Man Utd Transfers: 5 Alternatives to Luke Shaw
Despite reports today that Southampton starlet Luke Shaw wants a move to Manchester United (per the BBC), the deposed Premier League champions have thus far been frustrated in their pursuit of the left-back.
Shaw reportedly told his current club that he wanted to join the Red Devils back on May 11, but a transfer has yet to come to fruition in the month since.
The Saints, it is understood, are waiting to appoint a successor to departed manager Mauricio Pochettino before sanctioning any more departures, following Rickie Lambert's move to Liverpool earlier this month.
And that has led to growing impatience on United's part, with new boss Louis van Gaal already looking into alternatives for the talented teenager (the Express).
If the Old Trafford club opts not to sign Shaw, here we take a look at five potential alternatives to the 18-year-old defender.
If Louis van Gaal decides not to pursue Luke Shaw any further, he may turn to players already available to him at Old Trafford this summer.
Alexander Buttner will be entering his third season at United next term, having joined from Vitesse in 2012. He has found himself playing more frequently at the Theatre of Dreams recently, managing 15 appearances in 2013-14.
With veteran left-back Patrice Evra extending his stay at the club by an extra year, there is the possibility Buttner could continue serving as the Frenchman's understudy for another 12 months.
United will not take part in European football altogether next season, and signing a new, world-class left-back this summer may prove difficult. Better success in that department may perhaps be enjoyed next summer.
By then Evra will have moved on and, it is hoped, the Red Devils will be back gracing the Champions League—a carrot which could be used to entice more high-profile players to join Van Gaal's revolution.
Alternatively, United could take a more ambitious approach and dip into the transfer window this summer in their search for a new full-back.
United scouts watched the Brazilian defender in action last winter, and since then Luis has excelled for Atletico, forming part of a back line that only conceded 26 goals in 38 games in 2013-14, helping Los Rojiblancos to their first Spanish title since 1996.
At 28, however, there is concern over his age, with the South American at the tail end of the spectrum United use to sign new players.
That being said, Luis has bags of experience and would be a welcome addition at the Theatre of Dreams next season.
A younger option is Sevilla's much-coveted Alberto Moreno, who is being tracked by a number of British clubs at present, including Chelsea and Liverpool.
Moreno first appeared on United's radar last November and was scouted by the club during David Moyes' ill-fated spell in charge at Old Trafford (per the Daily Mail).
Moyes saw Moreno, 21, as the long-term successor to Patrice Evra while Chelsea likewise deem the youngster the perfect replacement for veteran Ashley Cole.
Liverpool too are interested and have recently been tipped to secure the defender's services in a £16.2 million deal (Mail Online), though nothing is yet set in stone.
There could still therefore be time for the Red Devils to make a late swoop for the Spain starlet, who excelled this season as Sevilla won the Europa League.
And though he was cut from Vicente del Bosque's 30-man provisional World Cup squad, the youngster is tipped for a bright future.
Should United abandon their pursuit of Luke Shaw, Barcelona's Jordi Alba is reported to be high on a list of alternative transfer targets, according to the Daily Star.
Alba's future at the Nou Camp is shrouded in doubt after making just 15 La Liga appearances last season, and it is unclear whether he figures in new manager Luis Enrique's plans.
The Spain star was linked with a move to United during Sir Alex Ferguson's days in charge, with the Scot identifying the full-back as an ideal replacement for Patrice Evra back in 2012 (Mail Online).
And it would appear as though Ferguson's successor Louis van Gaal shares his interest, after coaching the defender during his early days at Barca.
Alba was an U-11s' cadet at Barcelona while Van Gaal was in charge, and the pair reportedly forged a close personal bond.
Van Gaal's good relationship with the full-back could prove key to completing any swoop for the Spain international this summer.
One final alternative for Luke Shaw this summer is Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao.
United have a long-standing interest in Coentrao dating back to last summer when a late move for the Portuguese defender was foiled by the English club's failure to complete the paperwork on transfer deadline day.
The 26-year-old ended up staying put at the Bernabeu as a result, but United's interest has continued, with the Red Devils once more making enquiries back in January.
Coentrao is reportedly keen to leave Madrid after falling down the pecking order behind Marcelo, and he only managed 10 La Liga appearances last term.
He would be an ideal signing at Old Trafford, primarily because of his versatility. Coentrao's natural position is left-back, though he can also operate as a left winger and has even been known to play defensive midfield in the past.
Given United's well-documented midfield woes, combined with their need to sign a new left-back, it would appear therefore that Coentrao is the solution to two of their main problems.