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