Man Utd set for disappointment in pursuit of World Cup star

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As soon as Manchester United’s new manager was announced as former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Louis van Gaal, rumours that flying Dutch winger Arjen Robben would be the 62-year-old’s first buy grew quicker than Pinocchio’s nose.

Due to take the former Chelsea man to the World Cup in Brazil and having signed the speedy 30-year-old to the German giants in 2009, it was easy to see why the link was being made.

However, the longer the summer has drawn on, the more likely it’s looked that Robben would stay with the defending Bundesliga champions.

That theory is reflected in the odds produced by Ladbrokes as part of their summer transfer window prices, which puts Bayern as the 1/10 favourites to be Robben’s club when signing-season comes to a close on September 1.

Van Gaal, who took Robben’s Dutch teammates to the semi-finals of the World Cup this summer, is now 5/1 to land the winger over the course of the off season and hasn’t been linked with his former player for some time.

Beyond the Red Devils sit a trio of supposed no-hopers in the race to nab Robben, with Manchester City and Barcelona rated equal 10/1 chances and PSG the 12/1 outsiders.

Having completed five seasons in Bavaria though, winning the league title in three of them and the Champions League too, Robben can be forgiven for preferring to stay under Pep Guardiola’s charge for the remainder of his career.

Adding more winners’ medals at Bayern is a far greater guarantee than at Manchester United, where the club are in transition and without European football for this season, and as such Ladbrokes expect the World Cup’s Bronze Ball winner to stay put.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.