Ajax full-back Gregory van der Wiel could be moving to the Premier League, with the Emirates and Old Trafford being the most likely destinations for the youngster.
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Ajax full-back Gregory van der Wiel looks set for a move to the Premier League next year, with Manchester United joining Arsenal on his list of potential suitors.
The Dutch international has been linked with Arsenal since January, and his stock rose after helping his national side to the final of the World Cup during the summer.
But after dallying over making a concrete offer during the summer, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger now appears to face significant competition from Sir Alex Ferguson in the race for the 22-year-old.
Van der Wiel is one of the continent’s highest-rated young full-backs and has been tipped to leave Holland for one of the more prestigious European leagues for some time.
It is thought Manchester United chiefs are keen for Ferguson to sign additional recruits in defence to replace some of their ageing squad who are now over 30.
Ferguson sees Brazilian youngster Rafael as the likely first-choice right-back at Old Trafford, but believes the 20-year-old needs competition – especially with club captain Gary Neville nearing retirement at 35 and fellow full-back option Wes Brown having now turned 31.
The Red Devils’ recent struggles at the back – the latest of which saw them surrender a two-goal lead in Saturday’s home draw with West Brom – are said to have prompted Ferguson into action in the transfer market.
His previously staunch defence have now conceded 11 goals in their opening eight games – after letting in only 28 goals in the full 38-game season in 2009/10. (Metro)
Manchester United and Arsenal are both rumoured to be interested in the talented Ajax right-back, but would either club be willing to pay big money for him when they are both reasonably well-stocked in the full-back area?
Bacary Sagna has made the right-back position his own at Arsenal is recent seasons, whilst Rafael is almost certain to take over the role full-time at Manchester United when Gary Neville retires from playing.
Due to Ajax’s reported financial difficulties, perhaps van der Wiel will become available for a knock-down fee, in which case a whole host of leading European clubs will surely be interested.
It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this latest rumour, but for now, Arsenal and Manchester United should concentrate on improving other areas of their squad. For Arsenal, a new goalkeeper is still a must, whilst Manchester United are still crying out for that extra bit of creativity in midfield.