Five years on from United rejection, Serbian is linked with Old Trafford move - again

Ljajic

Roma's Adem Ljajic is once again being linked with a move to Manchester United - almost five years after they cancelled a deal to sign him.

United boss Louis van Gaal started work at Old Trafford on Wednesday, and will now look to bring in a host of new players in order to improve the club's fortunes after a wholly unacceptable seventh place finish under David Moyes last term. The Dutchman has already brought in left back Luke Shaw and midfielder Ander Herrera from Southampton and Athletic Bilbao respectively, but more is needed.

The flanks need an overhaul, with Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani all flattering to deceive for far too long, and speculation suggests that van Gaal could look to sell Young and Nani in order to make way for new, younger wingers who can contribute next season and into the future.

One of the most recent names linked with the club is a familiar name to most United fans; Adem Ljajic.

The 22-year-old Serbian agreed a deal to join United in January 2009 after a series of trials during Sir Alex Ferguson's reign, and he was scheduled to arrive alongside compatriot and Partizan Belgrade team mate Zoran Tosc - only for United to cancel the deal in the December of that year, a month before he was scheduled to join up with the Red Devils.

United instead signed Tosic, and the two have had somewhat differing careers to date. Tosic, 27, made just five appearances for United before being sold to CSKA Moscow. Meanwhile, Ljajic went on to play a starring role for Fiorentina in Serie A, hitting 12 goals from midfield in the 2012/13 before a move to Roma.

However, his move to the Italian capital hasn't gone to plan, scoring just six times as Rudi Garcia prefers to use Mattia Destro, Alessandro Florenzi, Francesco Totti and Gervinho in attack. Today's signature of Verona star Juan Iturbe has only served to push Ljajic further down the pecking order, and a move away seems inevitable at this point.

According to Sky Italia, Ljajic's apparent availability has gained interest from United again, but they face competition from Milan, Schalke and even Liverpool. Still only 22, Ljajic has bags of potential, is a danger from set pieces and has the injection of quality that United need out wide.

Five years on from his United heartbreak, Ljajic could finally be presented with the chance to play for the club - and van Gaal's men could do a lot worse than take a chance on him.

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