Manchester United Transfer News: Angel Di Maria Boost, Ed Woodward Eyes 2 Stars

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 09:  Angel Di Maria of Real Madrid in action during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Levante UD at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on March 9, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward "is bullish about bringing in two more players before the transfer window closes," according to Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail, who outlines Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria and Sami Khedira as the possible duo.

Woodward continues to receive scathing criticism from United fans who are frustrated by the club's lack of transfer activity. Louis van Gaal's squad needs major investment, a factor known since before the start of David Moyes' reign, but the club appears uninterested and slow to react when hunting potential signings.

Ladyman suggests Woodward is "exploring ways" of landing both Di Maria and Khedira, who would add significant quality to Van Gaal's squad. Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed the former's intentions to leave, as reported by Marca:

The Argentinean is a Real Madrid player until the market closes. I'm surprised to read that there are differences between me and the club. There are no differences and we both think the same thing. Di Maria has asked to leave and has rejected an offer by the club. It's up to the player to resolve this situation himself.

Ancelotti also noted he "would happily welcome him back" once the window closes, if Di Maria cannot find a new club, per Ladyman's report.

United and Paris Saint-Germain are understood to be the main contenders for his signature, as reported by the Press Association (via the Daily Mail).

PSG boss Laurent Blanc recently appeared deflated when discussing the potential transfer, however. The French champions are currently operating under UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, which limits their spending power and provides a transfer cap after PSG breached the first round of assessments.

TURIN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 05:  Fabio Quagliarella of Juventus and Sami Khedira of Real Madrid (R) compete for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Juventus and Real Madrid at Juventus Arena on November 5, 2013 in Turin, Italy.  (P
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Blanc's team cannot deploy significant funds on Di Maria after splashing £50 million out on David Luiz, despite the manager clearly wanting the Argentinian in his line-up. Blanc appeared underwhelmed by his side's chances of luring the player, as reported by Marca: "There are many clubs interested in Di Maria. PSG cannot do what we want. It's a difficult case."

Such an admission leaves United in a strong position, should the Premier League side wish to react. Woodward has long claimed the finances are there to sign a marquee name, and with reports surrounding Arturo Vidal lessening by the day, Di Maria could be the man.

He is versatile, capable of playing on either flank or through the centre and is a proven world-class talent who will contribute across the pitch.

United would be wise to look at Khedira, who can fulfill the box-to-box role many had touted Vidal to dominate at Old Trafford. Ancelotti admits the German is happy to see out his contract with the club, but his future remains finely balanced, per Ladyman: "Khedira is a different situation. He's not asked to go. He's rejected an offer to renew, but has a year of contract. We'll see what happens."

John Cross of the Daily Mirror believes £12 million is enough to lure the World Cup winner away from Madrid, but he notes Arsenal are keen on the player.

Although Khedira is said to expect £200,000 per week, the transfer fee represents an absolute steal for a player of his class. Khedira's long strides and ball-winning qualities would instantly add bite to a United midfield that currently lacks physicality.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 09: Sami Khedira of Real Madrid CF scores their fourth goal against Carlos Martinez of Real Sociedad during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Sociedad de Futbol  at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 9, 2013 in
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Bayern Munich remain a threat in the chase for Khedira, especially as Javi Martinez's long-term injury was confirmed in the wake of Toni Kroos' sale. President Franz Beckenbauer was extremely complimentary about the player during a recent interview with German outlet Sport Bild (via Matt Morlidge of the Mail Online):

Khedira would fit in in any team. He would fit in very well at Bayern, too. He is incredibly strong in the No. 6 position. He could play alongside Philipp Lahm or Bastian Schweinsteiger. That would be perfect. It doesn't matter that he lacks a bit of speed. In midfield, it's all about the willingness to run rather than about speed.

United are being presented with an excellent opportunity to sign both Di Maria and Khedira, something they should seriously consider with 10 days to go before the transfer window closes. The arrival of both, plus another centre-back, would surely rescue a summer that has tested the patience of supporters.

Van Gaal is yet to make a significant impact in the transfer market and will want to establish his plans for the future with the acquisition of at least one major name. Woodward has talked a big game in the past and not delivered, an annoyance that appears to be repeating itself this summer.

Should Di Maria and Khedira rock up elsewhere, United fans are likely to make their unrest known on a larger scale.