Man Utd transfer window verdict: the end for Louis van Gaal?

Manchester United were in need of new blood in January and it is telling that the manager did not pick up the chequebook

Manchester United's under-pressure manager Louis van Gaal
(Image credit: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

Man Utd transfer news: Gareth Bale mega-deal could cost £150m

05 January

With Rafa Benitez still clearing his desk after being sacked as Real Madrid manager, Manchester United are reportedly ready to exploit the turmoil at the Bernabeu by making another move for Gareth Bale.

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The Daily Mirror claims that the Red Devils are "ready to re-launch" their efforts to sign the Welsh wizard for a fee of more than £75m, and believe the departure of Benitez is "encouraging".

It's alleged that Bale enjoyed working with the former Liverpool manager and "is understood to be disappointed to see him go". Much will depend on the relationship Bale has with new gaffer Zinedine Zidane but the Mirror says that United executive Ed Woodward is quietly confident that the sacking of Benitez is a game-changer and will make it more likely that Real will sell Bale.

But Bale will not come cheap. The Mirror says the Spaniards would not let the winger go for anything less than £75m, but that figure pales in comparison to what The Times claims they want for him. It believes that if president Florentino Perez digs in his heels the price could be as high as £150m, plus Bale's £300,000-a-week wage demands.

Man Utd transfer news: Mane, Anderson, Neymar on the radar

04 January

Louis van Gaal is said to be stunned, and not because his boys have finally won a game. United's nervy defeat of Swansea on Saturday has brought the Dutchman some breathing space after a disastrous run of form, and according to The Sun he is now looking to bolster his squad by swooping for Sadio Mane. But Van Gaal has been told by Southampton that the striker "will cost a stunning £62.5m".

Around £30m of that fee will go on prising the 23-year-old Mane from St Mary's, while the Sun claims he will then demand to be paid £125,000-a-week in a five-year deal. But it's a price Van Gaal is willing to pay, believing that Mane has the pace to pose a serious threat to opposition defences.

And the paper adds that United are also preparing a big money offer for Lazio's Felipe Anderson, the 22-year-old Brazilian who has been impressing in Serie A this season. According to reports over the weekend, United officials are in Rome haggling over Lazio's £35m asking price.

United's pursuit of Neymar continues according to the Daily Mirror, which carries news of a report from France claiming that United are ready to trigger Neymar's £140m release clause after talks over a new contract at Barcelona broke down. The paper says Van Gaal will move to sign the Brazilian in the summer.

Man United transfer news: can Guedes stop the rot at Old Trafford?

21 December

With the Red Devils season only marginally less hellish than Chelsea's, there is no guarantee that Louis van Gaal will still be manager when next month's transfer window opens, but if he is still in charge at Old Trafford, the Daily Mirror claims his first "swoop" will be for Benfica striker Goncalo Guedes.

Taking its cue from Italian website Calciomercato, the Star says United see the 19-year-old marksman as someone who can support the struggling strikers Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial. Then again, as the paper points out, Guedes has only scored three goals in 12 appearances so far this season - so perhaps van Gaal is thinking Double Dutch.

Perhaps a better fit for United would be Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez, who the Daily Express claims is in their sights. The paper says that the 24-year-old Algerian international, whose 13 league goals and six assists have taken the Foxes to the top of the table, will be the subject of a £29m offer in the new year.

Man United transfer news: Real Madrid hijack Robert Lewandowski hunt

18 December

A day after being strongly linked to Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Manchester United are poised to be dumped out of the race to sign the Polish sharpshooter. But, according to The Sun, United will be exalted company as both Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona will also find themselves as also-rans.

That's because the 27-year-old is being hunted by Real Madrid and a source close to Lewandowksi has let slip to the paper that the Bernabeu is where he wants to head. “It shouldn't come as any real surprise that clubs are looking at Robert given the form he has been in this season," said the source. “But if he were to leave Bayern, then the chances are it will only be to go to one club, and that is in Madrid.”

The Sun says United were ready to offer Lewandowksi a deal worth £11m a year net in the hope he'd head to Old Trafford, but Real President Florentino Perez has made the Pole his priority for next season.

United may have more luck, however, with Lorenzo Gonzalez, the 15-year-old striker currently making a name for himself with Swiss outfit Servette. The teenager is being tracked by a host of European clubs but Metro claims United are ready to "sign him and hope to fend off interest" from their rivals.

