With Manchester United seemingly out of the running for Cesc Fabregas after their manager Gerardo Martino says the club will reject all bids for the midfielder, who could they turn to next?
They already missed out on Thiago Alcantara, and the Fabregas snub will nothing to appease fans that progress is being made in the transfer department.
United have only signed young full-back Guillermo Varela, and he is likely to return to South America on loan to gain first team football experience. This means that new manager David Moyes is yet to make a significant signing during his reign at Old Trafford, while across in the blue half of the city, Manuel Pellegrini has wasted no time in bringing in four new faces.
So who could Manchester United sign to fulfil Moyes’ appetite for a central midfielder?
The Everton midfielder has been linked with a move away from Goodison Park this summer and he was expected to follow Moyes to United should they have a bid accepted for the Belgian international. Arsenal are also believed to be interested in Fellaini, though the Fabregas failure could prompt Moyes to tap into his former club’s resources. A bid of around £22m may be enough to sign the 25-year-old, though Everton manager Roberto Martinez confirmed that no bid had been made as of yet.
The Tottenham star has been heavily linked with Real Madrid, with Spanish newspaper Marca suggesting a bid of between £85m-£100m has been lodged for the attacking midfielder. United remain interested though, and all the talk of a move to Madrid could prompt Moyes to spring into action and make a bid for the player. It is unlikely though that they will be willing to spend near that figure for Bale though, as they still have eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo in the near future, which will need some heavy investment to pull off.
The former United star is known to be considering his future, having suggested he would like to move back to Old Trafford in the not too distant future. Ronaldo has pushed up the field since his days on the United wing, but that is not to say that he couldn’t return to his previous position if he returned to the club. As he continues to prolong contract talks at Real, a move back to England become a little more likely, and it may be that United bid for him next season with just a year left on his contract. A move this summer however, would be highly unlikely, and Moyes would have to pay through the roof to land the Portuguese international.
The Real Madrid midfielder hasn’t had the greatest of spells with the club so far, though he improved as the season went on having been labelled as the worst signing of the season in La Liga. Having joined Madrid for £33m in 2012, the Spaniards would want a significant return on any deal, and Modric is unlikely to come cheap despite drop in form since his Tottenham days. Modric would fill the profile of midfielder that Moyes wants to sign, but Real are unlikely to let him leave after just a season in Spain.
The Galatasaray midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford when he was at Inter Milan, but he chose to head to Turkey instead. Sneijder has been rumoured to be on Chelsea’s radar this summer, and the Dutchman himself admitted that he is still in contact with Jose Mourinho though he said a change of clubs would not happen. Despite this, Sneijder could be available for slightly less than the other targets on this list (a lot less than Ronaldo and Bale) and he would be able to lead the United attack competently. At 29 though, United may be looking for somebody with a bit more to offer in the future, though that approach has now seen them miss out twice.