Victor Valdes – 32 Years Old

The former Barcelona keeper brings a history of success and a huge amount of experience. His time at Barcelona may polarise many as some feel his defensive record was down to the superiority of the outfield players who retained possession so well that the opposition never really got a test to Victor Valdes, which may have been relevant earlier during the Barcelona era of dominance. Since then, he’s been given a makeshift defence ahead of him that has usually included one or two midfielders converted into defenders, not to mention his full backs would often be playing as wingers, it is an impressive feat that Valdes won the Zamora Trophy five times in his time with the Catalan club. His ligament injury is less of a worry due to him being a goalkeeper but it is still something to be wary of, his distribution is among the best in the world which may take a while to return as he returns to full match fitness.

Where would he fit in?

Barring an injury or rapid decline in form to David De Gea, Valdes is only likely to see playing time in cup competitions but United won’t be the first team to have kept an experienced keeper who could start for many clubs across Europe as their number two and this seems to be an emerging trend. The fear for United fans may lie in his 18month contract possibly meaning De Gea may be taking Iker Casillas’ role at Real Madrid but that still remains unlikely.

Chances of Signing?

Well, chalk this one up as a done deal, because it is. Valdes has signed and represents a smart move from Van Gaal. Keep De Gea motivated and have an insurance in case the team’s best player this season suffers an injury, a free transfer for Valdes makes perfect sense.

Raphael Varane – 21 Years Old (source: The Express)

The young French centre back has seen his playing time somewhat reduced and he has perhaps not progressed as many hoped since Jose Mourinho left Madrid but he remains a very gifted footballer and incredible athlete. He has the size and speed to deal with any centre forward and has competently dealt with Lionel Messi on various occasions against Barcelona. Perhaps not the greatest tackler in world football even if he has had the few highlight moments, his natural ability means that he often does not need to lunge into a tackle but rather rely on intercepting and clearing the ball before the opposition attacker has a chance to touch the ball. He is also a threat in the opposition box having netted 6 times for Madrid already without having reached 100 appearances, a respectable total for a centre back.

Where would he fit in?

After huge questions over the central midfield in the summer, it is quite clear where United’s greatest weakness lies now and that is across the whole back line. Many will point to the ridiculous amount of injuries suffered but when you take a look at the back 3/4/5 very few will come up with same lineup when picking the best players, this doubt and the several questions that hang over each player in the defence make it the logical area for improvement. Saved from further criticism only by the brilliance of De Gea this season who has kept United’s defensive record among the best in the league but the gap between them and the other title contenders is of epic proportions.

Chances of signing?

It’s always tough to see a team in the Champions League selling one of their players in January, Varane remains the backup to Pepe and Sergio Ramos, should injury befall them Ancelotti would most certainly look to call up on his talented reserve. As a result the more updated rumours see a potential move for Varane.

Luis Suarez – 27 Years Old (source: The Daily Mail)

Yes, the Patrice Evra racially abusing, three time biting, often found cheating Uruguayan striker. For all his talent, the list of former traits is hard to overlook and often overshadows his accomplishments on the field. The sort of player you don’t want at your club because… Read that first line again. You don’t want your club to buy players you hate, you don’t want to hate your own player.

Where would he fit in?

This rumour isn’t strange just because of Luis Suarez’s past with Manchester United but he’s a striker! The club are likely to fork out big money on Radamel Falcao in the summer, Wayne Rooney has come into some form and even Robin van Persie has started looking a little more like himself as opposed to a man that has been stripped of all ability and confidence, also knows as a Fernando Torres. Finally, there’s the exciting prospect of James Wilson.

Chances of Signing?

It’s not happening, if it does I’m happy to start a poll of forfeits for all of you to vote on.