Man Utd transfer news: first Neymar, now Lewandowski

17 December

Just 24 hours after it was claimed United were prepared to spend silly money on securing the services of Neymar, there comes news that the Red Devils are also eyeing up Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

Talksport cites sources in Germany saying that United will go head to head with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid at the end of the season to sign the Pole, who has scored a sensational 23 goals in 25 appearances this season for the German champions.

PSG are already preparing for life after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lewandowski is "their top target", but it's believed Louis van Gaal is increasingly resigned to the fact that Wayne Rooney is in terminal decline and has identified Lewandowski as the ideal replacement.

Meanwhile The Sun claims that United are one of several clubs keen on Stoke star Bojan. The 25-year-old former Barcelona, AC Milan and Roma forward has been in eye-catching form so far this season and he has caught the eye of United, along with Chelsea and Liverpool. It is claimed that all three are prepared to meet Stoke's asking price of £15m.

Potters' boss Mark Hughes bought Bojan from Barcelona for less than £1m at the start of last season, and although he would like the Spaniard to remain at the club he's also prepared to sell him if the price is right.

Man Utd transfer news: £500k a week to lure Neymar from Barcelona

16 December

There could be some serious money flying around Manchester this summer with The Sun claiming that United chief executive Ed Woodward is "desperate" to sign Brazil star Neymar.

Apparently the Barcelona man and his representatives have "been blown away by the financial package dangled in front of them " during months of what the Sun describes as "top-secret talks". The paper says that United are prepared to meet Neymar's £165m buyout clause as they look to revive the Old Trafford club following another season that looks destined to end in disappointment.

The Sun says that United will pay Neymar a salary of "£500,000 a week over five years". The extraordinary wages will come from the club's various lucrative corporate deals and sponsorship programmes.

However, United will have to bide their time before landing the man of the moment, Riyad Mahrez, according to the Daily Mail.

The 24-year-old has been inspirational in Leicester's climb to the top of the table, and his form in Monday's 2-1 defeat of Chelsea has only served to heighten interest among his admirers. The Mail says Mahrez has been "watched closely" by Manchester United, Arsenal and Barcelona, all of whom are mightily impressed by his goals and assists.

But in an interview with French broadcaster RMC, the Algeria international dismissed talk of a move away from Leicester next month: "It's best for me to stay until the end of the season," he explained. "Leicester tried very hard to get me... I am happy that I signed for Leicester."

Despite his commitment to the Foxes cause this campaign, his comments will only encourage Arsenal and United to make a play for Mahrez at the end of the season.

Man Utd transfer news: double Everton raid for Romelu Lukaku and John Stones

15 December

As Manchester United's quest for a reliable source of goals continues there are claims that Louis van Gaal will turn to Everton goal machine Romelu Lukaku in January.

The Manchester Evening News is among the papers to link United to the strapping forward, citing Italian website ItaSportPress as the source of the rumour.

"The formidable Belgian has been in exceptional form so far this season, scoring 12 league goals and finding the next in his last six Premier League outings," notes the paper, which raises the possibility of a double raid on Goodison Park by noting that Van Gaal is also hoping to lure defender John Stones to Old Trafford in the new year.

Meanwhile the Daily Express reports that the club is "mulling over" a January bid for winger Sofiane Feghouli.

The Valencia star's contract runs out in the summer and he's apparently wavering over penning a new deal. Inter Milan are also known to have eyed up the wide man but the Express claims United will look to "use the relationship with Gary Neville to push the move through".

The former United defender took charge of the Spanish outfit earlier in the month, and it looks like the Old Trafford club will look to exploit his presence to in their bid to sign Feghouli.

Man Utd transfer news: Alexandre Pato tipped for United move

14 December

After defeat to Bournemouth it is make or break time for Louis van Gaal and the Manchester United boss appears to have set his heart on bringing more firepower to Old Trafford next month.

Brazilian Alexandre Pato is one of the strikers linked with United and he increased speculation that he is poised for a move to the Premier League next month in a no-holds barred interview with the Sunday Telegraph.

"I would like to come to England because I think the championship [the Premier League] is the number one in the world," he said, making a brazen come-and-get-me plea.

As for who might come calling for the 26-year-old, the Telegraph says Manchester United and Chelsea are the favourites to land to the former AC Milan striker in the new year.

