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Meet Man United’s Muller and Kroos shopping list replacements

| 23.05.2014

The problems for alleged restaurant-brawler David Moyes are mounting up even after his Manchester United sacking, but one of the biggest he encountered during his tumultuous tenure is already being felt by his successor.

Apparently, big-name players simply didn’t want to come and play for the Scot last summer and a flurry of rejections came his way as he sought new-recruits.

Louis van Gaal is already empathising with the chagrined former Toffee, after learning that his top-two targets, Bayern Munich pair Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos, are set to reject the chance to join the 5/1 third favourites for next season’s Premier League title.

With lines now firmly struck through both German names in Van Gaal’s shopping list, we pick out two he can scrawl underneath them:

Cesc Fabregas

Moyes’ chase of the former Gunner last summer was like a chubby security guard hotfooting it after a pesky shoplifter, with the same predictable result.

But with Barcelona looking for a facelift under new coach Luis Enrique, and thought to be willing to listen to offers for a number of players this summer, a renewed United pursuit could pay off at the second time of asking.

In desperate need of a midfield lock-picker, Fabregas’ 13 assists in La Liga last season does more than tick the box.

Domenico Berardi

The undoubted star of Sassuolo’s survival story in Serie A this season was the 19-year-old forward.

His exploits in 2012/13, in which he scored 11 times in 37 games, caught the attention of Juventus and the powerhouse club quickly thrashed out a co-ownership deal.

That link, coupled with United’s recent struggles to finalise deals, make this far from the easiest of targets to snare. But lightening speed, trickery with the ball and a return of 16 goals this season mean Beradi’s is a signature Van Gaal must pursue.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.