Manchester United's failure to claim a win from their first two games of the 2014-15 season appears to have jerked the club into a state of urgency in the summer transfer market.
Now on the verge of paying the biggest fee ever seen from an English club, the Red Devils enter the last week of the window as one of the most closely examined European outfits.
Old Trafford is abuzz with speculation regarding which players could arrive with the intention of steering the club back to glory as Louis van Gaal's recruitment drive nears a most intriguing climax.
Angel Di Maria
Manchester United will fork out a British transfer record fee of £63.9 million in order to sign Angel Di Maria this week, according to Sky Sports' Spanish expert Guillem Balague.
Carlo Ancelotti confirmed the Argentine winger would be leaving the Bernabeu, quoted in the report as saying:
"Di Maria has not trained with us and he came in to say goodbye to the players and people at the club. We are thankful for what he has done at this club. There is nothing official yet but it is being sorted out.”
The wings are an area of crucial importance in the 3-5-2 formation van Gaal has promoted thus far at Old Trafford, but the question remains as to whether Di Maria will line up out wide or in his more recent central hub.
According to Norwegian pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft, however, defence is another area in major need of reinforcement:
The arrival of Di Maria will give many United fans the superstar signing they've been craving for so long, but will Di Maria's arrival alone be enough to return the club to the Premier League hierarchy?
Despite their attack not linking up as harmoniously as they may have hoped to have seen thus far in the campaign, Manchester United could see fit to sell Danny Welbeck this week.
There is a lot of money involved in those two [Samuel Eto'o and Welbeck]. At the moment, if I am honest with you, I am looking at all the options. While the window is open we are looking at anyone who can help us and also looking at our injured players and seeing how they react.
Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Koné will have a big say on how we end the window and I have an open mind about it. We are to going to make sure we make the right decisions.
Everton have already signed Romelu Lukaku for a club record £28 million fee this summer, and Welbeck's arrival would give the Merseysiders but another dimension in attack.
The England international has struggled to find prominence up front with more senior figures blocking his path at Manchester United, but Everton could provide Welbeck with a greater chance at first-team minutes and, in turn, prosperity.
Although all efforts are likely to be focused on concluding Di Maria's transfer at present, United's attentions will turn to Ajax in a bid to seal Daley Blind's acquisition not long after.
That's according to the Daily Star's Paul Hetherington, who writes the Dutchman is interesting United, along with compatriot Nigel de Jong.
Earlier in August, Ajax youth coach Richard Witschge told Dutch outlet Heldenonline (h/t Metro) of his instinct regarding Blind's chances of a departure:
"I think Daley Blind will be leaving soon. I have a feeling. He has been training by himself. I think he has done that, because there’s something going on."
The Guardian's Daniel Harris lambasts United for not sealing Blind's purchase already:
Blind played under van Gaal as a wing-back during the Netherlands' 2014 World Cup campaign, but he can also line up in central defence or in a deeper-lying midfield role.
That malleability would undoubtedly lend itself well to the tactics van Gaal is seemingly looking to implement at Old Trafford, and the Oranje links shared by the two are just another reason to believe the transfer might go through.
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