Manchester United could be forced to play a waiting game for Luke Shaw, with Southampton claiming they are under no pressure to accept offers for any players, and won’t even contemplate doing so until they appoint a new manager.
A top target under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal has given the green light to sign the 18-year-old England left-back. United have already had a £27 million bid rejected and Southampton’s statement following the departure of striker Rickie Lambert suggest they face a drawn-out saga to secure Shaw’s signature.
“Southampton Football Club can confirm that we have received multiple offers for some of our players in the past weeks,” read a statement on Southampton’s website. “This is a confirmation of the depth of the development that is ongoing in our academy and of the present standing of our first team within the Premier League.
“We are staying true to our plan and vision and, as a result, we have no need to accept any offers. We are deep in the process of appointing a new manager who will continue to move our club forward. It remains our preference not to partake in any transfers until the new manager is in place.”
While Van Gaal agrees with the previous regime’s assessment of Shaw, the same does not appear to be true regarding Cesc Fabregas. Manchester United made several failed bids for the Spain midfielder last summer, but it is reported by the Daily Telegraph and other sources that the current Netherlands coach has vetoed plans to revive that interest this transfer window. That decision comes despite the fact that Fabregas will reportedly be allowed to leave Barcelona this summer.
Instead, it is thought that Van Gaal wants more of an all-round central midfielder, with two players he has worked with in the Dutch setup mentioned. Kevin Strootman seems a logical target having been named captain of his country by Van Gaal on a couple of occasions. However, a serious knee injury that will rule him out until next season, combined with Roma’s undoubted reluctance to sell, makes a transfer this summer difficult to envisage. Feyenoord’s Jordy Clasie, who will go to the World Cup this summer, is a likelier option, although the 22-year-old doesn’t come close to having Strootman’s experience.
Among the list of targets that Van Gaal has handed to Manchester United is sure to be at least one center-back, following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. Spanish publication AS has claimed that Atletico Madrid’s Miranda is set to fill that void and is already searching for schools in Manchester for his children. The 29-year-old was outstanding at the heart of Atletico’s rock solid defense, although he was left out of Brazil’s squad for the World Cup.
Following their claiming of the La Liga title and reaching the Champions League final this season, Atletico have insisted that they won’t be selling players unless their release clauses are met. That is thought to be the case with Miranda where United will reportedly pay a fee of close to €30 million (24.4m). There are conflicting reports over his future, however, with Marca stating that Barcelona have held talks with his agent. The Daily Mail has also reported that Manchester United have dismissed reports that they have activated Miranda’s release clause.