Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has already confirmed that he is on the look-out for a new holding midfielder over the summer. The Dutch manager is believed to be looking for a long-term replacement for 33-year old Michael Carrick.
Carrick missed both the start and the end of the 2014-15 season with injuries and his absence was notable on both occasions. Both Daley Blind and Ander Herrera filled in for the England international but neither with much success.
Manchester United are aiming to challenge for the Premier League title next season – and they will need reinforcements given that objective plus the added requirements of playing in the Champions League next season. While United still continue to sell out Old Trafford on match days, player signings and better results are always the major driver of United ticket sales on football ticket marketplaces, and demand for United tickets is high given their Champions League qualification. Now, United must build on this by doing everything they can to strengthen the team NOW.
The Red Devils have been linked to a number of players to replace Carrick over the past 12 months – Paul Pogba and Kevin Strootman both look unlikely to sign at Old Trafford this summer, so here are three more-realistic targets for the United boss:
Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton)
The French international has been hot property over the past 12 months after three excellent seasons in the Premier League with Southampton. Tottenham appeared to be close to signing the 25-year-old last summer before incoming Saints boss Ronald Koeman blocked the move.
Manchester United have been linked with a move for Morgan Schneiderlin in recent weeks, whilst Arsenal have been strongly-interested for more than a year now. An excellent player at protecting the back four, whilst he comes up with the odd goal too. Schneiderlin’s absence is certainly noticed in the Southampton team when he doesn’t play.
Reports suggest it will take around £25 million for the Saints to accept a bid for the player – but he’s proven in the Premier League, has a number of years ahead of him and looks set to be on his way out of St Mary’s this summer.
William Carvalho (Sporting Club of Portugal)
Manchester United were strongly linked with William Carvalho last summer but appeared to be priced out of a move for the Portuguese international.
The Sporting Club player offers power in midfield but does come with the risk of picking up a lot of bookings. With his side unlikely to put in a title challenge any time soon, Carvalho could be looking for an exit this summer.
Sporting have previously wanted around £30 million for the 23-year-old which may prove too steep once again this summer as he has limited experience at international level and yet to prove himself in the Champions League – meaning he’d be a big gamble for any club at that price.
İlkay Gündoğan (Borussia Dortmund)
Borussia Dortmund could see a number of players leaving this summer following their failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League and with manager Jürgen Klopp departing. One of those players strongly linked with a move away from Signal Iduna Park is İlkay Gündoğan.
A player who likes to see plenty of the ball and create chances could be a perfect replacement for Michael Carrick. The German international is not the best defensively though which could be his stumbling block in Louis van Gaal’s plans.
Reports suggest Gündoğan could be available for less than £20 million, which at 24-years-old and with the experience he already has with Borussia Dortmund, could be seen as a great deal for any potential suitors.