Manchester United are on the brink of signing Atletico Madrid centre-back Miranda, according to Spanish outlet AS:
Our sources say Miranda to Man Utd is all but done (including the 'he's looked for schools in the area' tidbit) @mufcfansindia— AS English (@English_AS) May 28, 2014
The original report is translated by 101 Great Goals, which details a less-than-€30 million deal that will see new boss Louis van Gaal significantly strengthen the club's defensive options.
"AS add that Miranda has been to Manchester in recent weeks and has even searched for schools for his children to join in the city," per 101 Great Goals.
Luis F. Rojo of Marca claims Miranda is in talks with Barcelona, suggesting there is plenty of work to be done before the Vicente Calderon star's future is secured. Andy West, writer for BBC Sport, believes the player's recent performances outline him as a quality acquisition:
Also from @AS, MUFC are favourites to sign Miranda from Atletico for £25m. Would be terrific signing. Best cb in La Liga in last two seasons— Andy West (@andywest01) May 28, 2014
Gary Pallister, United's former behemoth at the back, optimistically believes talent within the club should be priority. Stuart Mathieson of the Manchester Evening News provides the details:
The club will always try and go out and get the best but I would like to see the ones there now get a chance. Phil (Jones) and Chris (Smalling), for example, lets see what futures they have at centre back. I think if they could gets runs in the side we could be talking about them in glowing terms.
United are also linked with PSV Eindhoven starlet Memphis Depay, per Dutch outlet Voetbal International, as translated by journalist Elko Born:
Reliable Dutch magazine VI reports Manchester United is interested in PSV's Memphis Depay.— Elko Born (@Elko_B) May 28, 2014
According to VI, PSV is only prepared to sell Depay for an 'absolute top fee'. Depay has told his agent he's interested in a move to United.— Elko Born (@Elko_B) May 28, 2014
VI also writes that several European top clubs have followed Depay's progress, recently, and that Van Gaal is a huge fan of the attacker— Elko Born (@Elko_B) May 28, 2014
According the VI, Depay's agent expects PSV want about € 20 million for Depay.— Elko Born (@Elko_B) May 28, 2014
Depay usually plays on the left. He's lethal when cutting inside. For Holland, Depay has played as a central striker pic.twitter.com/vdG7RkZs6E— Elko Born (@Elko_B) May 28, 2014
Depay made 38 appearances for the Dutch club during the 2013-14 Eredivisie and Europa League campaigns, scoring 13 goals and providing eight assists, per WhoScored.com. He's a skillful dribbler who possesses rapid pace, likes to test himself with long-range shots and has the creative nuance to produce opportunities for his teammates with smart passes.
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The 20-year-old could offer United an attacking alternative from the wing, a position that has grown stale at Old Trafford over the past few years. Individuals such as Ashley Young, Nani and Shinji Kagawa have failed to impress from the left, while Danny Welbeck and Adnan Januzaj are perhaps more suited to moving centrally or toward the right, respectively.
Links to Miranda and Depay highlight exactly the type of signings Louis van Gaal should be looking for. United need to add experienced defenders—something they'd get with 29-year-old Miranda—but they could also use an injection of youthful exuberance.
Januzaj's emergence provided a bright spot among the nightmare that was last season, suggesting further emphasis on developing players would go down well. James Wilson and Tom Lawrence also performed admirably against Hull as the less-experienced players proved they can bring a spark back to United.
Van Gaal is looking to combine established individuals with newcomers, saying, "You do not only do it with stars, but also with youth players," reported by Andy Hampson of the Press Association, via the Daily Mail.
United fans musn't prematurely get their hopes up. The club will be linked with numerous names throughout a pivotal summer for Van Gaal and his troops, as "silly season" undoubtedly takes over.
With Van Gaal currently focused on the World Cup with his Netherlands side, it would be surprising to see either player join before the tournament ends.