Assuming Manchester United can keep up their mid-term Premier League run and earn a return to Champions League, Louis van Gaal’s side has several transfer moves lined up for this summer’s session.
Before slipping to Swansea, the Red Devils stayed alive in the FA Cup and concurrently claimed 10 victories in their last 12 Premier League matches to move into fourth on the domestic table and only one point separating them and rival Arsenal for third.
Now with 12 matches remaining, Van Gaal’s side could be in the enviable position of loading up for a deep European Cup run during the summer transfer window, and all but erasing last season’s disappointing seventh place finish.
As they did last summer with the acquisition of Angel Di Maria, United could add another playmaker in Wolfsburg winger Kevin De Bruyne. According to Daily Express, the former Chelsea star discussed his current contract situation with the German outfit as well as his career aspirations.
"Football is much about money. Wolfsburg is not yet like Bayern Munich, of course,” De Bruyne said. "And my biggest ambition is to come out for a big European club. One I can win trophies with. As much trophies as possible."
The report indicated United are lining up a possible £30 million bid for the 23-year-old who’s recorded 11 goals and 16 assists for the second-place Bundesliga squad.
United’s also been tied to rampant speculation regarding Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, as well as current midfield star Juan Mata. Daily Star reports that Manchester City are looking to swoop in and offer the Spanish side Stevan Jovetic to decrease Koke’s £44 million release clause.
United were evidently toying with the idea of throwing Mata into the deal, but The Star pointed out that even high-spending City and manager Manuel Pellegrini face the difficult task of convincing Koke to leave the only club he’s known since his youth career.
Since moving up from the Spanish Primera team’s B-squad in 2009, Koke’s scored 14 goals in 133 appearances and he played a huge role in the club’s runner-up finish in Champions League last year. This season he leads Madrid with eight assists.
All of this jostling for two of Europe’s top young attacking midfielders comes on the heels of Andreas Pereira’s rejection of a new contract offer from United. Daily Mail reports the 19-year-old desires a switch to reigning Serie A champions Juventus at the “urging” of former United star Paul Pogba.
Pereira stated no decision has been made, but that Pogba told him a move to Turn could help his career both on and away from the pitch.
“At this time I'm tied to United. My agent is evaluating the offers that have arrived, including that of Juventus, but it's no secret. Just as it's no secret that I have turned down the offers made by my current club,” Pereira said. “I know the Italian league and I certainly would not be disappointed to play there as it is one of the best leagues. But I have not taken a decision yet.”
Playing time is likely the main issue for Pereira, as he’s yet to make an appearance for Old Trafford after the club moved him up from the youth academy last year.
Van Gaal may also be preparing for the expected departure of forward Falcao, whose loan spell expires at the conclusion of a disappointing year for the Colombian talisman. United are unlikely to make his stay permanent at the cost of £43 million, but there are plenty of young strikers available this summer.
For starters, Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini said he’s been in continued contact with some of England’s top clubs and Paris Saint-Germain over striker Paulo Dybala, Express reports.
"The presidents of the major English clubs and PSG called me. I'm in constant contact with them,” Zamparini said. "There is great interest in Dybala. We will look to find an agreement which serves the interest of both the player and Palermo."
The 21-year-old Dybala’s netted 12 Serie A goals, tied for third in the league right behind Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain, and tallied seven assists this season.