20 Players David Moyes Could Target for Manchester United in Summer Transfers

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2014

20 Players David Moyes Could Target for Manchester United in Summer Transfers

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    David Moyes might have splashed out in January to sign Juan Mata, but the Manchester United manager will still have to aim big in the summer to get his team challenging back toward the top end of the Premier League table next term.

    With United rumoured to be prepared to spend up to £100 million in the next transfer window, as per Mark Ogden at the Telegraph, there could easily be four or five significant purchases on their way to Old Trafford in July and August.

    Here we take a look at 20 potential names for United to consider, factoring in the positions they seem to need to strengthen the most at present: left-back, central defence, central midfield, attacking midfield as well as squad-choice striker.

Luke Shaw

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    Starting with the left-backs, Southampton's Luke Shaw is a young man in serious demand.

    Although he has only really had close to two full seasons as a top-flight defender, it is already clear to all that he is a star in the making and he must be close to making the breakthrough at international level.

    Shaw will have plenty of suitors if Southampton indicate he can leave.

Fabio Coentrao

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    United have already been linked with Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao in the past, even dating back to his Benfica days, so it will be no surprise to see those links resurface in summer.

    It's a worthy consideration; although he is far from a regular at the Spanish club now, he has the ability to break forward from defence that United will need if they are to replace Patrice Evra.

    Coentrao might not come cheaply, but he brings quality and experience of playing for a top club.

Layvin Kurzawa

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    Patrice Evra might be considering a return to former club Monaco; in that case United should prepare to steal the player he'd be replacing—Layvin Kurzawa. Over the longer term, the English club would very much get the better deal.

    Kurzawa is enjoying his first full season in Ligue 1 after excelling in the second flight last year and has proven he can cut it at the top.

    Good in defence and effective going forward, he'll be a big star in the Champions League next season.

Ashley Cole

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    Cats amongst pigeons and all that, but Ashley Cole isn't getting a game at Chelsea at present and his contract expires in summer.

    It wouldn't take that much of a leap of imagination to think that top Premier League clubs would think that the 33-year-old England left-back could still do a pretty good job for them for at least a year.

Joel Veltman

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    Moving into central defence, there are a few options open to United.

    Should they wish to move for one of the top-rated youngsters around at present, Ajax's Joel Veltman is one of the bigger prospects in Europe after enjoying a breakout season with the Eredivisie club.

    He is going from strength to strength very quickly, and his price will only rise just as fast the longer he remains in Holland—as will the interest in him from other clubs.

Mehdi Benatia

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    On the other hand, a much more experienced player right at the top of his game might be the key requirement; never mind the next few years, United need a big centre-back to come in immediately.

    AS Roma's Mehdi Benatia has excelled this term after joining in the summer and would no doubt command a massive fee far bigger than that which he moved for less than a year ago, but that's sometimes the price to pay for getting as close to guaranteed quality as is possible.

Steven Caulker

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    If staying in the Premier League is the aim by signing someone with experience of the division but with capacity to improve, then most top-end clubs could probably look at Steven Caulker.

    He might not quite be at the level of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in their primes, but he has a good couple of seasons behind him at Premier League level now and rarely seems to be caught short.

    With Cardiff battling relegation, it could be a short stay for the English defender in Wales.

Matteo Musacchio

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    Somewhere in the middle, Matteo Musacchio is maturing into a fine defender in La Liga.

    The Villarreal centre-back has a ceiling to get higher and is aggressive enough to be considered a viable Premier League-style defender, yet is composed and cool on the ball too.

    If he's not on United's radar, he should be on several others.

Martin Montoya

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    Yes, Montoya isn't a centre-back—but the idea here is that he lets United's centre-backs actually play in the middle more often.

    Rafael is really United's only right-back, so a bit of competition for him won't do any harm. Montoya is out of contract in summer and can play both sides of defence, leaving Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to battle it out for a regular centre-back slot.

Toni Kroos

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    As we move into central midfield, it's a little up in the air as to what United actually need in this regard.

