Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Rooney Out, Diarra, Modric, Benzema In?

Yoosof FarahSenior Writer IIIJune 2, 2011

Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Rooney Out, Diarra, Modric, Benzema In?

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    Wayne Rooney: Heading to La Liga?
    Wayne Rooney: Heading to La Liga?Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    After Manchester United chief executive David Gill told fans to expect a flurry of transfer activity around Old Trafford this summer, the rumour mill has been in full swing.

    Following Edwin Van der Sar's retirement, a new goalkeeper was top of the transfer agenda for United, with the media more than willing to speculate on possible arrivals.

    Atletico Madrid starlet David De Gea looks certain be Van Der Sar's successor, with an £18.3 million deal confirmed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

    Now it seems Manchester United have other targets on their list, and could be lining up two or three more big money moves for some of Europe's top talent, especially if they are forced to sell one or two of their own prized assets.

    Here is the latest transfer speculation surrounding Manchester United. 

In: Lassana Diarra

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 03:  Javier Mascherano of FC Barcelona (L) fights for the ball against Lass Diarra of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on May 3, 2011 in Barce
    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Manchester United are reportedly considering a swoop for Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra.

    Following Paul Scholes retirement and Owen Hargreaves' failure to beat his chronic knee problem, it's no secret that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is in the market for a new midfielder. 

    And according to the Daily Star, Diarra could be that man, if the Old Trafford club pay up £18 million, a price Real manager Jose Mourinho thinks he's worth.

    Known in Spain as a todocampista (an all-round midfielder), Lass' strength, stellar control of the ball and Premier League experience could well come in handy for United.

In: Luka Modric

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 15:  Luka Modric of Spurs celebrates after scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on May 15, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (P
    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Quite possibly the Manchester United fans' favourite to replace Paul Scholes, the possibility of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric moving to Old Trafford looks all the more likely.

    A fee of up to £25 million is reportedly enough to secure his signature, with the player himself not adverse to leaving White Hart Lane for bigger and better things.

    The Croatia international would certainly be a good fit for United, giving the Red Devils the creativity in the middle they have lacked all season.

    And a move to the Premier League champions and UEFA Champions League finalists is certainly appealing for any player, and could well happen, especially considering one Manchester United player looks set to be used as a makeweight to lure Modric in (read on to find out who it is).

In: Karim Benzema

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    MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 21:  Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring Real's third goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and UD Almeria at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 21, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Real Madrid are apparently planning a "sweep" of their squad, selling off big wage earners who aren't earning their keep at the Bernabeu.

    One player set to depart is Karim Benzema, a long-time target for Arsenal who now seems to be courting the interest of Manchester United, considering the future of one or two of their strikers is in doubt.

    Either a £26 million fee or a £15 million-plus player deal is said to be enough to tempt Real to part with one of their 20-goal a season strikers.

    And considering the natural strikers instinct and overall quality Benzema has, he could well be a good fit for Manchester United and the Premier League.

In: Nikica Jelavic

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    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 07:  Nikica Jelavic of Rangers celebrates after scoring during the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match between Rangers and Hearts at Ibrox Stadium on May 7, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland.(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
    Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

    After claiming there were reports about him in the papers saying he'll move to Manchester United, Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic has admitted a move to Old Trafford would be too good to turn down.

    The Croatian striker has enjoyed a good start to his career in Scotland, scoring 16 goals from 23 games in the SPL, helping Rangers to the league title.

    A fee of £13 million has been quoted as the going rate for the forward, who could be a serious option for United if they lose one or two of their forwards, as media reports have suggested. 

In: Nikolay Mihaylov

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    AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - MAY 15:   Lorenzo Ebecilio of Ajax Amsterdam battles with Nikolay Mihaylov of FC Twente looks on during the Eridivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and FC Twente at the Amsterdam Arena on May 15, 2010 in Amsterdam, The Netherl
    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    As if Manchester United don't already have enough goalkeepers with the new signing of David De Gea and January transfer window capture Anders Lindegaard, another name is now being linked with the Red Devils.

    FC Twente goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov is reportedly interested in a move to Old Trafford, after believing he had what it takes to succeed Pepe Reina at Liverpool.

    "You never know what happens in the transfer windows," said Mihaylov to Dutch football magazine Voetbal International.

    "Edwin van der Sar has just stopped at Manchester United - so they are an option. Anything can happen."

Out: Wayne Rooney

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United  in action during the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
    Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

    Now for the players supposedly leaving Old Trafford, and there was a reason why Wayne Rooney was the opening picture of this article.

    According to reports originally from Mexican business and economics newspaper El Economista, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is considering a mega money move for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

    Perez is reportedly weighing up a swoop for Rooney if he doesn't get his top target Sergio Aguero, who looks unlikely to come to the Santiago Bernabeu as Atletico Madrid aren't keen on selling their biggest star to their biggest rivals.

    No transfer fee for Rooney was mentioned, but it would most likely take a figure close to that paid for Cristiano Ronaldo if the England striker was to ever leave Old Trafford.

Out: Dimitar Berbatov

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 22:  Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United battles withAlex John-Baptiste of Blackpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Blackpool at Old Trafford on May 22, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Pho
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    A rumoured £7.5 million target for Newcastle United, Dimitar Berbatov has recently spoken out against transfer speculation surrounding him, claiming he's happy at Manchester United.

    However, that does not mean United are content with him, with latest media reports suggesting Berbatov could be used as the makeweight to bring Luka Modric to Old Trafford.

    After being left out for the UEFA Champions League Final, Sir Alex Ferguson gave the world the clearest indication yet Berbatov's days at United are numbered, and now it seems a player plus cash deal could be on the cards.

    Considering United already have Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Michael Owen, Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf on their books, and need a replacement for Paul Scholes, it's a move that looks very likely to happen.