Things aren’t going to plan for Shinji Kagawa at Old Trafford as he struggles to gain regular first-team football.
David Moyes is clearly not all that keen on the 24-year-old Japan international who Sir Alex Ferguson signed for £17m last year from Borussia Dortmund, so perhaps the new boss would consider exchanging him for some players he might actually want to play.
1) Leighton Baines (Everton)
Moyes’ number one target this summer was his fullback at Everton Leighton Baines – United failed with bids of £12 million and £15 million but perhaps Roberto Martinez would be open to the idea of swapping the England star with one of the most technically gifted and creative players in the Premier League. I also reckon Kagawa could be convinced given that he’d likely get far more games in the run up to the World Cup.
2) Ross Barkley (Everton)
Or, if Everton really won’t budge on the Baines issue, perhaps Moyes could swap Kagawa for his favourite young prodigy at Goodison Park, England youngster Ross Barkley. The 19-year-old is still a diamond in the rough but I’m sure Moyes would rather have him as the future jewel in United’s crown than Kagawa as the stone unturned.
3) Ezequiel Garay (Benfica)
Another signing that never was this summer is this 27-year-old Benfica centre-back formerly of Real Madrid. United have been a bit clumsy defensively so far this term and the Argentine who is rated around £16m could be just the man to plug the gaps in Moyes’ backline.
4) Koke (Athletico Madrid)
After failing in bids to sign Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera, the Red Devils are now reportedly turning their attention to this highly rated 21-year-old Spaniard who is the most creative midfielder at Athletico Madrid and who just so happens to have a £16m release clause, according to reports. This deal could represent a win-win situation for both clubs and both players with a like-for-like swap. Kagawa could slot in at the Spanish capital where he would still play Champions League football and United could have the ‘new Xavi.’
5) Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)
Or, perhaps Kagawa’s preference would be to return to Dortmund as had been suggested this summer. If he went in January, United could swap him for Polish striker Lewandowski who Dortmund would surely rather receive something for rather than let him walk away as a free agent next summer and likely sign for Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich. Dortmund would get one of their fans’ favourites back and that compensation is better than nothing for losing their star forward.
image: © Schwenke