The Premier League champions have been accredited with an interest in all three midfielders – but which one would make the most sense for the club?
Manchester United have left their transfer business to late in the day, with the Premier League champions thought to have upped their efforts to sign a new central midfielder before the window closes on Monday.
Athletic Bilbao have acknowledged that a bid has been lodged and rejected for Ander Herrera. United have increased their offer for Marouane Fellaini, while a bid of €12 million is said to have been rejected by Roma for Daniele De Rossi.
Of the three players, Herrera’s signing would be the most progressive. The 24-year-old has been a key man for Bilbao over the last number of seasons, but has not received the kudos that he deserves, with others such as Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente claiming the limelight.
The Basque midfielder fits the hole left by Paul Scholes and is a similar player to another United transfer target this summer, Cesc Fabregas. Technically proficient with a high work-rate, the Spaniard would be a clever acquisition and give the side’s midfield the shot of energy that it is so desperately lacking.
Fellaini’s attributes are well-known to Premier League fans, with the giant Belgian’s stature and reputation in the English game growing over the last 24 months. The former Standard Liege man has been deployed by Everton as a useful second striker, but would most likely be utilised as a midfield enforcer if he moves to Old Trafford.
De Rossi has a wealth of international experience and is widely acknowledged as one of the most combative and passionate central midfielders in the world game. The Roma man has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, with his no-nonsense approach and bite in the tackle seemingly suited to the English game.
Of the three players, Herrera will most likely be the most expensive option but also the best. Bilbao have claimed that they will not sell their prize asset unless his release clause of €36m is met - but he is worth it. Herrera has the bulk of his career ahead of him and has the potential to be a world-beater if given a chance to play for a top team.
Fellaini would be a solid acquisition, but again an expensive one with Everton keen to keep their talisman. The Belgian’s signing would not solve the issue of a lack of creativity in the United boiler room, but would certainly give the side more steel in the centre of the park.
De Rossi looks like a short-term fix – a player that is at his best now but won’t be for much longer. He would bring experience and leadership to Old Trafford but also can be reckless and impetuous. A big reputation also yields a big ego, and initially the player does not look overly suited to United.
Herrera would be the creative midfield playmaker that United have needed since Paul Scholes’ demise, but will cost the Premier League champions a pretty penny.
image: © nicksarebi