After luring one pillar of the Argentina team that reached the World Cup final from Serie A to Old Trafford, Manchester United have revisited the kingdom of calcio to sign a second member of same Albiceleste side.
Following goalkeeper Sergio Romero to the Theatre of Dreams, according to reports in France, is Lazio captain Lucas Biglia.
Attempting to navigate the 2014/15 campaign with just two holding-midfielders, one an injury-prone veteran, the other makeshift in every sense of the word, must’ve been an experience Louis van Gaal is keen to avoid repeating, as the Dutchman habitually drains the Red Devils bank balance investing in exorbitant anchormen.
First to join Michael Carrick and Daley Blind in the defensive screening department was world cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger, who cost a reported £14.5m.
Morgan Schneiderlin was parachuted in after him just days later, setting the club back £24m.
Biglia shares two characteristics with the duo already on board; he’s best deployed in front of the back four and won’t come cheap. Man Utd are thought to have bid £17m for the Argentine’s services earlier in the summer, an offer Lazio dismissed as too far below their £25m valuation.
With other key areas in need of strengthening, namely at centre-back and up front, if the Biancocelesti skipper is indeed United bound, it stands to reason one of the many, many midfielders they currently stock will be sold as part of a routine book-balancing act.
The obvious candidate for the exit door is one of Spanish twosome Juan Mata or Ander Herrera.
Mata is the more marketable, but the influx of holding-midfielders has furnished the former Chelsea schemer with the means to further monopolise his spot on the right flank.
Unless Biglia’s arrival results in Memphis Depay being shunted out wide, it’s Herrera who has most to fear.
The 25-year-old playmaker is who the inbound Argentina star most closely resembles and, ominously, saw his first-team staple spot handed to Schneiderlin for the weekend win over Tottenham.
Their 1-0 triumph over the north Londoners, coupled with Arsenal’s defeat at home to West Ham, saw United whittled into 5/1 for the Premier League title this season.
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