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Man United set for shock swoop for former Liverpool star

| 21.08.2014

Former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso has emerged as a shock transfer target for Manchester United.

The Red Devils finally added Marcos Rojo to their ailing squad earlier this week and are now determined to keep the momentum going with further additions.

Van Gaal has been chasing Juventus star Arturo Vidal all summer but after growing frustrated in his pursuit is turning his attention elsewhere.

The Dutchman is still keen on recruiting Roma ace Kevin Strootman but the Holland international’s long-term injury means any deal is likely to be delayed.

Van Gaal is now said to be keen on bringing Alonso in as a stop gap until one of his preferred choices becomes available.

Given the Spaniard’s affection for the Liverpool fans he may take some convincing but Real Madrid are reportedly keen to offload the veteran midfielder after he returned for action having lost a considerable amount of weight.

The move could have a double effect on United’s chances of landing the Premier League title this season – currently priced at 10/1 – with Real likely to hold on to Sami Khedira if Alonso leaves, dealing a blow to Arsenal and Chelsea.

The Alonso pursuit could also end up being a double swoop on the Champions League holders with a move for Angel Di Maria very much still on the cards.

United and PSG have been continually linked with the Argentine World Cup star all summer but reports now suggest United are set to up their interest and fly the 26-year-old into Old Trafford for talks.

Following Paul Scholes’ claims that United need “four or five” new players to halt their current decline, the arrival of Alonso and Di Maria would go some way to alleviating Red Devils fans’ fears.

Van Gaal’s men will look to bounce back from defeat to Swansea last week with a trip to the Stadium of Light on Sunday for which they are priced as 3/4 favourites.

The Black Cats can be backed at 7/2 to inflict further misery on United, with the draw available at 12/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.