Pato has one-year left on his Corinthians contract, but is available for £15m, according to the Telegraph, and he told the paper: "I'm ready for a new challenge... I want to write a new story in Europe, to make a new history."

Meanwhile the Daily Mail says that United "are in talks" over a deal for Zurich striker Nishan Burkhart. The teenage sensation doesn't turn 16 until next month but apparently the Red Devils have identified Burkhart as a star of the future, and the teenager has been compared to a young Theo Walcott. Indeed Arsenal are one of the clubs known to have watched the 15-year-old this season, along with Southampton and Chelsea, but the Mail says that United are "hoping to convince his family" that his interests would best be served by a move to Old Trafford.

Another teenage forward on the United radar is Odsonne Edouard, and the Daily Star claims Louis van Gaal sent his scouts to France last week to watch the 17-year-old in action for Paris Saint-Germain's Uefa Youth League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Man Utd transfer news: Van Gaal ready to shell out £50m for John Stones

11 December

The future of Everton defender John Stones continues to excite the press with the Daily Mirror reporting that the 21-year-old is Manchester United's "number one transfer target". Chelsea are known to have made three bids for the youngster last summer, including one of £35m plus, while Arsenal are also rumoured to be interested in the Toffees centre-back.

But according to the Mirror United "are prepared to shell out a world-record fee" for Stones, one that would top £50m. The offer wouldn't be made until the end of the season, but it's believed United are serious about Stones and that manager Louis van Gaal reckons the Red Devils "have the edge over Jose Mourinho's side, should a bidding war emerge".

Man Utd transfer news: Ronaldo says no to Utd move

10 December

It wasn't so long ago that Cristiano Ronaldo seemed a racing certainty to return to Old Trafford in the summer, but with United's form collapsing like a shoddily-built snowman, it looks like the Portuguese preener has had second thoughts.

The Evening Standard reports that the 30-year-old Ronaldo, who netted four goals during Real Madrid's 8-0 thrashing of Malmo in their Tuesday night Champions League clash, has dismissed suggestions he is ready to leave the Spanish capital.

"It is speculation, it happens every year," said Ronaldo when asked about the United rumours. "People should be used to it by now. But Real Madrid have helped me greatly since I arrived. I am very happy here. I have a contract with Real [until 2018] and I will stay."

From the great to the green, and the Daily Star says that United have overtaken Arsenal and Chelsea in the race to sign "Swiss sensation" Nishan Burkhart. Just 15-years-old, the youngsters is happy at centre-forward or on the wing and is said to possess the pace of Theo Walcott, when the latter's not injured.

Man Utd transfer news: Red Devils prepare 'record bid' of £143.9m for Barcelona's Neymar

09 December

In need of some serious cheering up following Tuesday night's exit from the Champions League, United fans are consoling themselves with the news that the Red Devils are "ready to make a world record bid of £143.9m" for Barcelona ace Neymar.

Rumours have been abounding for weeks that Louis van Gaal was on the tail of the Brazilian, and Talksport – citing sources in Spain - claims that the mammoth bid will be tabled in June. It's said in some quarters that United tried to lure the 23-year-old sharpshooter to Old Trafford last summer, only to be knocked back by the European champions. But the Spanish media say United are confident that Barcelona will have no choice but to accept £143.9m offer.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Daily Mail says that United are "hopeful of closing a deal" for Juan Familia-Castillo. Described by the paper as "highly-rated", the Ajax teen shone for Holland U15s against Belgium recently. That caught the eye of Van Gaal and the Mail says the Dutchman wants to bring Castillo through United's youth academy. He turns 16 in January, can play centre midfield or on the left wing, and is tipped for greatness in the not too distant future.

Finally, the Daily Star says that United are "eyeing Marseille's Benjamin Mendy" as a potential fix to their left-back problems.

With Luke Shaw out for the rest of the season with a broken leg, Van Gaal needs cover and the Star says to that end he sent scouts last week to watch Mendy in action against Rennes. Apparently an offer is in the pipeline, which will come as a blow to Arsenal who are also said to be interested in the 21-year-old defender.

