have gone largely undetected that could help Manchester United out of the slump they have found themselves in.
The nature of the January transfer window might mean that a club can only focus on signing one top player. With the World Cup this summer and United struggling in several different positions, it will give them a chance to scout players during the transfer window.
The club should have an open mind when it comes to chasing players.
Vidal is having, arguably, his best season as Juventus' energetic box-to-box midfielder. Herrera has been very impressive for Athletic Bilbao. Koke has emerged as one of the best all-round midfielders in the game, and his teammate, Arda Turan, is apparently another target for Moyes in the summer, via Jamie Sanderson of Metro.
Attempting to purchase a player who has not played all season is a questionable call by any measure, let alone by a manager who is already in the firing line.
It would seem that Gundogan's main focus is returning to play for Borussia Dortmund and making a place for himself in Germany's World Cup squad, but this seems unlikely, given the talent within Germany's ranks.
If Manchester United are to hold their breath on Gundogan's return to fitness, it may be a while before they are acquainted with oxygen again.
The Injuries Are Hard to Ignore
Gundogan has only played one game for Borussia Dortmund this season.
The nature of the injury, a spinal compression, suggests that the midfielder's health could become a lingering issue.
The term "setback" is never one that football fans like to hear, and given the fact that it has now been almost a full season, questions must now be raised regarding the nature and extent of the injury.
Very few clubs will sign a player who has only played 56 minutes of football in a season, as per Transfermarkt. For this very reason, Manchester United would be better off looking elsewhere when it comes to rebuilding a squad that needs consistent top performers in a midfield that has been criticised heavily over the course of the season.