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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

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