Man Utd transfer news: Edinson Cavani and Harry Kane double swoop

07 December

After being booed off the park following Saturday's 0-0 draw with West Ham, United's sixth goalless draw of the season, manager Louis van Gaal is gearing up to spend big next year. Firstly, Metro claims that United are "set to make a £50 million bid to sign Harry Kane" despite Spurs' declaration that their young striker is not for sale. But so desperate is van Gaal for goals that he will try to lure Kane from White Hart Lane with an irresistible offer. Metro says that United have compiled a comprehensive file on Kane "including details of his all-round game and character", and the club is increasingly confident they'll be able to get their man.

Meanwhile the International Business Times says that Paris Saint-Germain have told United they "are willing to allow Edinson Cavani leave in the January transfer window". Of course, that's contingent on the Red Devils coughing up the £32m price tag but apparently the two clubs are on good terms following Angel Di Maria's move to PSG in the summer. As a result the IB Times says United are in the driving seat to sign Cavani next month, although Arsenal are also said to be interested in the South American striker.

Man Utd transfer news: Cavani deal on if PSG can replace him

4 December

Edinson Cavani is edging closer to a move to Old Trafford although the Paris Saint-Germain striker will only cross the Channel once the French champions have found a superstar replacement.

That's the claim made in the Daily Express, which explains that United boss Louis van Gaal is "an admirer of the Uruguay international and is keen to bring in an experienced striker to play alongside Anthony Martial".

With Wayne Rooney apparently in terminal decline, the Dutchman knows he needs a reliable goal-getter and the Express, passing on information supplied by French sports daily L'Equipe, says PSG are prepared to sell the 28-year-old Cavani as soon as they hire a sharpshooter to take his place. As for the likely fee, French news outlet Le10 Sport says PSG "have put a £32m fee" on Cavani's head.

Meanwhile, United are among the clubs on alert after it was claimed that Chelsea teenager Charly Musonda "could quit the club amid uncertainty over his future". In reporting the news, the Daily Express says the 19-year-old had hopes of breaking into the first team this season but has yet to make an appearance, prompting him to consider his options.

United and Arsenal are monitoring the midfielder's situation along with Monaco, and the Express says all three are thinking about making their move next month, although Chelsea are anxious to retain the player's services.

Man Utd transfer news: striker Aubameyang to add firepower

2 December

He's scored more Bundesliga goals than Robert Lewandowski this season and according to The Sun, hotshot Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might soon be headed to Old Trafford.

The paper claims that the Borussia Dortmund star's form "has not gone unnoticed by Louis van Gaal" and says he is likely to make an offer for the Gabon goal machine next month by the United gaffer.

Aubameyang joined Dortmund from Milan in 2013 and the lightning quick striker is now also being eyed up by Barcelona. However, the Sun claims that the 26-year-old Aubameyang, who has 17 goals to Lewandowski's 14 this term, could well prefer United because they can offer him regular first team football whereas at the Camp Nou he'd have to fight for his place in the starting line-up alongside the Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, assuming he doesn't do a bunk to Manchester City in June.

Meanwhile Ander Herrera has moved to distance himself from speculation that he is seeking a way out of Old Trafford. The Independent reports that the 26-year-old Spanish midfielder, who is popular with the fans but has become a bit-part player recently, "attempted to allay fears he is unhappy" by posting a message on Twitter in which he declared himself to be "very happy at Manchester United."

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Man Utd transfer news: teen Breel Embolo to solve goal problem?

1 December

Teenage Basel sensation Breel Embolo is the latest player to be linked to Old Trafford with Metro reporting that United will "go all out to sign" the frontman in the January transfer window.

The 18-year-old was watched by United scouts last week against Fiorentina in the Europa League, and the reports back to Louis van Gaal have convinced the United gaffer to make his move.

Italian newspaper Tuttosport says United will "accelerate their pursuit of the exciting forward" and are quietly confident of fending off interest from Juventus and Barcelona for the hand of Embolo.

Meanwhile Thomas Muller has been warned against joining Manchester United, by none other than German legend Lothar Matthaus. The Evening Standard reports that the Red Devils are circling the Bayern Munich forward with Van Gaal believed to be ready to table a second bid having been rebuffed in the summer.

Chelsea are also interested, prompting speculation of a bidding war. But, speaking to German rag Bild, Matthaus had this message for his compatriot: "He does not need United or Chelsea... my opinion is he should definitely stay at Bayern for his lifetime. He started his professional career at Bayern and I think he should end his career here."

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