Edinson Cavani – 27 Years Old

Twelve months ago, Cavani was the hottest property on the transfer market, PSG forked out £60million for his services and a season playing second fiddle to arguably one of the few strikers who could say they are better (Ibrahimovic), has seen his reputation and value stutter. Make no mistake, this is the same Cavani that plied his trade in Naples. Cavani is the complete package, physically imposing, his speed and strength make him a mismatch for most centre backs in the world, capable of beating players in the air and on the ground with ease. Technically, he may not be the best but it is not a weakness in the game, just perhaps an area for improvement. He possesses a relentless work rate for someone so talented and that is refreshing to see, not afraid to track back in times of need, it is a trait that endears him to fans so easily. Finally, and perhaps more importantly for a striker is his ability to finish, in his three seasons at Napoli, Cavani broke the thirty goal mark on every occasion for all competitions and was the league’s top goalscorer in his final year. At PSG, the goals have somewhat tailed off due to the position he’s been asked to fill but he remains the league’s second highest goalscorer behind teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Where would he fit in?

Twelve months ago, after United won the league so comprehensively on the back of a striking quartet there seemed no room for a player like Cavani. Now, with Robin van Persie having injury troubles this season, Wayne Rooney struggling with consistency and unsure as to where he wants to plays half the time, a striker that has no such worries surrounding him seems to be the perfect tonic to start the club’s revitalisation this summer.

Chances of Signing?

With a lack of European football it still remains unclear as to whether Edinson Cavani would be willing to sacrifice that luxury. His transfer ultimately boils down to how much credibility can be lent towards reports that he’s already unhappy in the French capital, with Ibrahimovic the star, Cavani may want to opt out but he may face similar problems at Manchester United. If he does go on the market, one has to wonder how many clubs with the purchasing power necessary will be interested, if Chelsea do target Diego Costa, Real Madrid and Manchester City would likely remain the only two clubs with the capabilities outside of Manchester United to sign the player, but their strength in that department does mean United may face little competition thanks to a slightly less productive season.

Thomas Muller – 24 Years Old

Industrious, efficient and a winner. Almost stereotypical traits of a German footballer but few epitomise their national team quite like Muller. The sort of player who many look at and wonder how he starts ahead of highly talented teammates around him and the answer is quite simple, Muller is blessed with supreme intelligence on the pitch. Constantly finding space and boundless energy to keep driving forward and frustrating defenders he was integral to Bayern’s treble under Jupp Heynckes. Having announced himself at the 2010 World Cup in spectacular fashion, claiming the tournament’s Best Young Player and Golden Boot award, he has maintained that high level of consistency in his performances. Scoring goals, creating chances and positionally versatile, he’s a player almost every manager in the world would enjoy having in their team.

Where would he fit in?

Muller’s versatility means that he can operate in any of the front four positions United are likely to employ. Perhaps not a traditional winger in the same manner as Valencia or Nani, nor as creative as Juan Mata or Shinji Kagawa, he does provide stability wherever he plays and the knowledge that a poor game is merely an anomaly. United lack a player with Muller’s tenacity and fight in the front areas beside Rooney, his work ethic will help provide balance in the team in defensive situations without sacrificing a player with high production levels.

Chances of Signing?

This seems to boil down to who will be managing Manchester United in the summer, Thomas Muller would likely be tempted to pack his bags if Louis van Gaal, the man who gave him his first chance at Bayern Munich is chosen to be the permanent successor to David Moyes. That desire to reunite with someone would mean a lack of European football would not be an issue, but it remains to be seen whether Bayern would be willing to part ways with Muller who is close to reaching 50 appearances for the season.

Kevin Strootman – 24 Years Old

A cruciate ligament injury prematurely ended a wonderful season for Kevin Strootman. Part of a three-man Roma midfield that took Serie A by storm and at one point looked like they would possibly dethrone Conte’s Juventus. Strootman is a dying breed of a true box-to-box midfielder that is as equally talented technically as he is physically. Strootman is combative and very tactically aware. His intelligence enhances his already great vision when it comes to passing and his physical stature means he can drive past players with the ball as well. Similar to Michael Essien a decade ago, he is an imposing presence in midfield, capable of dominating the game but perhaps not as regularly as the Ghanian did.

Where would he fit in?

Since Manchester United were linked with Michael Essien, the central midfield area has remained a position that has lacked real depth at the club and in this season has been evidently lacking quality as well. Given the likely loss of leadership on the field this summer, Strootman has the characteristics of a leader, having been his national side’s captain from a young age. United really lack someone with a combination of presence and talent in midfield and Strootman is perfect in that regard.

Chances of Signing?

There remain a few doubts over Strootman’s potential signing, his injury is perhaps the biggest factor, how much damage a ligament problem has had on him won’t be apparent till the start of the season. Rudi Garcia has built a fantastic squad in Rome that is comprised of a fantastic unity and prizing Strootman away from that may not be possible and if it is would perhaps be very expensive, considering the side spent close to €20million acquiring his services a season ago. Roma have also guaranteed Champions League football next season and a club that no longer needs to sell its players would be keen to hold on to one of their star players. However, the appointing of Louis van Gaal, Strootman’s international manager may tempt the player into forcing a move out of the club to join his compatriot.




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