Five majestic Angel Di Maria replacements for Man Utd
As the transfer of Manchester United’s club-record signing Angel Di Maria to PSG inches closer, just one summer after the Argentine attacker arrived at Old Trafford for an eye-watering £59.7m, the Red Devils will need a new recruit themselves.
If Di Maria does depart, which big-name could Man Utd (20/1 with Coral to lift the Champions League) bring in? Here are five we think could fill the adaptable Red Devil’s role…
Felipe Anderson (Lazio)
United are already rumoured to have had Eagles attacker Anderson on their radar for some time. Though far from a marquee signing, the 22-year-old is the latest highly-rated Brazilian on the block.
An entertainer able to bamboozle backlines at will, two-footed Anderson could be an ideal Louis van Gaal signing to bring balance to the forward positions. Having beat Di Maria’s league output with 10 strikes and eight assists last campaign the youngster clearly has a high ceiling, yet with Memphis Depay and Adnan Januzaj already on the books, Man Utd may not desire another project.
Should the red half of Manchester seek an already established replacement, Barcelona wingman Pedro could be a simple no fuss signing, with reports claiming he could be captured for as little as £18m from the Catalan giants.
Versatile, tidy in possession and hardworking, but with bundles of skill and technique, the 27-year-old Spaniard is certainly in the vein of a Van Gaal target.
Able to deployed almost anywhere across the attack, Pedro is the complete package and could help solve many of Man Utd’s striking problems. He may not be a superstar signing, but Van Gaal famously prioritizes teamplay and already has a roster filled with Spanish silk to perfectly complement the Barca boy.
Lucas Moura (PSG)
Edinson Cavani is currently being touted as the makeweight in any Di Maria deal with Ligue 1 giants PSG yet, should the Red Devils regularly deploy a 4-3-3 in the upcoming campaign, it may make more sense to snaffle former target Lucas as part of any swap, with the Uruguayan far from his best out wide.
The 22-year-old winger has shown but glimpses of his talent since opting for the Parisians ahead of Old Trafford back in 2012, with inconsistencies still evident in his game. Perhaps Van Gaal’s iron fist could finally whip the starlet into shape.
Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
Mario Gotze is the German currently grabbing headlines as a potential Premier League arrival, yet it is compatriot Reus who most fits the profile of a Man Utd star. Speedy and direct, the Borussia Dortmund dangerman showed last season he can still be devastating even when not in top gear.
Having recently penned a new deal to apparently put off suitors such as Real Madrid, the time could be right to tempt Reus to England. The 26-year-old wideman is surely a signing the Red Devils would rue missing out on to the likes of Liverpool, who are said to be circling.
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Already proven at the highest level with Atletico, the flexible French forward is another who can operate in numerous roles, either on the flanks or supporting a frontman, to provide Van Gaal with tactical options and a fluid frontline.
Graceful but clinical, Griezmann’s La Liga goal haul of 38 over the past two terms means he will almost certainly be snapped-up by an elite club sooner rather than later. If Man Utd were to add a scorer of his calibre to their roster, the Premier League (which the Red Devils are priced at 6/1 to win) would soon look a realistic ambition for the upcoming season.