Manchester United find themselves going through another period of transition, just nine months after beginning a similar process with David Moyes.
With the World Cup dominating the landscape over the summer, both managerial and transfer business needs to be concluded at Old Trafford as swiftly as is practicable.
The immediate futures of Robin van Persie and others may well be linked to the acquisition of a new man, so Ed Woodward and the Glazer family could have their work cut out to ensure that the club doesn't amble through another unsuccessful transfer window.
Louis van Gaal has been installed as the early favourite to take the reins at Old Trafford, and it is unclear whether the current Holland manager has had a say in any rumoured incoming targets.
Per Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail, the club certainly appears to be willing to spend big to bring the glory days back.
The Dutch national team coach will be occupied with World Cup commitments from May 7, per Chris Wheeler’s report in the Daily Mail, so it’s imperative that United conclude their business now if they want him at the helm.
Van Gaal’s captain would surely be enthused at the prospect of working with his manager at club level, and such a move managerially may well put paid to rumours of Van Persie heading out of the club.
The player himself has already attempted to put paid to the notion that he sees his future away from Manchester in any event, when he told the United Review via Jamie Jackson of the Guardian:
The truth is I'm very happy 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.
Whether the club are happy to keep him is another issue.
Football Direct News even consider the possibility of a swap deal.
According to multiple sources including Jack De Menezes of the Independent, Cavani is ready to look at his future at the end of the season.
PSG’s record signing has apparently become disillusioned at being pushed out wide and playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Uruguayan won’t come cheap, however, with a figure in the region of £60 million being bandied around.
A real "old school" centre-forward, Cavani certainly presents an entirely different attacking threat to Van Persie but one that would be well suited to the Premier League.
It’s a league that the player appears happy to play in, telling per L’Equipe via ESPN:
I'm good in Paris, but there are some things that I'll have to talk to the club about.
[…] Certain things should be done differently. Today I defend a lot, I have another idea of what my role in the team should be.
[…] The Premier League? I like it. Was my agent in London in February? I do not know, honestly.
Whether Cavani’s bullish style would fit in with any new manager’s idea of how he would like to play football is purely a matter of conjecture at this stage.
Adam Lallana/Luke Shaw
Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton side have seduced everyone during the current Premier League season via a hugely entertaining and attacking brand of football.
A number of players have been given licence to shine throughout the campaign, and both Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw have met the challenge with aplomb.
Talks for Shaw are understood by the paper to be at an advance stage, and the left-back could make the move for a fee in the region of £30 million.
Lallana will cost just a few million less as United go all out to secure their primary transfer targets.
Despite a fairly unequivocal "no: from the player when United came calling last time, the landscape in Catalonia has changed.
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail detailed the jeers that Fabregas is receiving from home fans every time he touches the ball, and such a scenario is likely to force the player's hand.
Team-mate Andres Iniesta noted: "Of course it hurts to see Cesc jeered.
"You try to ignore it and hope it does not happen, but these situations are not comfortable."
With United leading the queue of suitors to repatriate the player back to the Premier League, any move could well hinge on Barca’s own hire of a new manager.
Clearly the money men at United are working overtime to be at the sharp end when players become available.
Two extremely poor past transfer windows cannot be allowed to be replicated, and a club of United’s stature, regardless of a lack of Champions League football, should still be able to attract the world’s best players.
Should Manchester United be successful in concluding their business with the players identified signing on the dotted line, there is every likelihood that this time next season the Red Devils will be back where they belong.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!