Despite arriving at Manchester United just a year ago, Louis van Gaal has already spent £222.6m in two summers, and that figure could have been much, much higher had Real Madrid opted to do business with the former Netherlands manager this summer.
According to the Express, the Red Devils had – or still have – four Los Blancos players on their transfer wish list – all of which have been the subject of an unsuccessful bid.
Take a look at the four in question…
The Frenchman was heavily linked with Chelsea in the January window with Jose Mourinho said to be an admirer, and it seems his performances haven’t gone unnoticed by van Gaal, either.
The Express claim that United made a bid of £45m for the centre-back’s signature this summer, which was rebuffed by the La Liga BBVA giants.
If Benzema is allowed to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, it seems increasingly likely that he will head to the Emirates with Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, rumoured to have set aside £45.8m to clinch his signature.
The Red Devils, however, have also registered their interest – making a £50m offer, the Express report.
With only Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez – who looks set to leave Old Trafford – as the club’s centre-forwards, a striker could be next on van Gaal’s agenda.
2. Sergio Ramos
The Spaniard has been heavily linked to Old Trafford this summer after reports claimed that he ordered Real to negotiate with United – and no other club.
However, he looks set to put pen-to-paper on a new deal in Madrid, and is poised to be named Real’s new captain following Iker Casillas’ move to FC Porto.
United had a £28.6m bid rejected at the beginning of July.
1. Gareth Bale
Sensationally, the Red Devils are said to have made two £100m bids for the former Tottenham Hotspur man and world’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale.
Santiago Bernabeu president Florentino Perez has no desire to sell the winger, and has rejected advances from the Premier League heavyweights.
Van Gaal has recently bemoaned his side’s missing spark – citing Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as examples – and it seems as though Bale continues to be the Dutchman’s desired galactico at Old Trafford.
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