Manchester United are 8 points clears of their noisy neighbors Manchester City at the top of the table and are closing on their 20th league title with just 6 games remaining this season. But Sir Alex Ferguson will be kidding himself if he says that this United team was not one of his weakest during his 25 years at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson will look to strengthen his squad by adding a couple of players during the summer. Here, Into The Top Corner has a look at United’s possible ten summer targets.
1. Christian Eriksen (Ajax)
The Danish international has been very impressive for the Dutch giants this season with 7 goals and 18 assists. He also fits Ferguson’s policy of buying young talent and developing them into superstars. It will be very difficult for Ajax to prevent the teenager from join Manchester United if the right offer is made.
2. Luka Modric (Tottenham)
Manchester United lacked a creative midfielder towards the end of 2011 with Tom Cleverley, Anderson and Darren Fletcher all out with injuries. That was the key for the return of Paul Scholes from retirement and since then United have become stronger and stronger as the season progressed. Luka Modric has been one of the key performers for Spurs this season and he fits the bill for Ferguson’s. Even though Tottenham are riding high in the league it will be very difficult for Redknapp to prevent the Croatian international from securing a dream move to Old Trafford. But United will have to break their transfer record (32.5m for Dimitar Berbatov) to acquire his services.
3. Eden Hazard (Lille)
The Belgium international has been heavily linked to all the major European clubs throughout the season as he is expected to leave the French champions during the summer. Manchester United have been the latest name added to that list as Sir Alex Ferguson personally scouted him during the Ligue 1 match between Lille and Lyon. Like Modric, Hazard is a playmaker and will fit well in United’s style of play but again the transfer fee could be a stumbling block.
4. Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica)
Having joined Benfica last year, Gaitan has settled in well this season and has been their star performer in the league as well as the Champions League. The Argentine is said to be a player Sir Alex Ferguson has scouted extensively and the Benfica man impressed in encounters against United in the Champions League. There were also some rumours in December last year that a deal has been agreed between the two clubs but there has been no concrete proof of it. Gaitan naturally being a winger and United already having the likes of Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Nani and Park Ji-Sung in their ranks, the question will be do United need another winger?
5. Mats Hummels (Dortmund)
With Rio Ferdinand not getting any young and Nemanja Vidic suffering with injuries United need a physically strong, tactically fine, composed and an influential figure at the back and Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels comes in that criteria. The German international has been the heart of Dortmund’s back four and his partnership with Neven Subotic in the center of defence has seen the Bundesliga champions keep 12 clean sheets this season. He is considered one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga and also in Europe.
6. Jordi Alba (Valencia)
I have said earlier in one of my articles that Manchester United should sell Patrice Evra this summer and I stand by it. Evra has been a very good attacking threat this season but defensively he has been poor. His age is catching up on him and thats the reason why he is getting slower day by day. Jordi Alba will be a good replacement or successor for Patrice Evra. The Valencia left-back is also now a part of Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain set-up and at the age of 22, he looks a very good prospect.
7. Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao)
Iker Muniain was one of the standout performers against United in Europa League. The youngster is a dynamic, creative midfielder capable of playing on both the wings and in the middle of the park which makes him a valuable asset. Just 19, he already has over 100 domestic appearances to his name and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks into Spain’s national team starting XI.
8. Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao)
Sir Alex has been a long-term admirer of Javi Martinez, but his price tag remains a big issue to United. Martinez, 23, can slot in at the defensive midfield as well as in the centre-back position. Spanish midfielder could add some guile and steel to a midfield that could do with strengthening. The youngster has huge potential and ambitions which cannot be fulfilled at Bilbao and could opt for a move to England.
9. Jack Rodwell (Everton)
The young midfielder has been a long term target of Manchester United and with financial issues at Goodison Park a good offer from Manchester United may well be considered. The England under-21 international has a lot potential in him to be an England international and he knows well, that Old Trafford will be the best place for him. A move to United will also see Rodwell link with his former Under-21 team-mates Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
10. Chieck Tiote (Newcastle)
Manchester United never replaced Roy Keane when he left the club in 2005, they brought in Owen Hargreaves for big money but he spent most of his time with physio and so United have always missed an out and out defensive midfielder in key European away games. The manner in which the hard tackling midfielder, Tiote has adapted to the life in the Premier League has impressed the Scot enough to consider making a bid for the Ivorian in the summer.