Angel Di Maria – 26 Years Old
Di Maria is a rare talent that has the potential to change a game all on his own. Having turned a new leaf in his career during Mourinho’s reign at Real Madrid in which he became increasingly more consistent and became a factor in games regularly he has not looked back. A player for the big games, Di Maria was arguably the best player on the pitch in the recent Champions League Final in which he helped Real Madrid win their tenth title. Playing in a three usually with Ronaldo and Bale, the trio were the most fearsome attacking force as they supported Benzema ahead of them. During the World Cup, Di Maria has shown a versatility in his game, playing a deeper role that connects the midfield to the attackers, he has shown a relentless work rate to have an impact on both sides of the field, running himself into the ground.
Direct, explosive and highly skilled. It is the dominant feature in Di Maria’s game, a real issue for defenders who struggle to handle his speed and elusiveness. Despite claims that he may be too weak to play in the Premier League he is a player who manages to hold on to the ball under pressure, drawing the opposition towards him as his teammates find space which is when Di Maria uses his wide range of passing to release players in more dangerous positions. Accumulating over twenty assists for Real Madrid this season is testament to that, whilst he may feel his goal conversion rate could be increased having only contributed nine seven in the league and Champions League.
Where would he fit in?
There are plenty of attacking options at United but there’s a lack of a real difference maker within the wingers. Nani has proved too inconsistent, Valencia lacks that exceptional ability, whilst Ashley Young has often adopted the worst characteristics of both. Able to play anywhere behind the strikers, Di Maria’s combination of speed and distribution make him a perfect fit for this team, with Mata, Van Persie and Rooney, the pressure of scoring goals is lessened but creating the chances for them will fall on Di Maria.
Chances of Signing?
It looks like Di Maria is on his way out of Madrid and Manchester United appear in the hunt for his services but they will not be the only team, with PSG widely rumoured to be interested in the Argentinian and their apparent disregard for FFP may continue. The same issue remains for United, the lack of European football may deter Di Maria even if it is only for one season but the same bonus remains, players want to work with Louis van Gaal and he could tempt the player into a move to Old Trafford.
Wesley Sneijder – 30 Years Old
Every season, it seems that Wesley Sneijder is linked to a move to Manchester which inevitably never materialises. The Dutch playmaker, now at Galatasaray has been on a downward curve since he led Inter to the treble and his national side to a World Cup Final. Whether that is because Sneijder doesn’t have it in him anymore or whether it is simply a case of the hunger disappearing remains to be seen, but given his age, the latter seems more likely. Excellent vision, incredible ball control and a real threat whether from long range or set pieces, Sneijder is technically imperious. Having won a domestic title at all four clubs in his career, it is no coincidence, Sneijder has brought or maintained success wherever he gone.
Having been rather quiet during the group stages of the World Cup, he burst into life in the knockout stages in which his long range shooting and passing began to feature and dominate games. Perhaps a move to England will be the motivation Sneijder needs to maintain the form he showed in the last few games in Brazil.
Where would he fit in?
As a number 10, Sneijder would face stiff competition from the likes of Mata, Kagawa and Rooney for a starting spot in his preferred position. Yet his vision is only matched by Mata and his ability at scoring from outside the box only rivaled by Rooney, whilst his dead ball ability is perhaps the best of the lot he may be the most all-round player in that position if he were to join. A diversity in attack is needed to win the league and Sneijder would definitely provide that. There’s also the scope at his age to drop him in a deeper role, where his passing could really take over games.
Chances of Signing?
Galatasaray have confirmed that they would be willing to let Sneijder leave given the right price and again his Dutch association has fueled rumours that Louis van Gaal will be tempted to bring him along to Manchester. His wage demands may however once again prove to be a stumbling block but there may be more willingness on his behalf to be more receptive of an offer from Manchester United.