t’s transfer season in world football and a host of new arrivals are expected in the English Premier League, with Manchester United expected to be ready to spend big as the rebuilding process at Old Trafford continues unabated.
The arrival of Louis van Gaal as the Red Devils’ manager last year sparked the second most expensive spending spree in football history, with close on £200 million (R3.85 billion) having been splashed by the English giants. The United boss is not expected to hold back this year either and will once again be handed a staggering transfer war chest with which to build a team capable of challenging for titles.
However, before the boss can look to the market, there are numerous in-house issues to address. The most pressing is goalkeeper David de Gea’s future, with the Spanish international strongly tipped for an off-season move to Real Madrid.
There’s also the matter of Robin van Persie, whose days at Old Trafford appear to be numbered, while Javier Hernández is expected to be cut loose next month.
And, with the uninspiring Radamel Falcao having returned to parent club Monaco, United will undoubtedly need to strengthen its attack and have already been tipped with moves for Arturo Vidal and Karim Benzema, although the latter is seemingly on the verge of making a switch from Real Madrid to Juventus.
Van Gaal’s defensive in tray also makes for plenty of speculation, with Borussia Dortmund centre back Mats Hummels thought to be near the top of the boss’ wish list, while Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne is another defender being strongly linked with a move to the club.
Cross-town rivals Manchester City are also expected to plough plenty of financial backing into restoring their fortunes, with Manuel Pellegrini’s men having conceded their league crown to eventually finish the campaign empty-handed.
The biggest name on the Chilean coach’s transfer list is thought to be Paul Pogba, although it would take a reported £70 million to land the French international from Juventus, while Kevin De Bruyne’s impressive form with Wolfsburg has the former Chelsea midfielder linked with a return to the Premier League.
Elsewhere in England, Chelsea boss José Mourinho has hinted at a fairly quiet transfer period, having cantered to the top-flight title this season, but is admittedly keen on giving Falcao a second chance in the Premier League, although there is also talk of a move for Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have already completed their first off-season signing, snapping up Danny Ings on a free transfer, although it is the potential exit of Raheem Sterling that will be occupying most of Anfield’s focus, with Real Madrid thought to be ready to swoop for the England international.
For Arsenal, a recurring weak spot over the past few seasons has been in their goalkeeping department, leading to claims that manager Arsène Wenger is keen to lure veteran shot stopper Petr Čech away from London rivals Chelsea, while Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas has also been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.
ON THE RADAR Arsenal are also eyeing Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas ON THE MOVE Manchester United might lose Robin van Persie during this English transfer season TARGET Manchester City have their sights set on Juventus FC marksman Paul Pogba
RELAXED Chelsea boss José Mourinho