Manchester United are accelerating their efforts to overhaul their squad this summer, with several high-profile transfers in the pipe line. After a disastrous first season under David Moyes, the Scot is expected to be handed significant funds to try and ensure there is no repeat next year.
Despite comments from the player’s agent and Bayern Munich in recent days suggesting he will be staying put for at least another season, United appear determined to spend a large chunk of their money on Toni Kroos. The Guardian reports that United are offering the Germany midfielder £260,000 a week to try and tempt him to Old Trafford this summer. Such a package would put Kroos on a similar level to United’s current marquee earners, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.
Kroos, whose contract is set to expire in the summer of 2015, has been unable to agree an extension with Bayern as he seeks to become one of Bayern’s best-paid players. Bayern have also agreed a deal to sign midfielder Sebastian Rode from Eintracht Frankfurt, fuelling speculation that they are preparing for Kroos’ departure.
Manchester United’s interest in Germany also extends to Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus. A club’s scout was in attendance to watch him in action against Bayern Munich this past weekend, when he scored one goal and assisted another in a 3-0 win. Having already lost Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich, Dortmund will be loathed to lose another star. Yet, another of their players to have flown the nest to Bayern Munich has provided some encouragement to United.
"When I was at Borussia, Marco wanted a move to Manchester United," Martio Gotze said, according to the Daily Mirror. "This hasn't changed."
There is less positive news about another Dortmund player believed to be on Manchester United’s list of targets, Ilkay Gundogan. The midfielder has agreed a new contract to, in theory, secure his future at the Bundesliga club.
"I am very grateful that my club gives me the opportunity to continue to be part of this special team and this very special environment,” he told the club’s official website. “I will do everything to be able to help my team-mates again soon and am very optimistic heading into the coming weeks and months."
However, with the contract extension being for just one added year, until 2016, speculation about Gundogan’s future is unlikely to dissipate for long. The 23-year-old has been sidelined since last August with a back injury, and has been ruled out for the rest of the season and the World Cup.
According to The Telegraph, Manchester United are intent on securing a deal for Southampton’s Luke Shaw before this summer’s spectacle in Brazil. The broadsheet asserts that United have now got the edge on Chelsea in the battle to sign the much-coveted 18-year-old. The fact that he is likely to have competition at Stamford Bridge from Ashley Cole and Cesar Azpilicueta, while at United his path to the first team will be obstacle free, with Patrice Evra expected to depart this summer, is thought to be a major factor in Shaw’s decision. The recently capped England international will not come cheap, though, with a deal likely to be struck for around £30 million.
The Guardian believes that Shaw’s next club is still very much up in the air, with Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona also said to be interested. It is, though, thought that Shaw’s future will be decided before the World Cup.