As the summer break draws nearer transfer speculation is rife. As usual every big name player is being linked with every other big club for ridiculous fees but which transfer stories could actually be on the cards?
It’s the same every year, Manchester United get linked with a dozen big names and more often than not nothing comes of it. This year is no different, The Red Devils have been linked with numerous midfielders and strikers and the odd defender.
Having already snapped up Nicolás Gaitan there are still a whole host of names on the apparent shortlist.
Javi Martínez – Midfielder – Athletic Bilbao
Javi Martínez has really come to prominence this season with his consistently impressive displays for Bilbao. More notably thee two games where they dismantled Manchester United. Martínez has a buyout clause in his contract that would make him available at £34million. Manchester United are not the only English club interested in the twenty-three year old Spanish defensive midfielder with Manchester city and Liverpool also rumoured to be lining up bids, although the £34mil price tag could prove too hefty for all parties, they may look to do business in excess of £20million.
Likelihood- With Manchester United’s midfield looking weaker by the day, Martínez could prove a useful acquisition and his ability to double up as a centre back will surely have Sir Alex Ferguson chomping at the bit. Expect to see an offer from Manchester United very soon.
Oscar de Marcos – Midfielder – Athletic Bilbao
Oscar de Marcos could really be a great addition to the Manchester United ranks, his versatility has seen him play central midfield, left midfield, attacking midfield, defensive holding role and right and left back. This is surely something that will have caught the eye of Sir Alex. The talent de Marcos possesses has been enough to earn him a £26million price tag and considering his ability to find a pass, a cross and habitually find the net that doesn’t seem a bad deal.
Likelihood – I would expect to see de Marcos or Martínez signed this summer however a double swoop seems unlikely as Bilbao will not want to lose two key men in the summer unless the offer is too great. Manchester United may not want to spend £50-£60million on two midfielders. However I strongly believe one of these players will be wearing Manchester red next season.
Leighton Baines – Defender – Everton
Leighton Baines could be lined up as a long term replacement for Patrice Evra. The twenty-seven year old England left back may have impressed Sir Alex this season with his composed and accomplished displays. Rarely does Baines make glaringly obvious big mistakes. Baines is a box-to-box work horse at left back and his work rate and determination would serve him well if he were to move to Old Trafford. Manchester United are rumoured to be looking to spend just £5million on the Toffee’s left back.
Likelihood – Due to Everton’s financial hardships £5mil may just be enough to force David Moyes’ hand and if Manchester United were to come calling you can almost be sure that Baines would jump at the chance. With Evra reaching the latter stages of his career now Baines could prove a worthy replacement. However with Moyes wanting to keep his current group of players together he may hold out for a larger sum.
So that is three of the more likely transfer rumours circulating now, rumours are still rife linking Manchester United to Luca Modric and Chieck Tioté, however the price tag of Modric still looks too big and Tioté now seems set to stay at Newcastle United. If the three above targets are signed, the Manchester United team will look quite formidable next season