As supporters are all too aware, many rumours should be dismissed offhand before they are able to create false hope. Below we work our way through the latest news surrounding all three.
Get your swatting hand ready.
Latest on Manchester United's Potential Transfer Activity
Thomas Mueller, Bayern Munich
Mueller was first linked to United during the the spell in which Toni Kroos was touted for an Old Trafford switch. With Kroos' transfer now seemingly ruled out, reported by the Metro, Louis van Gaal may set his sights on a player who he helped bring into the Bayern Munich first team during his spell in Bavaria.
It seems that Mueller isn't completely sure of his future at the Allianz Arena and is seeking talks to discuss his future role at the club, as reported by Bild and via Ben Jefferson of the Express:
I have come to a point where I want to know if I am an important part of the future starting line-up in Bavaria. And [I need to know] if the club really has plans for me in the coming years. That is why I have asked for a conversation.
Mueller is reported as having previously said: "It's no secret that Louis van Gaal and I have a relationship that goes a little beyond the normal relationship between coaches and players," per Jefferson. Jan Aage Fjortoft, the German-based pundit, believes Mueller has the power to dictate his own future:
Raphael Honigstein of the Guardian indicates the deal won't be so straight forward:
United will certainly be tempted, especially as the German star can fulfill a number of roles across the midfield and attacking line.
Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona
Arguably the fastest-moving story surrounding United right now concerns the future of Fabregas. So long a figure of torment under David Moyes after turning down the Red Devils last summer, it seems the Barca man could once again represent a spectre of missed opportunity.
Jack Wilson of the Daily Star believes that Fabregas has agreed personal terms and passed a medical with Chelsea, while the Metro outline that a £200,000-per-week contract has been put in place for the player at Stamford Bridge.
Gerard Pique's hushed comments prior to his press conference with Spain also indicate Fabregas is on the move, although he failed to name Chelsea as the destination.
Both TVE and AStv picked up the Barca centre-back saying: "[Cesc] told me it's all done. He's going—33 million [euros] he told me," per Rik Sharma of the Daily Mail. Even so, Guillem Balague of Sky Sports suggests Chelsea are yet to confirm the midfielder's signing:
To flip this story on its head completely, Anthony Chapman of the Express reports United "have moved ahead" of the Blues for Fabregas' signature because Barca boss Luis Enrique doesn't want to sell to a direct rival for fear of Chelsea posting a "strong showing in next season's Champions League."
In a roundabout way, Moyes' failure to help United qualify for Europe's elite competition—a misstep born out of his lack of signings—could see the club end up with the target the Scotsman so famously pursued. Odd and highly improbable.
Enzo Perez, Benfica
United have been crying out for an all-action central midfielder over the past few seasons. While many links have come and gone, few have spoken about potential interest as openly as Perez, who believes he could be leaving Benfica this summer.
The Argentine international—who is set to star at this summer's World Cup—spoke to television station TyC, reported via Simon Rice of the Independent:
"There are negotiations between other clubs and Benfica about me," said Perez. "I know that Valencia and Manchester United are interested. There are serious possibilities to leave after the World Cup."
Perez would be a decent signing for the club and possesses the right attitude to make it big at United. Van Gaal will need characters who aren't afraid to work for the good of the team, and who are willing to get dirty when needed. Perez's game possesses bite, versatility and the kind of self-assurance that has been long missing in United's midfield.
Van Gaal's work with Netherlands at the World Cup appears to have slowed any transfer progress down, but patience is key here. United are always linked to someone, whether it's open market season or not, so supporters will need thick skin heading into what is likely to be a summer of mixed success.
Like Moyes' failure to instil confidence from the off, Van Gaal will instantly be judged on the names he can attract during his first market splurge with the Premier League club.