Victor Valdes would be the "perfect" replacement for David de Gea, according to former Manchester United goalkeeper Raimond van der Gouw.
Real Madrid target De Gea hobbled off with a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Sunday, and although United sources rejected claims they had received an offer from the Spanish giants for the player on Monday, there is a possibility he may never play for the club again.
United have already drawn up a list of potential replacements for the 24-year-old should he depart for Madrid, but Van der Gouw believes the club already have a perfect replacement among their ranks in Valdes.
Manchester United: Potential transfer targets summer 2015
Manchester United: Potential transfer targets summer 2015
1/10 Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton, 24)
With Rafael never getting close to favour under Louis van Gaal, right-back has been a problem area all season for United, with Antonio Valencia filling in at the position. Whilst Valencia has done well, Clyne is now England’s first choice and easily in the top three in his position in the Premier League. Southampton will not want to sell another one of their stars, but the player seemingly wants to move.
2/10 Radamel Falcao (Monaco, 29)
Who knows what will happen with the Colombian. Certainly he is not worth anywhere close to the mega move United were considering when they agreed to loan him last summer, having only scored four goals all season. But with his track record as one of the world’s best, United would be foolish not to consider a cut-price move, just in case he’s not broken once and for all.
3/10 Gareth Bale (Real Madrid, 25)
If a deal were to go through it would be an absolutely massive coup for the club, of course, and you know Manchester United will be exploring any possibility of a move. Despite his perceived unhappiness in Spain, Bale’s agent said he will be staying at the Bernabeu next season. Would cost a massive fee but would instantly turn the club into title contenders.
4/10 Edinson Cavani (PSG, 28)
Manchester United will surely be tempted if he is available despite having bigger needs elsewhere in their squad. Despite the perception that he has struggled to fit in at PSG, Cavani still has 50 goals in 91 matches for the club and has played the majority of his time there out of position on the wing. Tall and athletic he seems like a perfect fit for the Premier League, although he will cost a huge fee.
5/10 Hugo Lloris (Tottenham, 28)
The potential transfer of the Spurs and France No 1 is entirely wrapped in the future of David De Gea - if the Spaniard moves to Real Madrid then United will be scrambling for a new goalkeeper and there aren’t many better than Lloris. He’s four years older than De Gea but still young for a keeper.
6/10 Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund, 24)
With Michael Carrick ageing and Wayne Rooney forced to play in the middle at various points this season, central midfield will be one of Van Gaal’s top priorities. The Borussia Dortmund man, 24, is a classy operator, strong on the tackle and a box-to-box threat. He is apparently being chased by Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, among others, so United will have to move quickly.
7/10 Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund, 26)
The World Cup winner should be United’s top target this summer, they have no bigger hole to fill than in the centre of their defence. Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are all talented defenders, but none of them have the leadership skills necessary and are a level below the very best. Hummels’ arrival would immediately improve the whole backline.
8/10 Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia, 27)
Like Hummels, Otamendi is the dominant type of centre-back that United are missing. He’s a bit on the short side – 6ft – but is a forceful character and very competent on the ball. Louis van Gaal should be considering a move for both, although that will take out a significant chunk of his transfer budget.
9/10 Kevin Strootman (Roma, 25)
It seems as if Louis van Gaal has been linked with the Roma midfielder for the entirety of his reign, who suffered another knee injury back in January and has only played seven times in all competitions this season, his only games since the original injury last April. If he can get back to full fitness then the Dutchman is a dominant midfielder with an eye for goal. But it’s a big ‘if’.
10/10 Felipe Anderson (Lazio, 22)
The Brazilian attacking midfielder has been linked with a £30m move to Old Trafford despite stating he wanted to stay in Rome. The 22-year-old scored 10 goals and added seven assists for Lazio last season and is seen as a potential star of the future.
"With what he knows about football and the way he is playing, he is perfect for United," the former United stopper told BBC Sport.
"He can play for another three or four years in a top team."
Valdes' pedigree cannot be doubted. He won the Champions League three times with Barcelona and was part of the Spain squad that lifted the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship two years later.
The Arsenal game was the first time he had played in 14 months, though, as he has been going through a long and trying rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.
Until Sunday, Valdes' only appearance in a United shirt came for the under-21 side. The 33-year-old insists he has enjoyed his time at the club since signing in January, though.
"It's been good, all good," he told Press Association.
"My team-mates have treated me well here. The coach has treated me well. The truth is that it has all been good.
"I am very happy to be here. I have one more year on my contract here. Let's see what happens."
While De Gea appears to be edging closer to the exit door, another player is on his way in.
Memphis Depay was in Manchester on Monday as he completed a medical ahead of his £25million move to United from PSV Eindhoven.
Depay was the Eredivisie's top scorer this season, with 22 goals in 30 appearances.
But given that he is just 21 years old, former United captain Gary Neville thinks it may take time for the winger to blossom into the world-class player he hopes to become.
"Depay looks like an exciting player but there's a lot of obstacles to overcome to determine as to whether he's going to become the real deal," Neville said.
"He's got to settle in the country and get used to playing football in Manchester. It will be different but it fits the bill in terms of him being a young player."
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