Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has already shown he’s not afraid to splash the cash – spending over £200m in the summer – but the Dutchman is reportedly poised to make an even bigger statement and break the world record transfer fee.
Having signed Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao (on loan) Van Gaal is said the be readying a £120m bid for Gareth Bale.
The Welshman has thrived since leaving Spurs for Real Madrid and has long been admired inside Old Trafford but the fee is mindboggling!
Here are five better ways for United to spend £120m with approximate fees and valuations taken from transfermarkt.com.
We’ll let you decide how realistic or otherwise you rate the following…
Make David de Gea the world’s best paid goalkeeper – £32m
De Gea has proven himself to be one of if not the best keeper in the Premier League over the last two seasons.
He’s fully shaken off his dodgy start and while comparisons to Edwin van der Sar and Peter Schmeichel are premature the youngster looks poised for greatness.
Real Madrid are already sniffing around so offering the Spaniard £6.5m a year – eclipsing Iker Casillas’ £6.3m – for five years might just convince him to stay.
Snap up Mats Hummels – £24m
United have looked more assured at the back of late but the consensus is that the players already at the club cannot provide a title-winning foundation.
Hummels has long been on United’s wishlist but it seems now is the time to strike. Borussia Dortmund are struggling big time in the Bundesliga and the German stopper recently described the club as “pathetic”, possibly hinting that he’s looking to escape.
Buy Juan Cuadrado – £22m
If it’s a pacy and creative wing operator United are after they could do much worse than Fiorentina’s Colombian ace for a fraction of the rumoured Bale bid.
The Red Devils have been keeping close tabs on Cuadrado and with the World Cup star being used in a rotation system in Florence a move to Old Trafford would certainly appeal.
Finally end the Strootman talk – £15.5m
The fact that Van Gaal continues to be linked with his countryman despite his well-documented injury problems shows how highly he is rated.
Roma have been reluctant to sell so far but the chance to work under Van Gaal again in a new era for United could prove too tempting for the classy midfielder.
Bring back Paul Pogba – £30m
One of Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest mistakes was to let the Frenchman go in favour of bringing back Paul Scholes for a final swansong.
Pogba has proven his talent since moving to Juventus and while he may yet opt for the other side of Manchester – with City also interested – Van Gaal should go all out to secure his return.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.