After United crashed out of the Champions League with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Wolfsburg, the critics are circling at the Old Trafford gates.
It’s desperate times for Louis van Gaal and chief executive Ed Woodard, and in this space, desperate times call for desperate rumours.
And oh do we have a beauty on that front courtesy of The Times in London. The outlet reports that Manchester United are gathering funds to make a mega move to bring one of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar (or maybe all three) to the club. OK, the chances of these three megastars all landing in Manchester are very slim and it’s hard to imagine that even a club with United’s resources could afford the fees and wages it would require to make this work.
However, the story goes on to say that the club’s brass feels the product on the pitch “lacks stardust,” and any of the above names would qualify there. All but Anthony Martial have failed to deliver on some lofty summer fees and even loftier expectations for the 2015-16 campaign.
The deal breaker for any of these high-profile names making a Premier League move could come down in large part to the competitive nature of England’s top flight. Many players are wary of the limitations and demands that can come from playing in perhaps the most physical and competitive league in the world. A senior United source told The Times: “They know if they play in La Liga they can score 40 or more goals, but in the Premier League you’re probably looking at 20 to 25.”
For what it’s worth, United are also rumoured to be monitoring Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Van Gaal’s spending since arriving at Manchester United totals £285 million — a figure that seems likely to grow much larger if any of this pans out.