Manchester United Transfer News: Alexis Sanchez and Stefan de Vrij Battles Loom

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Manchester United Transfer News: Alexis Sanchez and Stefan de Vrij Battles Loom
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Manchester United are ready to battle a host of rivals to secure the signings of Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez and Feyenoord's Stefan de Vrij, according to reports.

The Red Devils face a summer of rehabilitation after stuttering to seventh place in the Premier League last year. New boss Louis van Gaal, currently on World Cup duty with his Netherlands squad, is looking to spend big on a variety of players.

Marca believes United could be about to launch a double raid on Barcelona for the signings of Sanchez and Jordi Alba, the latter of which may offer an alternative to capturing Southampton's Luke Shaw:

Manchester United are ready to go for broke in a bid to return to the top and have set their sights on a double raid on Barça. Juventus are also interested in Alexis and are planning an €18 million bid for the Chilean forward, whom they will offer a deal worth €4 million a season. The Red Devils could match these figures and are willing to shell out over €30 million to land full-back Alba.

Sanchez would be more than welcome in United colours. The Chilean star is a world-class forward, someone whose direct dribbling skills and finishing ability is suited to the fast-paced English game, and would finally add consistent quality to the Old Trafford club's wings.

Despite a trophyless season with Barca, Sanchez scored 19 goals and assisted 11 times in 43 appearances for the Catalan club, per WhoScored.com.

He is usually deployed from the right, but he excels when given a little more freedom to pick up the ball across the forward line. Sanchez is set to receive this kind of allowance at the upcoming World Cup, where he is the star attraction of Jorge Sampaoli's recklessly entertaining Chile side.

Worryingly for United, Ben Jefferson of the Express reports talks have stalled as Barcelona wait on bids from Liverpool, Tottenham and Juventus. Colin Harvey of the Daily Star also believes Arsenal are interested, although this link has died down in recent weeks.

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United can expect a similar battle for De Vrij, who has accumulated decent experience in the Eredivisie. The 22-year-old is part of Van Gaal's World Cup squad after an impressive season with Feyenoord. He now has the opportunity to impress on a global scale in a tournament that could propel his name atop the list of Europe's most wanted youngsters.

Liverpool are reported to be weighing up a move, per Gary Jones of the Daily Star. United and their fiercest rivals look set to clash on multiple fronts throughout the summer, as both aim to develop their existing squads with a combination of proven and emerging talent.

"The chances are that I will leave, I can probably confirm this," said De Vrij, reported by RTV Rijnmond (via Jones). "I am with the Dutch national team so I don't know the exact details."

Elko Born, a writer for ESPN FC, indicates De Vrij and the rest of LvG's Dutch squad could earn a move to United if they impress during the World Cup:

De Vrij, like Sanchez, would add real quality to United's squad. Both of these players are worth battling for, although it would be wise to tie either deal up before the World Cup. While it's almost certainly too late for that now, Van Gaal is savvy enough to work quickly and effectively in the transfer market.

His first impact at Old Trafford will come through those who make their way to the entrance, as United fans hope to make up for last year's summer of despair with a plethora of new acquisitions. 

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