It was supposed to be a summer transfer session covered with mega-signings and star power capable of lifting Manchester United back atop the Premier League, and for a deep run in Champions League in 2015-2016. While the additions of Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Bastian Schweinsteiger should make Louis van Gaal’s side a force, a bold and ambitious signing has so far eluded the storied club.
Based off recent reports, United don’t appear any closer to landing a marquee name. In fact, more exits are expected at Old Trafford and two more players have fallen off United's radar.
There’s been some movement on midfielder Angel Di Maria’s all-but-certain switch to Ligue 1’s Paris Saint-Germain, but for a much lower sum than was originally reported. According to The Guardian, PSG have offered £28.5 million for the disenchanted Argentine, much less than the £59.7 million United paid to draw him away from Real Madrid last summer.
The report stresses that though Van Gaal would like Di Maria to stay, the Dutchman understands that Di Maria wishes to leave Old Trafford.
The Guardian also hinted that Barcelona forward Pedro could be Van Gaal’s sixth signing of the summer, as United has “stepped up” its efforts to land the 28-year-old scorer. However, the Spaniard is keen to join United but his “personal terms,” likely involving weekly wages and a guarantee of first team opportunities, must also be met.
Considering his playmaking and scoring talents, Pedro could fit in well as a forward or drop back as a winger as a potential replacement for Ashley Young. Daily Mirror reports that Tottenham’s pursuit of Crystal Palace’s Yannick Bolasie has become too pricey, and Spurs may instead turn to the 30-year-old Young.
But Young, who netted two goals over 29 appearances in all competitions last term, is set to make £ 110,000-per-week and will have to scale back his wage to facilitate any move to White Hart Lane.
Turning to the backline, Van Gaal and evidently many United officials thought Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos would don their kit this coming season. But Daily Star reports United is now incensed by Ramos’ decision to re-enter contract negotiations with Los Blancos.
“The club was led to believe he wanted to join them and was willing to leave Real Madrid,” a team source told The Star. “He was urged to make his feelings public to help speed up the transfer, but it now looks like he was playing a game all along.
“In the end it appears all he wanted was a new contract at Real and it looks like he’s going to get one as well. It’s not the sort of behaviour you’d expect from a player of his standing in the game. It’s like he’s betrayed United.”
Van Gaal’s backup plan for Ramos has also fallen short. United were at first interested in Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi, but Manchester Evening News says they’ve completely ruled any transfer for the 27-year-old. Instead, United believes they are being used to up the bidding for Otamendi.