Comparisons of United’s targets in defence, midfield and out wide.
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With a new centre-back, a new central midfielder and a new winger looking like being the main priorities in the transfer market for new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, CaughtOffside looks at the six main players being targeted in those areas and who would be the best option for the Red Devils.
Some big names have been linked with United this summer as they look to make up for last season’s nightmare campaign under David Moyes, and though things already look brighter under van Gaal’s management, there are still key areas of the team that need addressing before the start of the 2014/15 season.
Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have left the club short of quality at centre-back after moving at the end of last season, while midfield has been a problem position for them for some time now, with new signings needed both centrally and out wide.
Six main players seem to be on van Gaal’s priority list at the moment, but assuming that only three will come in, which would be the better fit in each area for this squad?
Centre-back: Mats Hummels vs Mehdi Benatia
According to recent reports, United have narrowed down their central defensive targets to Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels and Mehdi Benatia of AS Roma, with Thomas Vermaelen slipping through the net as he joins Barcelona from Arsenal.
Both players are undoubtedly world class performers and among the best in the world in their position. United cannot exactly afford to be picky, so either would make a great signing for the club in defence, where their current options are Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling. This is clearly an area that needs fixing quick and United should step up their efforts to sign both players if possible.
However, if it were to come down to a choice between one or the other, it is arguable that Hummels just edges it, with the German international a more experienced winner, with Bundesliga titles for Dortmund and a World Cup medal for his country under his belt already. He would possibly also be cheaper at a price of around £20m than the Moroccan stopper, who is valued at closer to £30m.