Manchester United: Picking a Transfer Rumour Starting XI
Manchester United can make a world-beating starting lineup with the transfer rumours surrounding the club.
The current Premier League leaders have been linked with tons of players since the start of 2012 and could probably beat the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal for the number of players linked.
Of course, the only area they really need to strengthen is central midfield with their current creativity crisis, but it hasn't stopped the club being linked with players in every position on the pitch.
So here is a Manchester United starting XI made up of players linked with the club.
GK: Michel Vorm
Michel Vorm, back in the January transfer window, was said to be lined up by Manchester United as a replacement for David De Gea.
Those rumours have died down since De Gea has been spectacular in recent weeks for United, but nonetheless, Swansea City shot-stopper Vorm would make a great signing.
The 28-year-old Dutchman currently has the best saves to shots ratio in the Premier League, making 103 saves at a rate of 76 percent.
RB: Mauricio Isla
The 23-year-old Chile international has predominantly starred in Serie A this season as a central midfielder, scoring three goals and making two assists in 19 games in that position.
However, he is considered a right-back also and has the ability and versatility to be one of the best attacking defenders in the game as proven by the 37 key passes he's made this season.
CB: Gerard Pique
How Sir Alex Ferguson must regret selling Gerard Pique back to FC Barcelona, especially for just £5 million.
The former Manchester United centre-back has emerged as one of the best central defenders in the game back at Barca.
However, he's been less than stellar this season and, after an alleged bust-up with Pep Guardiola (albeit dismissed by Sandro Rosell), has been linked with a sensational Old Trafford return. He would be the perfect man to replace Rio Ferdinand.
CB: Thiago Silva
As unlikely as the transfer is, it's certainly logical given that United don't have the best quality defence right now, especially in comparison to Manchester City. Jonny Evans is error-prone; Rio Ferdinand is ageing; Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are inexperienced, and Nemanja Vidic is injured.
The Red Devils apparently will offer the Rossoneri £25 million for the Brazil international who is averaging 3.6 interceptions, seven clearances and 1.7 aerial duels won per game. He also has a 91 pass success rate making him a potentially useful addition.
LB: Jordi Alba
Jordi Alba, more so by Manchester United fans than anyone else, is seen as the successor to Patrice Evra at Old Trafford.
The 22-year-old Valencia left-back has been great in La Liga this season and has apparently been lined up by Sir Alex Ferguson to replace Evra for the long term.
Alba's defensive contribution of winning 2.4 tackles per game and 3.7 interceptions would add the protection on the wings the Red Devils have lacked.
RM: Cristiano Ronaldo
Unlikely though it is, the free-scoring Real Madrid star would of course be the ultimate acquisition for United.
And showing Nani how to really do it on the right side of midfield would boost the Red Devils immeasurably.
CM: Nuri Sahin
Manchester United are weighing up a move for Ronaldo's Real Madrid teammate and forgotten star Nuri Sahin, Caught Offside reports.
One of the game's finest holding midfielders in his last season at Borussia Dortmund, Sahin would be the perfect playmaker at United.
In the 2010-11 season at Dortmund, Sahin scored six goals and made eight assists from defensive midfield in 30 games and also made 3.5 key passes per game, hit 5.5 accurate long balls per match, won 3.7 tackles each game and also made 2.3 interceptions.
Why Jose Mourinho hasn't made any use of that quality at Madrid is anyone's guess.
CM: Mario Goetze
Manchester United have also been considering an offer for Sahin's former teammate Mario Goetze, according to reports.
The 19-year-old is on the transfer shortlist of all the big clubs in Europe no doubt and would be brilliant partnering Sahin in a midfield two for United, especially as Goetze also knows how to defend, winning 2.1 tackles and making 1.2 interceptions per game this season.
And going forward, there would be an endless supply of goalscoring chances for the front three, as between the two last season, they made six key passes every match.
LM: Stevan Jovetic
Fiorentina star Stevan Jovetic is usually a central attacking midfielder but is left-footed and very useful on the flanks.
As a left-winger for seven Serie A matches this season, Jovetic has scored four goals and made an assist.
In a team with two strikers and Cristiano Ronaldo on the other wing, a positionally interlinking front four with Jovetic would wreak havoc on Premier League defences.
Manchester United might (though it's highly unlikely) have this in mind, having been linked with the player alongside Chelsea.
ST: Fernando Llorente
Fernando Llorente exposed the gaps in Manchester United's defence in last Thursday's Europa League tie at Old Trafford.
The Athletic Bilbao striker took his tally to 22 goals this season in 37 matches and again proved his height, strength, aerial ability and all-round up-front power would make him a perfect Premier League forward.
His ability to push defences back and finish chances make him an ideal forward in any starting lineup and could be why United are reportedly ready to bid big for the 27-year-old Spaniard.
ST: Demba Ba
Newcastle United striker Demba Ba, 26, is a player guaranteed to score goals in the Premier League.
Since arriving in England at the start of 2011, Senegal international Ba has scored 23 league goals in 36 games, both for Newcastle and previously West Ham United and with better service could be truly prolific, both in the current Red Devils team and even more so in this imaginary, world-beating transfer rumour XI.