Newly appointed coach of Manchester United Louis van Gaal has set his eyes on long term target of Liverpool, Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka.
British daily The Guardian reports that: “Louis van Gaal is considering paying Yevhen Konoplyanka’s €15m (£12.1m) buyout clause, with the Dnipro winger willing to join despite Manchester United not being in next season’s Champions League.”
Arch rivals of Manchester United, Liverpool and German side Schalke 04, have long been interested in the services of the youngster but now, it seems that United have stolen the march.
Earlier this week, Andrey Stetsenko, Sporting Director of Dnipro had said that: “Our scouts are working to find his replacement. Sooner or later Konoplyanka will leave Dnipro,” he said. “We know that English, Spanish and German clubs are monitoring the situation and are interested in the player. But we have no offers. His contract has a buy out clause worth €15m for foreign clubs. For Ukrainian clubs the buy out is more.”
Meanwhile, it is understood that both Schalke and Liverpool are still interested in his services, In fact, the scouts of the German side were present to watch the last game of Dnipro on Sunday. But The Guardian reports that despite of this interest, Konoplyanka is more interested in Old Trafford as United is his childhood favorite club.
Manchester United have plenty of wide options available in the likes of Nani, Antonio Valencia, Kagawa and Young but Van Gaal is looking to overhaul the squad completely and sees Konoplyanka as the perfect addition.
However, as United management has started preparing for the busy summer ahead, they have received a bad news today. Long term target Toni Kroos has confirmed today that he will not be leaving Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window. It was reported in English media earlier today that aware of this fact, United manager Van Gaal has already cooled down his interest in the German midfielder.
“I am expecting to play for Bayern Munich next season,” Toni Kroos told German newspaper Bild. “There was a lot of speculation, but Manchester is and was not an issue. At this point in time I am fully focused on preparations for the 2014 Fifa World Cup.”
After receiving this snub from their long term target, Manchester United are likely to step up the pursuit of their other primary targets. United are said to be looking for Kevin Strootman of As Roma, Cesc Fabrigas of FC Barcelona, Luke Shaw of Southampton and Ezequiel Garay of Benfica.
Of these aforementioned targets, United are almost guaranteed of signing Luke Shaw from Southampton but there has been no progress yet over their other targets.