Talk of Manchester United continuing their summer spending spree, which has already seen them land midfielder Ander Herrera and left-back Luke Shaw, has intensified after executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward revealed additional money is there for new boss Louis van Gaal.
With funds available, we look at Sky Bet’s transfer markets to see who is expected to arrive at Old Trafford this summer.
Despite only signing for PSG for a French record transfer fee of £54m just 12 months ago, Cavani’s future has attracted plenty of speculation this summer. The Uruguay forward is reportedly unhappy at playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, utilised in a wider role than during his prolific Napoli days. Old Trafford is rated his most likely destination but Sky Bet still have a move odds-against at 7/4, with their frontline arguably the area least in need of rebuilding. Liverpool (5/2) and Manchester City (6/1) are considered the most likely alternatives, with Cavani making his liking for the Premier League clear in a recent interview.
The Borussia Dortmund and Germany central defender looks to be the perfect fit following the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. Following the summer clear-out, United's backline lacks the sort of experience Hummels would provide, having played in World Cup and Champions League finals as well as boasting two Bundesliga winners' medals, despite being just 25.
Jurgen Klopp dismissed talk of a €20m (£15.8m) deal but Woodward’s quotes imply United have what it takes to test Dortmund’s typically susceptible resolve. Sky Bet see it as a deal all but done, with odds on 1/6, while Barcelona are considered the main rivals for his services at 6/1.
If Louis van Gaal deems United’s central midfield to be lacking in aggression and tenacity, then the Chile and Juventus man looks the ideal solution. The talismanic 27-year-old provided the engine room for Chile at the World Cup while he also has an eye for goal, with 11 to his name in Serie A last season. However, Juve will slap a hefty price tag on their star man, with a fee of around £40m suggested, while recent tabloid reports suggest Liverpool are looking to hijack the move. The Reds are, however, 10/1 compared to United’s odds of 1/6 to strike a deal.
Another World Cup winner, Schweinsteiger, is considered the alternative option to Vidal and is also odds-on at 8/11 following some sustained backing earlier in the summer. However, Sky Bet report interest has dried up, prompting his price to drift out, with Bayern Munich also likely to demand a hefty fee. Van Gaal is credited with transforming the 29-year-old from a winger to defensive midfield, a role he excelled in during Germany’s triumph in Brazil. If the Vidal deal falls through, then expect Schweinsteiger to return to the head of United’s wish list.
United have naturally been linked with a whole host of Netherlands internationals after Van Gaal exceeded expectations with a semi-final run in Brazil. However, no Dutch players are currently odds-on to head to Old Trafford. Daley Blind (13/8) was a revelation as left-wingback but would surely only be signed as back-up to £27m-man Luke Shaw, while Ron Vlaar (3/1) was a commanding figure and even had the better of Lionel Messi in the semi-final. With Hummels seemingly United’s top target, Southampton are currently considered more likely suitors at 6/4, with Dejan Lovren heavily linked with Liverpool. Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado also enhanced his reputation at the World Cup and is 11/4 to head to Old Trafford, although Barcelona head the market at 10/11. Angel Di Maria is also considered at 7/2 but, once again, United are second in the betting with PSG short odds to sign the Argentinian at 1/4.
Dead in the water deals…
Having suggested Van Gaal offered him the chance to also make the move to Manchester after the World Cup, Arjen Robben has dismissed leaving Bayern Munich this summer. Paul Pogba, who was allowed to leave Old Trafford after his contract expired two years ago, has also been linked with a Premier League return but Chelsea are considered a most likely destination, with United 11/1 outsiders. Dortmund boss Klopp dismissed speculation over the future of Marco Reus along with his team-mate Hummels, but the odds of United meeting the demands to sign the forward are far longer at 13/2, with Liverpool leading the market at 5/2.