Manchester United started the 2014-15 Premier League season in disappointing fashion but fans shouldn't despair. If the latest reports are to be believed, Louis van Gaal has identified several transfer targets to help strengthen the team, including some world-class names.
With one week left in the 2014 summer transfer window, at least one more top player is expected to join the Red Devils, who have been ravaged by injuries early in the season.
Here's the latest buzz surrounding United's top transfer targets.
Angel Di Maria
Sky Sports' Guillem Balague confirmed the Argentine speedster is on his way to Old Trafford, seemingly bringing one of the summer's biggest transfer sagas to an end:
At long last there is significant movement in the seemingly never ending, ‘Will he stay or will he go’ saga of Angel di Maria. It now looks certain that he will leave Real Madrid and become a Manchester United player. The final meetings will take place at the beginning of next week.
United will pay between 60-70 million Euros (£48-55m) for the player. More than 60. A great deal for Madrid.
United will reportedly break the British transfer record to secure the winger, an area Van Gaal had previously identified as a weakness in his squad.
While the reported price tag is certainly steep, there's no denying the Red Devils will be adding one of the world's best players. Di Maria was instrumental in Real Madrid's Decima win last season, often overshadowing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League.
As shared by Sky Sports News HQ, his 2013-14 season was one for the ages:
A classic winger with the versatility to move in a central role, Di Maria will add a new dimension to a United attack that should become one of the best in the Premier League with this latest addition.
While he certainly won't solve any of the issues the Red Devils still have on the defensive side of the ball, fans should be very excited the mercurial Di Maria will reportedly soon be suiting up for the Mancunians.
The one rumour that just won't go away. BeIN Sports' Tancredi Palmeri (h/t to the Daily Express' Alex Harris) knows the Red Devils are once again attempting to pry the Chilean away from Juventus, this time offering £32 million plus an unknown player not named Danny Welbeck or Javier Hernandez.
As reported by Harris, Juve's Beppe Marotta told Sky Sports Italia Vidal won't be leaving the Bianconeri in 2014:
Vidal is fine, he resumed working and the knee is fully functional. He's at disposal of the team. There have been the usual rumours about him, but he has never been put on the transfer market and there has never been a negotiation. These are the usual commonplaces created by the media that have no real foundations.
Rey Arturo, as the Juventus faithful call their midfield ace, is arguably the world's best box-to-box midfielder, using his excellent physical abilities to boss opponents in midfield and functioning as the Italian champions' primary scorer at the same time.
Questions surrounding his health continued throughout the summer, but the powerful midfielder featured for Juventus in the Trofeo TIM and looks ready to start the 2014-15 Serie A season.
Vidal seems unlikely to be leaving the Bianconeri during the summer, as the Italians have proven difficult to negotiate with. The Chilean international would arguably be the Red Devils' most important signing of the summer, but at this point in time, it doesn't look like he'll be moving to Old Trafford.
The 29-year-old lacks the finesse and scoring ability of Vidal, but as a midfield enforcer, he still ranks as one of the top players at his position. He put in an excellent showing during the 2014 World Cup before exiting the tournament with an injury, so Van Gaal had plenty of opportunities to scout the player.
While De Jong won't excite fans the way Vidal or Kevin Strootman would, his physical style of play would be a welcome addition to the club's maligned midfield. Van Gaal trusts his compatriot, who seems to have erased the dumb plays that defined his early career during his time in Italy.
The Red Devils have the attacking talent to surround De Jong, ensuring he gets to focus on what he does best—break down attacks and make life miserable for opposing strikers and midfielders.
The Dutchman's nasty streak is sorely needed in the central areas, and for as little as £10 million, United shouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on this deal.