    With Michael Carrick as the deep playmaker and Marouane Fellaini presumably to be used eventually as a destroyer, they could certainly benefit from a creative player who gets forward more often.

    Toni Kroos would be rather good in that role, being excellent and technically sublime as he is, while he could also be moved forward into other positions for games that Moyes wished to pair Carrick with Fellaini.

    Expensive and sought after, but he's absolutely worth the chase.

Ilkay Gundogan

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    Staying in Germany, more of an adventurous, pressing box-to-box player could be a better fit for a Moyes side.

    Ilkay Gundogan is one of the finest in Europe at performing that role, can operate as a deeper midfielder when needed and is used to challenging for titles and in the biggest competitions.

    He'd bring a much-needed positive and physical presence to United's midfield.

Blaise Matuidi

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    A pure holding midfielder would entirely go amiss at United, for certain games at least.

    Though an outside bet considering he has all-but-agreed new terms with PSG pending resolving an issue with his agent, Blaise Matuidi will be out of contract in the summer. If he cannot sort out the wrangle, he could be a surprise free transfer possibility.


Ivan Rakitic

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    As a bit of an all-round option, United might do well to look toward Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

    The Croatian is a creative influence in the middle of the park who is hugely versatile, can play a number of different roles in midfield and isn't afraid of doing the defensive side of the game too.

    He'll be wanted by a number of clubs if he leaves this summer.

Paul Pogba

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    If they're aiming big, United should definitely be looking at Paul Pogba.

    Given the way he left United initially and the fact he is becoming more and more central to a successful Juventus side as time goes on, there is no guarantee he would be open to the move...but if United want to be back at the top, they have to look at the top calibre of players.

    Pogba comes in that category and will only get better.


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    Into the region of attacking midfield now, there are again a whole host of roles that United could opt to fill.

    The signing of Mata could fill the No. 10 role or as a wide forward from the right, while Adnan Januzaj's best position is yet to be determined. For that reason, we'll suggest a range of attacking midfielders to try and cover each potential outcome.

    Hulk would obviously operate from the right side; a fearsome player at his best, he would bring power and pace that is sorely lacking at times.

    He'll also likely bring more goals than the current right-sided options offer.

Antoine Griezmann

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    On the opposite flank we'll opt for more much of a winger variety, though with plenty of capacity to contribute centrally.

    Real Sociedad's Antoine Griezmann will surely get a move to a bigger club this summer after excelling once more for his La Liga side. He can play centrally as well as from the left, but his main position is on the left wing from where he can cross or attack the defence directly.

Marco Reus

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    A creative influence in the final third who can play from either flank or up front and be counted on to bring goals; that's the kind of signing that United fans would appreciate.

    Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus is a 25-year-old attacker who would certainly bring an awful lot of quality to United's attacking midfield line. Maybe Dortmund would even be keen to aid the deal by bringing back the underutilised Shinji Kagawa...


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    It doesn't seem particularly likely that United will sign an out-and-out No. 10, given the players they have available already, but a player who can break forward alongside and beyond the striker in attack and slot back into midfield defensively might be an option.

    It might be a little bit of an out-there shout, but Tottenham's Paulinho has the capacity to perform in such a role. 

Loic Remy

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    Finally, we'll consider just a couple of names for the striker's role, mainly as it seems United may offload one or two from this area, yet still won't need a starter, assuming they keep even one of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

    However, the probable departure of Javier Hernandez would necessitate a bench option who could challenge for a starting role and offer an additional goal threat in certain games.

    Newcastle United's on-loan striker Loic Remy has proven he can find the net regularly in the league and is still a QPR player. The London side is battling for promotion back to the top flight, but could likely be tempted into a sale to reinvest funds into more new players.

Adrian Ramos

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    Another alternative in attack for United would be to opt for the Bundesliga's top scorer this season, Colombian striker Adrian Ramos.

    The Hertha Berlin player would be a good impact striker to bring on with his pace and power and has shown a good ability to score consistently this season. At 28 years old, Ramos would certainly relish the challenge of stepping up at a big club—though it's hardly a long-term plan for United unless he were to exceed expectations of him.