Thomas Muller has claimed that he rejected a move to Manchester United this summer, in favour of staying at Bayern Munich.
The German international, who was in the fine form for his country as they won the World Cup, was reportedly on Louis van Gaal’s list of transfer targets during his first transfer window in charge at Old Trafford, but turned down an offer to join the Red Devils.
United have been desperate for additions this summer, but so far only Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw have arrived – with Marcos Rojo’s deal expected to be completed in the coming days.
It means that it has been a surprisingly quiet window at Old Trafford, devoid of any truly marquee signings, but a deal for Muller would have changed this and when he was asked if he was close to a move to United this summer, by German newspaper Bild, the 24-year-old replied: “Of course. I was aware that I could earn more by making that transfer."
“The amount that foreign clubs were offering me was astronomical. But Bayern are my club, a change was not an issue for me.”
The signing of Muller would have been a real statement of intent from United, but his reluctance to leave Bayern is no doubt a blow.
The attacker, who is famed for his functional and effective style, could have slotted into any one of United’s front-three positions and even in a central-midfield spot if needed, given his versatility, but they have been forced to look elsewhere as a result of his rejection.
Van Gaal’s side are still linked with making a move for Arturo Vidal, but progress in singing the Juventus midfielder has been painfully slow and they are beginning to run out of time.
That said, there are still expected to be a number of additions at Old Trafford in the remainder of the transfer window – especially after the side lost 2-1 to Swansea City in their opening Premier League game.
The side have been tasked with putting up a title fight this season by their new Dutch coach, but their opening performance was particularly uninspiring and question marks have been raised over the quality of their squad.
Muller’s arrival would have gone some way to alleviating those fears, but he appears an impossible signing and will now stay at Bayern – where he will hope to add to a growing list of accolades, at club and international level, which he has won in recent times.