The problems of luring top talent to Old Trafford without the incentive of a Champions League place is apparently already proving all too clear for Manchester United manager David Moyes. Defeat to Bayern Munich last week means that for the first time in 19 years Manchester United will not be in Europe’s premier club competition next season. Despite having a rumored transfer kitty of anything up to £200 million to overhaul his squad this summer, signing his primary targets appears a real struggle.
At the top of Moyes’s wanted list was Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos. However, according to The Guardian, United have accepted that Kroos is now set to stay with the Bundesliga champions this summer. The Germany international has yet to extend his deal beyond 2015, although all indications are now that he will remain with the club at least through next season.
“We are confronted with a variety of rumors for months but at the moment I believe that Toni plays in Bavaria until 2015 at least," he told the German tabloid Bild in comments similar to those made by Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
If Manchester United do miss out on Kroos, then Atletico Madrid’s Koke could well be an alternative. The midfielder has been superb for Atletico this season and is believed to have been watched closely by United. Yet, unsurprisingly giving Atletico’s fine campaign, the 22-year-old has stated that he has no intention of switching clubs.
"I'm very happy right now and I'm not leaving -- I'm happy at home,” he said, according to Talksport. "I want to continue here and I have a long contract."
Elsewhere, the Daily Star is continuing to build on their assertion that Edinson Cavani is a £50 million target for Manchester United. The tabloid now claims that United hope to include Portuguese winger Nani as part of any deal. Despite signing a new contract last September, Nani is expected to depart Old Trafford this summer.
Cavani only joined Paris Saint-Germain from Napoli last summer for a massive £57 million. It would appear unlikely then that the Uruguay striker will be on the move again so soon, although he recently voiced his concern at having played much of the season out wide due to the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Daily Express, meanwhile, claims that Manchester United will look closer to home in their squad rebuilding. According to the tabloid, United are focused on securing the transfers of Southampton pair Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana. Left-back Shaw has been linked to most of the Premier League’s big clubs, although Chelsea, the team the player grew up supporting, were believed to be leading the chase. The Express believes that Chelsea are now having a change of heart, however, and that United are well placed to seal a £20 million deal for the 18-year-old.
Fellow England international Lallana is also thought to be in high demand. United are said to be eager to complete a transfer for the attacking midfielder before his valuation has a chance to increase further at this summer’s World Cup.