Manchester United's proposed move for Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria is on again, off again almost as much of the pursuit of Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal. Despite some hesitance from United boss Louis van Gaal, developments in Spain still have many believing Di Maria will soon be moving to Old Trafford.
However, things aren't as encouraging regarding another Real Madrid star, midfield powerhouse Sami Khedira. Here's the latest on United's potential moves for Di Maria and Khedira.
Di Maria Talking to United's Latest Signing about Move
Reports on Friday suggested Van Gaal will pass on Di Maria. Daily Express writer James Dickenson stated Van Gaal wants to prioritise Adanan Januzaj's progress:
Despite Di Maria telling Real he wants to quit the Bernabeu, it is not certain he will be heading to United.
Red Devils boss Van Gaal is a big fan of youngster Adnan Januzaj and is worried how Di Maria's arrival could harm the development of the Belgium international.
Putting Januzaj ahead of Di Maria is unlikely to please many United fans. The club looks as though it needs the arrival of a mega star to lift spirits, as well as boost a squad short of genuine match-winners.
Whether it happens or not is another matter. Real Madrid clearly won't let him go cheap. Arrival would change mood at Old Trafford though.— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonMEN) August 21, 2014
Di Maria is certainly one of those. The 26-year-old possesses the pace and technical flair Van Gaal's brand of expansive, possession-based football demands.
Reporters in Spain are apparently unconvinced by Van Gaal's alleged hesitance to sign Di Maria. A report from Radio Marca (h/t 101 Great Goals) has suggested the player has made contact with United's latest signing:
Anton Meana has unearthed a couple of fresh details which make the transfer look all the more likey, speaking on Radio Marca on Friday evening.
Meana claims that Di Maria’s choice is to move to Old Trafford, and has already been in touch with international teammate Marcos Rojo this week to find out all he needs to know about what looks like being his new club in the very near future.
Carlo Ancelotti confirmed Manchester United target Angel Di Maria was dropped from Friday’s Spanish Super Cup defeat against Atletico.
'He was left out for football reasons' Ancelotti said when asked why the Argentine had not even made the bench at the Vincente Calderon Stadium.
Momentum seems to be building yet again toward a United deal to sign Di Maria. If there's a chance of making it happen, Van Gaal must take it.
His rebuilding job needs a new star. The club is strong at striker and has added two new defenders in the form of Rojo and Luke Shaw.
Van Gaal can surely make room for Di Maria and a defensive midfielder.
No Bid for Khedira
If the Dutchman does opt for a deep-lying midfield player, his target won't be Di Maria's Real teammate Khedira, according to another Express report by Dickenson:
And despite being available for £12million, Express Sport understands the Germany World Cup winner is not on United's immediate radar.
Of course, Khedira is not a natural defensive-midfield player. He's actually a more direct, power-based runner in the middle.
The Germany international covers ground well. He can be relied upon to put in his share of tackles and even chip in with some clutch goals.
The 27-year-old would be a major asset at Old Trafford. At the price mooted, if Khedira can be convinced to join a club not in the UEFA Champions League, he's a bargain Van Gaal should not ignore.
Should United Sign Di Maria and Khedira?
Few would dispute the Red Devils need an infusion of star quality. Di Maria and Khedira amply satisfy that requirement.
Marquee players like these don't often become available on the market. It's even more rare to see them land on the radar of a club that finished seventh in its league the previous season. This is an opportunity United would be foolish to waste.
But more than just headline-grabbing signings, Di Maria and Khedira would add qualities United need at key positions. While Van Gaal's apparent willingness to trust youngsters such as Januzaj is commendable, it shouldn't come at the expense of missing out on stars of this calibre.