Central midfield has been a problem for Manchester United since Paul Scholes called time on his career in 2011.
Sir Alex Ferguson struggled to replace the pass master so badly he coaxed the red-headed midfielder into a swansong for two more seasons before finally allowing him to strut into the BT Sport studio in 2013.
In Scholes’ absence, Michael Carrick has carved out a role in his compatriot’s mould but, at 34-years-old, is well into his twilight.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, signed to share tempo-controlling responsibilities with the concrete-haired Carrick this summer, is three years younger than his midfield partner, but can’t be viewed as the long-term option at Old Trafford either.
Amid the flurry of funds that Louis van Gaal has thrown at the Red Devils’ squad since becoming manager, the one area he has failed to bolster is the playmaking midfielder.
Daley Blind, Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera have all arrived to plump the centre-circle stocks in the past two campaigns, but are all used differently to Scholes, Carrick and Schweinsteiger.
It should come as no surprise then that the world’s foremost young string puller finds himself linked with an Old Trafford switch.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti is reportedly being sacrificed in order to allow Paul Pogba to move to his homeland from Juventus. As a result, Man United are being touted as the landing spot for the Italian international.
The 23-year-old has become an integral part of the French champions’ makeup in his three seasons in the capital, but is thought to be surplus to requirements should Pogba move to Parc des Princes.
If that’s the case, PSG’s loss would most certainly be Man United’s gain as the club would finally have a midfield passer to build around.
Whether it’s Van Gaal that benefits from the protracted transfer remains to be seen, as the Dutchman comes under increasing pressure following United’s Champions League exit and recent loss to Bournemouth which leaves them 9/1 to win the Premier League.
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