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Man United facing stiff competition for two top targets

| 04.08.2014

It’s fair to say that, transfer wise, Manchester United have had a better start to life with Louis van Gaal in charge than when their predecessor was at the helm 12 months ago, but they could be hitting on a couple of David Moyes-like snags with two players on their radar.

Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw have filled two holes in the Red Devils squad this summer but the former Holland boss is keen to add more men to his armoury, particularly at centre-back so he can play his preferred 3-5-2 formation.

Another midfielder to beef up what’s regularly perceived as the weakest are of the former Premier League champions’ squad is also of high importance for the 5/1 shots for this year’s crown.

Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and Real Madrid’s converted central midfielder Angel Di Maria are two names regularly linked with an Old Trafford switch, so regularly that seeing them unveiled in new red shirts seemed a formality.

However both men now have new suitors muscling their way through the queue to seal their signature and both pose a serious threat to Manchester United’s attempts to finalise deals.

Hummels has regular German recruiters Arsenal now chasing him, a club who have spent wisely this summer and could be genuine title contenders this season at 13/2.

Champions League regulars as well, the Gunners can offer Hummels the chance to form a defensive partnership with countryman Per Mertesacker.

Meanwhile, Argentina ace Di Maria has all-conquering Bundesliga superpower Bayern Munich eyeing his talents, a team who harbour serious ambitions at winning both their league and the Champions League this term.

With United unable to offer European football of any kind to their new recruits for at least a season, Van Gaal can be genuinely worried that his pursuits of two top summer targets could fall flat before the window closes.

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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.