How should Manchester United best spent £100 million?
Manchester United manager David Moyes continues to give mixed messages about whether he will spend or not, seemingly hung up on the fact they will not attain any top targets.
Koke, Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus have all been touted for big money transfers - but United are likely to hit a brick wall in pursuit of all three.
Throwing in the towel however is not an option, and there are still countless players who can improve the Red Devils.
What do United need?
It doesn't take a genius to work out that United need central midfielders, it's an area of the team neglected since 2009, and that can't be put down to David Moyes.
They need midfielders who can be tough in the tackle, and who are able to unlock defences with a killer pass. But that isn't the only area of need.
United's wing situation is an enigma, with the quartet of Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Nani and Wilfried Zaha all having question marks over their long-term future. A new dazzling winger would shake everything up.
In central defence a leader to replace the past-it Rio Ferdinand is also essential, especially with Nemanja Vidic's future not yet tied up.
Here are six players who can combine to re-invigorate the flagging champions at a total cost of £100 million...
Ivan Rakitic £33m
Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic is not cup-tied for Champions League football, and has a release clause of £33 million in his contract. At 25, the Croatian is far more matured as a player than Ander Herrera and impacting games in La Liga on a regular basis, with eight goals and six assists this season. Last night he scored and created three chances as Sevilla beat Getafe 3-0, touching the ball 108 times as he controlled the midfield.
Antoine Griezmann £20m
The Real Sociedad winger is ineligible for the Champions League this season but he may be the difference between United qualifying for next season or not. He has 12 goals this season for the club, who while they have said they don't want to sell, showed with Asier Illarramendi they will cash in at the right price. The Frenchman is only 22 and can be a mainstay of United's side for years if they act fast to sign him now.
Ezequiel Garay £16m
Garay is not a new name suggested for a move to Manchester United, but when it comes to replacing Rio Ferdinand he is one of the better, and most cost effective options. He has a £16m release clause in his contract which United considered paying last summer. With uncertainty over Vidic, United would do well to bring him in mid-season as they did with the Serb, get him up to speed and ready to hit the ground running next season.
Sidney Sam £2m
Bayer Leverkusen winger Sidney Sam has attracted admiring advances from several clubs, owing to a staggering £2 million release clause in his contract. The attacking midfielder is reported to have turned down a new deal, providing him with a chance to move to a club of his choice. He is left with positive impressions of United after they demolished Leverkusen 5-0 earlier this season. The German international has seven goals and five assists from the right wing and would be excellent competition for Antonio Valencia.
Claudio Yacob £7m
West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob has been impressive since signing for the Baggies on a free transfer 18 months ago, and would help United shore up their midfield. He has made more tackles this season than any other Premier League midfielder (73), with United able to boast Phil Jones (32) as their most prolific. If they can tempt a manager-less West Brom into a sale in the region of £7 million it would be an outstanding piece of business.
Yohan Cabaye £22m
Newcastle are regularly faced with questions over Yohan Cabaye, who struck a winner at Old Trafford when the two sides met last month. The French midfielder reportedly has a price of £22 million set by Newcastle, which could ultimately prove good value for a player who has experience playing in the Premier League. Cabaye has scored five goals this season and provided two assists.
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