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Man United boss makes Dutch World Cup opponent latest target

| 11.06.2014

The sheer number of players Manchester United are being linked with means that, at some point, there’s a danger of offending the newer targets for being an afterthought.

Louis van Gaal will hope that’s not the case with his latest pursuit though, as he softens the blow of news about Thomas Muller’s new Bayern Munich contract with a move for Barcelona ace Alexis Sanchez.

Buying a new wide forward is clearly on Van Gaal’s mind, with Muller and the Nou Camp’s Pedro the first two targets on his list to fill the berth.

But with neither of those attempts to woo landing him a date, the Dutchman has switched his gaze to a player his Holland side will face at the World Cup.

Sanchez’s Chile have been drawn in Group B with the Dutch and are 21/10 to defeat them in the final match of its fixtures, where Manchester United’s newest boss will get the perfect, close-quarters view of the 25-year-old’s talent.

A devout 4-3-3 man, Van Gaal will hope £20m is enough to land him a player of high class to operate on the right side of his three-pronged forward line.

Sanchez scored 17 goals and provided 10 more to his Barcelona teammates from that position last season and would be an undoubted upgrade on Antonio Valencia, who bagged four strikes and three assists in the same role for United.

Despite compiling an impressive record since swapping Udinese for the Spanish giants – Sanchez has 47 Barca goals in 141 appearances in all competitions – the Santiago native has never been quite able to solidify a starting spot in the side.

That wouldn’t be too difficult at Old Trafford though, as the club could well sell off one or more from a pool of widemen containing Nani, Ashley Young, Valencia and Shinji Kagawa to leave Sanchez with little competition.

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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.