Van Gaal plots blockbuster double move: Louis Van Gaal has identified his two main targets if he is to be named new Manchester United manager. Van Gaal has decided midfield is his top transfer priority and his No.1 targets will be Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos, 24, and Roma’s Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman, 24, currently recovering from knee surgery, according to the Daily Star.
Paper Round's view: Kroos and/or Strootman would be sensational signings for United and with Van Gaal there you do feel they have a much better chance of landing top targets than they would have if Moyes was still in charge. Kroos will be harder to dislodge from Bayern but Strootman, who was often linked with United during his PSV days, would look like a natural signing given his existing relationship with Van Gaal through the national team. However, with Roma set to return to the Champions League next season, he certainly won't come cheap.
Van Gaal wants announcement this week: Van Gaal of course doesn't even have the job yet but wants United to announce him as their new boss this week according to The Sun. The Holland coach does not want any further speculation about the post as he aims to concentrate totally on this summer’s World Cup. Van Gaal, 62, said: “I think I have to concentrate on the World Cup because I am coach of the Dutch team.”
Paper Round's view: United would do well to lock up this appointment straight away and then everyone can plan for the future. If they delay, then the groundswell of support for Ryan Giggs could grow and grow as United have quite an easy run-in and the momentum is with the club legend. You suspect Giggs is a gamble that the United board really don't want to take so the sensible thing is to get Van Gaal locked in.
Liverpool eye double move Leverkusen move: Liverpool are eyeing 'the new Michael Ballack of German football' – Emre Can - and are also keen on his Bayer Leverkusen team-mate - South Korea forward Heung-Min Son - reports the Daily Star. Brendan Rodgers has personally checked on both players, who are valued at £12 million.
Paper Round's view: There could be something to this link as Liverpool legend Sami Hyypia was coach at Leverkusen up until very recently. He would surely be able to give Rodgers the inside line on both players and Liverpool can then decide whether they want to move. Liverpool have been flying this season but their weak bench was exposed against Chelsea on Sunday and with Champions League commitments next season too, the club desperately needs to add some bodies.
Ferdinand considers foreign move but may stay at Manchester United: Rio Ferdinand is considering offers from Galatasaray, Besiktas, LA Galaxy and Al Gharafa, though his first choice would be to stay at Manchester United next season, according to the Guardian. The 35-year-old started in Saturday's 4-0 win over Norwich City in Ryan Giggs's first match as interim manager, and has no plans to retire. United, meanwhile, have an option, expiring next month, to extend his one-year deal.
Paper Round's view: It is understandable that Ferdinand would want to stay at United but the club should really be looking to move on. Ferdinand has been exposed against the better strikers in the league this season and is not of sufficient calibre to be anything more than a bit-part player with a serious contender. Given Ferdinand's brand-conscience lifestyle, a move to America, and especially LA, would seem to be a great fit for him. His brother Anton plays in Turkey so a long conversation with him will be had before he decides whether that is a decent option. Any move to the Middle East would surely only be for financial reasons. .
Premier League trio eye young French striker: Arsenal and Spurs have joined Liverpool in a race for Lyon’s £10 million-rated striker Alexandre Lacazette, according to the Sun. The 22-year-old, who has hit 17 goals in 41 appearances this season, said: “I’m tempted to try and experience life abroad."
Paper Round's view: A young French player? Linked with Arsenal? Why even bother bidding Liverpool and Spurs!
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- Van Gaal
- Kevin Strootman
- Toni Kroos
- Ryan Giggs