Manchester United have been linked to the pursuit of several key players lately, but as the transfer window quickly approaches, more plans are being hinted at which point to the club exploring multiple options and working on back-up plans for those deals which are not as likely to come to pass. Manager Louis van Gaal appears to have a complex web woven, designed to make sure that the club does not come out of the January break empty-handed. Even before the window is open, some of the most talked about deals associated with United are already being revealed as largely smoke and mirrors and not likely to happen. As the smoke is clearing, however, hints of other deals and deep pockets to pursue them point to an interesting January for fans following the moves being planned and made.
Louis van Gaal is linked to rumors about several players from European clubs. A whole lot has been made about his pursuit of Kevin Strootman, and the possibility of landing him for United. Coming to light now is the fact that the adamant statements about him not being available and staying where he is which have been widely discounted may in fact be true. It is early on to say for sure, but the likelihood of that deal coming to pass seems to be getting less and less daily. Possibly slightly more likely is the addition of Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund. There is a high price tag on him, an estimated £47 million, and he does not even address the defensive issues of the club, but the United manager seems willing to be patient in his pursuit.
That said, he reportedly does have a fall-back target. Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia, £7 million less expensive than Hummels, is reportedly now back on the table as his club has located a possible replacement. Reports are that van Gaal intends to wait until later in January to see if the Hummels deal is a possibility, but that he is ready to pull the trigger on Otamendi if that falls through. Some believe Otamendi to be a better choice regardless given the current state of the club, as he does actually represent the type of defensive player who could address the needs of the club more appropriately.
Not to think that van Gaal has ignored the defensive needs of the club, there is another defender supposedly on the Dutchman’s radar. Diego Godin from Atletico Madrid has been reported as a very likely target for the United Boss in January. His best laid plans may be in vain, however, as it is reported that Godin is very happy where he is and plans on making his home in Madrid for many years to come. There have been no offers yet, so that stance has yet to be tested significantly. January is famous for making liars of anyone who has given a unilateral position of what may or may not happen once the trade market is in full swing. Certainly, however, there are a multitude of transfer window options which the Manchester United manager is exploring, and he is determined to prove that this season does not have to end with the disappointment that last year did.
Commentary By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Edwin.11 – Flickr License