The last edition of transfer round up for this particular window and so far it has been fairly quiet for United. When Louis van Gaal refused to disclose transfer tactics on live TV it may well have been because his tactic was to not do much.

Victor Valdes’ addition as a free agent was a wise move but fans will ultimately be more concerned over the future of De Gea, who has yet to sign a new contract. Anyway enough of that for now, let’s see who may well be on their way to Old Trafford in the next couple of days or who has been lined up for a summer move.

Gareth Bale – 25 Years Old (Source: Telegraph)

Gone are the days that Gareth Bale was an omen of bad luck, Spurs never won a game with Bale starting at left back (pretty sure that still remains true). Ever since his move to a more attacking role, he hasn’t looked back. With pace to burn he’s been electric the past few seasons for both Tottenham and Real Madrid. He’s racked up 46 league goals in his last 76 games, a rather impressive tally. A thunderous shot are just one of the many things Gareth Bale possesses, as highlighted earlier, his speed is his greatest asset. While he is technically capable his pace allows him to simply run past the opposition by kicking the ball away from them and chasing it down, while I’ve obviously simplified this tactic it is ultimately what it comes down to E.g. this goal against Barcelona. He’s a prototype for the modern footballer, a mix between athlete and technique.

In an era of close control, passing and moving focused in central areas, it is refreshing to see someone with the desire to beat his man on the outside and put a cross in. Though there are plenty of players who are adept at beating their man, the cross is ultimately what lets them down, time and time again. Thankfully, Bale is rather good at the crossing side of things, whether this is one of the benefits starting out as a full back, only he will know but it does make him very dangerous to defenders who won’t want to see him cut in or go around them. One attribute that Bale has always seemed to possess is the ability to strike the ball exquisitely from dead ball situations, whether it be scoring from free kicks or delivering corners that beat the first man, unlike many out there. Bale is one of the best in the world at his position, a real tormenter of the opposition and his time at Real Madrid alongside Ronaldo has probably helped him learn a thing or two from the current World’s Best Player.

Where would he fit in?

Spaces along the United front line are rather slim, so he’d probably find himself at left back…

Realistically, the United team would accommodate Bale with ease. That’s not to say United should focus all their play for him, his time at Tottenham showed that he might not be able to carry a team all the way but he won’t need to with the supporting cast the side already have. Bale would comfortably be United’s best winger (I’m not counting Di Maria as he has rarely started out wide for the club) and would another dimension to the attack. Before the aforementioned Di Maria came to United, the side really looked lethargic and without any real pace, there are still times when that is apparent but with Bale that would be a thing of the past. It would be a real test of any defence having to contain the likes of Bale, Rooney, Falcao and Mata all at once and you wouldn’t back them to fail on many occasions.

Chances of Signing?

This has been suggested as a £120million summer move, the speculation arises whenever Bale forgets to pass to Ronaldo in a game and the Portuguese has a big old strop on the pitch but I wouldn’t think for a second that Ronaldo doesn’t realise or appreciate Bale’s role in the Real Madrid side. The question is would a move to Manchester that would probably earn him a handsome pay rise and the chance to take England’s most successful club back to the top be too good to turn down? If United did fork up the money. It’s a long shot but one United fans will hope comes through.

Aymeric Laporte – 20 years old (Source: Daily Mail)

Another week, another young defender linked to the club. It has been a running theme throughout this window that United desperately need a defender to strengthen their squad. Laporte won the Euro U21s with France and has since become a regular starter for Bilbao in the heart of their defence. For a young player he doesn’t have a glaring fault, his pace often able to recover any minor errors in judgement but on the whole he is a rather composed defender who excels both in the air and on the ground, winning the lion’s share of duels against opposition attackers. It is rare that in someone so young there is such a completeness to his game, able to make crucial tackles and intercept passes equally well, he creates the illusion of a rather formidable wall at the back. Very quick at pressing opponents and understanding of his role in a high line defence, he is the perfect defender for a team wanting to play with high intensity and pressure. In a rather slow start to the season for Bilbao, Laporte and the rest of the defence have been quietly solid with only two clubs below the top 7 having a better defensive record, but the lack of goals ahead has put pressure on them to perform at the highest level.

He boasts a sensible head for one so young and like many emerging defenders, a great ease on the ball. He’s happy to bring the ball from deep positions or quickly rotate the ball in order to get it to the midfield anchors ahead of him. There is no sense of extravagance but intelligent football. It is no surprise that during the Euro win with France he was the team’s captain.

Where would he fit in?

Rather well in a team with plenty of young defenders. There really isn’t a leader among them but Laporte would be able to fill that void. Again, the distribution from the back line at United has been rather average and signing someone like Laporte, comfortable on the ball whether passing or going on the odd galavanting run in order to free up space for the rest of the team, would be very helpful.

Chances of Signing?

A player in high demand but United could guarantee him what many other big clubs around Europe can’t and that is the chance to start straight away in the first team. The stumbling block would be Bilbao’s valuation for their prized possession which appears to be in excess of £40million, surely that would come down but it remains a lot of money to spend on a very good but still very inexperienced defender.

Aleksander Dragovic – 23 years old (Source: Daily Star)

Would you look at that, another centre back. A graduate of the very good Basel academy in recent years, the Dynamo Kiev and Austrian footballer is the sort of no nonsense defender the crowd can really get behind. Fully committed and relishing a battle, typical for where he started and where he currently plays. Often playing the role of sweeper for his team, he possesses great awareness on the field to put out any fires before they start. Not reckless in his play or defending but measured and well-timed he is a player that doesn’t need to rely on physical attributes to be successful.

Where would he fit in?

United don’t seem the same defence without a player who has name perfectly suited to play the role of the new Ivan Drago in a Rocky sequel. Nemanja Vidic’s departure meant that United lost the defender that was able to read the game better than most, now filled with more physically gifted rather than intelligent defenders, Dragovich would be a great addition to fill that void.

Chances of Signing?

If United are interested, Dragovich will no doubt be playing in red. No disrespect to Dynamo Kiev but I can’t see them holding on to a player who has been approached by a club of United’s standing. A modest fee of around £13million is expected to be enough to prize him away, given the valuations for other defenders in Europe it may well be the smart, business choice that reaps the biggest reward.