5 Players Manchester United Should Be Talking to Who Might Be Keen on a Move
Manchester United suffered a Champions League exit on Wednesday night, losing 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate against holders Bayern Munich.
Coupled with their current Premier League position, it means there is almost no chance of Champions League football at Old Trafford next season, for the first time since 1995/96.
For manager David Moyes, that means the rebuilding must start in earnest this summer and he gave a hint after the defeat that talks were already underway with potential signings, as per David McDonnell in Mirror Football.
Naturally, opposition midfielder Toni Kroos will be one who is suspected of being involved in that planning, having been heavily linked to the Red Devils for much of 2014. Here are five players United should already be opening discussions with, who might find a move to Manchester appealing.
Toni Kroos, Bayern Munich
Bayer Munich's Toni Kroos is one of the top creative central players in Europe, playing for one of the best teams on the planet at present.
Even so, he has been heavily rumoured to be on the move this summer, with United keen admirers. As per Mirror Football's Alan Nixon, United officials were suggested to have used the trip to Munich for the Champions League tie as a chance to discuss a transfer for the German international.
One of the biggest issues United have faced this season is a lack of inventive play from the centre of the park, especially moving into the final third. Kroos would be a great way to overcome that particular problem—if they can convince Bayern to sell.
Luke Shaw, Southampton
United's defence is going to need a revamp this summer.
Nemanja Vidic is off, Rio Ferdinand will follow and there's a very good chance Patrice Evra will also depart the scene. A new left-back is a must, with Alex Buttner not looking anywhere near good enough to be a regular for a team at the top of the table.
Luke Shaw is one of the most promising and in-demand full-backs in the country, already a part of the England national set-up and a possible squad player for the World Cup. He'll move sooner or later, and whichever team signs him will have an attacking, talented left-back for the next decade.
United have been linked, as per Mirror Football, but then so have every other big Premier League team.
The departures of Vidic and Ferdinand will leave a gaping hole in the defence, which Ezequiel Garay could finally fill.
The Argentine centre-back has been linked to United this season—and every season since he was about 20 years old—and could finally make the move from Benfica to Old Trafford this year. He only has one year left on his contract, so his side may accept this is the summer to replace him.
Strong in the air, a good reader of the game and solid technically, Garay would make a good partner for Phil Jones or Jonny Evans.
United still have Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick, but there have been suggestions that the latter may leave Old Trafford this summer and the former has yet to get to grips with life at Old Trafford.
A quality, yet technical, holding midfielder in the mould of a Morgan Schneiderlin could be perfect for United, but Southampton would most likely demand a huge fee for him.
Maxime Gonalons of Lyon will come cheaper, having been earmarked for a move to Napoli for around £15 million in January. United have been linked, via TalkSPORT, and a summer move could well appeal to the French midfielder. Like United, Lyon are unlikely to be playing Champions League football next season.
Andriy Yarmolenko, Dynamo Kyiv
Along with the technique, creativity and invention that the likes of Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj and Shinji Kagawa bring, United could do with a pacy wide man to bring a more direct threat that can also run in behind the opposition full-backs.
Ashley Young, Nani and Antonio Valencia haven't been up to the task often enough this season, leaving Moyes looking for someone who can add goals and pace down one flank this summer.
Ukrainian wide forward Andriy Yarmolenko would provide exactly that, with his thrusting runs and ability to play on either side, though he is more effective playing from right and cutting onto his stronger left foot.
Yarmolenko has hit 20 goals for club and country this season and would be an excellent addition to any top squad in Europe's best leagues.