Manchester United could break the world transfer record if they were so inclined according to Ed Woodward, so who might they move for?
A headline in the Guardian on Wednesday may have piqued the interest of more than a few Manchester United fans.
“Louis van Gaal can break world transfer record for Manchester United,” it read, and there followed quotes from the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward where he spoke, again, about the money available for potential new players.
“The reality is that we’re not afraid of spending significant amounts of money in the transfer market,” Woodward said.
“Whether it’s a record or not doesn’t really resonate with us. What resonates is an elite player that the manager wants who is going to be a star for Manchester United.”
In light of Woodward’s latest comments, we take a look at three players who United could break the world transfer record on.
Looking at the most obvious candidate first, United have long been linked with the Chile international. And given his talent, and van Gaal’s need for at least one world-class central midfielder, the club would have to make a considerable offer to tempt Vidal’s current side Juventus.
In truth it would probably not take a world-record bid to tempt the Italian club into doing business. But when you consider how much James Rodriguez recently moved to Real Madrid for, and the hypothetical price-tag put on Paul Pogba’s head, it makes sense to include Vidal on this list.
He is arguably the best all-round midfielder in the game, and given United’s need for such a player, he would be anything but cheap.
The Borussia Dortmund player was nothing short of outstanding last season, and he would grace any club in Europe. Unluckily struck down by injury just before the World Cup, he is currently recuperating. But when fit again, expect the line for his services to be long.
Dortmund will not want to sell, and manager Jurgen Klopp has already ruled out that possibility, but if the German side received a world-record bid even they would probably have to accept it would be wise to accept it.
At 25, he is also at the age where a huge bid would make sense. And just like Vidal, he would be a superstar at Old Trafford.
Before people accuse me of flogging a dead horse, there are reasons to suggest United could be able to tempt Real to sell Ronald for the right price. With James and Toni Kroos now in place, and Gareth Bale shining in his debut season, the all-star squad may not need their brightest star as much as they used to.
With Ronaldo recently saying he would like to play on for another six years or seven years – and having been part of Real history following May’s Champions League triumph – he may feel the time is right for another challenge, potentially restoring United to their former glory.
As unlikely as it sounds, stranger things have happened in football.