The three targets Man Utd should be prioritising this summer
With speculation growing that Manchester United are closing in on the £27m capture of Luke Shaw, the rebuilding process is already under way to ensure the Red Devils are title challengers again in the 2014/15 campaign.
Some speculation insists there is as much as £200m in the Old Trafford safe for new players and strengthening is arguably needed in at least four positions if they are to win the title, which can be backed at 6/1.
Below are the three players that should be top of the priority list for Man Utd, improving the areas in which the club are at their weakest.
With Rio Ferdinand not getting his expiring contract renewed and Nemanja Vidic off to Inter Milan, the Red Devils are certainly at least one central defender light.
Among those on the market, few look better value for money than Benatia, who was an instrumental figure in Roma keeping 21 Serie A clean sheets this season.
It is no coincidence that Roma let in 27 fewer goals this season than in the previous campaign when Benatia was still at Udinese.
He would be an ideal replacement for Vidic given his aerial dominance, while being much quicker across the ground than the Serb, which often caused Man Utd to defend too deep.
Benatia could cost as much as £30m, which is enough for a 27-year-old, but the Moroccan seems the best on the market in his position.
Few can downplay the impact that Nemanja Matic had on Chelsea after joining in the January transfer window, with his physicality, strength and ability to win back possession adding a new dimension to the team.
This is a position Man Utd have limited options in, with Michael Carrick often the deepest player, even though he is more of a ball player than a someone tasked with winning back possession.
With Carrick ensuring a below-par season, it may be time for a change and Carvalho has all of the attributes to match up to Matic.
He won’t be cheap with a minimum fee release of €45m, but the 22-year-old is set to be one of the young stars of the World Cup and this will only increase competition for his signature.
Man Utd should move quickly.
Although they have Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa, Man Utd do lack the midfielder than can generally dictate a game from the central area, in the way Xavi typically does for Barcelona.
Kroos has these capabilities, with a fine eye for spatial awareness and a pass completion percentage that was the best in the Bundesliga this season among players to have participated in a minimum of 10 games.
This is a duty that Thiago Alcantara is likely to fulfil at Bayern Munich next season, increasing the possibility that Kroos will be allowed to leave.
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