Toni Kroos appears off radar for Manchester United, but what about these five?
So will any of these five become solutions for United in 2014/15? Here's a look at five alternatives manager Louis van Gaal could turn to:
Barcelona are willing to listen to offers for the Spanish international, reportedly setting a price in the region of £40 million. Fabregas flourished early under former manager Tata Martino last season, but is at a crossroads after the manager is sacked, and fans began to turn on him as the club lost form. Fabregas knows the Premier League from his time at Arsenal, but may be reluctant to join United due to his bond with the Gunners. Arsenal are also a threat to try to re-sign the 27-year-old.
Arturo Vidal would be a sensational signing for United, scorer of 18 goals last season from midfield in all competitions. Juventus are reluctant to sell the 26-year-old Chilean, but are reported to see him as more expendable than Paul Pogba, if they want to raise funds and attract their own big name targets. Vidal would arguably be an even better addition than Toni Kroos would have been.
Louis van Gaal is a keen admirer of Strootman from his time in charge of Holland, and Strootman would have been a sure starter in his World Cup line-up had it not been for injury. The central midfielder is expected to be fully fit by the start of the season, and is claimed to be a priority for the Red Devils. Roma are reluctant to sell however, after having the star for less than a full season thorough injury, but if they could double the money on their investment at £17 million last season.
Sporting Lisbon star Carvalho was thought to be a top target under David Moyes, but talk has gone quiet since Louis van Gaal took over. The Portuguese international has been compared to Patrick Vieira in style, but is inexperienced at the top level. Carvalho spoke earlier this week to say he was happy to stay in Lisbon despite his manager Leandro Jardim moving to Monaco, but his club who were badly strapped for cash 12 months ago are unlikely to reject a big offer.
Clasie is another Netherlands international who Van Gaal knows well, and is a highly regarded prospect. Dubbed the 'Dutch Xavi', Clasie is a homegrown star at Feyenoord and would be the cheapest of the five suggested options. He is the nearest of the five in style to Kroos, but remains relatively raw, and ideally the Red Devils would need to sign one of the previous four alongside him to ease the pressure on his adjustment to life at Old Trafford.