Reports last month claimed Manchester United were favourites to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
There was no real substance or reason for such claims, but it made a good story, and United fans desperate for some good news in terms of midfield reinforcements were understandably excited.
But now German magazine Focus has reportedly claimed Gundogan is now a target for Bayern Munich.
The story has been picked up by the Daily Mail, which reports that “sounding-out talks” have begun in an attempt to see whether a move for the German international could happen.
Given that the reigning German champions have only recently suggested they would not be buying anymore players from their Bundesliga rivals for the good of the division – with Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski recently and soon to be signed – the latest story is something of a surprise.
But United fans disappointed by the prospect of losing out on Gundogan should not be too deflated.
If he does arrive at Bayern, his presence will raise further questions over the future of another reported United target, Toni Kroos. And in truth, if David Moyes wants to transform his midfield there are only two players he should do everything in his power to sign.
The first is Kroos, who would completely alter United’s attacking play from the centre of the field, and the second is William Carvalho, a defensive midfielder with everything in his locker to be a success at the top level.
Neither will come cheap, and they may not come at all, but they are the two men Moyes should be focusing all his attention on.
William is regularly linked with a move to Old Trafford and has only recently suggested Manchester as a possible future destination – although he did also mention Real Madrid in the same breath.
But if he and Kroos arrived in the summer – no matter what the cost – overnight United would be viable contenders both domestically and in Europe. It really is that simple.
image: © Michael Kranewitter