The Daily Mirror today report Louis van Gaal is operating from a ‘B-List’ of transfer targets after failing to land any first choice purchases.
Deals for Toni Kroos, Thomas Vermaelen and Mats Hummels all failed this summer, meaning van Gaal has had to revise his targets and turn to his secondary list. Players like Marcos Rojo (signed from Sporting Lisbon for £16 million this week), Sami Khedira and Angel Di Maria are now being considered in light of the previous failings.
Khedira and Di Maria have both asked to leave Real Madrid this summer, and United are believed to be sniffing about for signatures. Khedira may be available for a cut price of around £12 million, though Arsenal are also interested in the World Cup winner, meaning United would have to act fast (not a forte of Woodward) to secure his signature. Di Maria also comes with competition, but due to Financial Fair Play restrictions United are now (surely) front-runners.
Van Gaal won’t be satisfied that things have come to this, his initial targets will have been absolute priority, and you imagine the Dutchman is not happy about having to settle for second choice players as his initial list will have been stringently planned and built around. And though a record £72 million has been spent this window, van Gaal will not be satisfied with business this summer.
That being said, Rojo aside, the players we are now linked with are still of a high and proven quality. Di Maria would certainly add the attacking flair we have longed for, and Khedira would be a firm addition to the midfield with his experience and capabilities. If we were to sign Khedira for the reported fee, it would be a snip, it’s just whether we are capable of pulling it off in the 10 days left (absurd as it is that that’s being questioned, there is just cause for being dubious).
It has now become a case of putting eggs in baskets and taking what is available. No team would turn down the perceived last options we appear to have. Arturo Vidal hasn’t gone away in spite of talks cooling, unlikely as a transfer now is, and Mehdi Benatia is a potential deal that could still come off. 4 players that would be very helpful to the cause.
Hopefully his ‘B-List’ can be secured, because I genuinely fear if they aren’t, van Gaal will walk. Promises have been made and alluded to ever since, Woodward needs to start constructing a rope ladder to pull himself out of the hole he’s created for himself, the vast proportion of these 4 signed would be a couple of rungs on said ladder. 10 days.