Sitting on the 4th spot in the Premier League after succumbing to a 0-1 loss to Southampton, it seems that Manchester United are eager to recruit new players as Van Gaal looks to play catch up with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. The Red Devils have been linked with a sensational bid for both Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo with Ed Woodward and co also targeting Juventusa Paul Pogba, Bayern Municha s Thomas Muller and Southamptona s Morgan Schneiderlin in a bid to strengthen the squad.

Following their unusually expensive summer, Manchester United have been linked with an assortment of different players, especially since Ed Woodward has shown that he is not shy of spending big money to improve the team at Old Trafford. Hence it is quite natural that Man United are now being linked with a host of different players, starting from both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to Southamptona s Morgan Schneiderlin. Leta s analyze each prospective transfer target individually in order to understand if Van Gaal is truly in need of the player and if Ed Woodward can afford to make the deal.

Lionel Messi

Definitely the biggest name amongst all the prospective transfer targets, Lionel Messi is undoubtedly the hottest property in the transfer market. Just 27 years old, Messi has a good 5 years still left in him and judging by the reports coming out of Spain, it seems that the Argentine is looking for a move away from Barcelona. However Lionel Messi is holding the cards close to his chest and it seems that he is swaying on both sides with regards to his future at Barcelona. At the centre of the storm at the Catalan club, Messia s future will lie on the outcome of two things. Luis Enriquea s performance as the manager by the end of the month will decide Messia s future coupled with the presidential elections that are due to be held at the club soon.

Speaking at the Ballon Da Or gala, Messi claimed that his future at Barcelona was not certain and said that he could move away from the club.

a Ia m not sure where Ia ll be next yeara in the football world so many things can change overnight.a

a I dona t know where Ia ll be next year. Ia ve always said I want to end my career at Barcelona but, as Cristiano said, nobody knows what the future holds.a

Can Manchester United afford either of the two?

Can Manchester United afford either of the two?

However the Argentine backed out later and claimed that his comments were misconstrued by the media.

“No matter what I say, my words get twisted, which is why I often don’t speak at all. I’m in no way thinking about leaving.”

If Lionel Messi does decide to leave in the months to come, can Manchester United buy him? Firstly, it is quite clear that a player of Messia s calibre can walk into any team in the world with Manchester United being no exception. The question that remains is whether Manchester United have the kind of financial muscle required to make this transfer happen. The Argentine has a contract that runs till 2018, which means that Manchester United will have to meet Barcelonaa s asking price for four time Ballon Da Or champion or simply meet his release clause. According to reports, Messia s release clause is valued around a 250m. Can United meet this hefty price tag? According to experts, Manchester United is one of the only clubs in Europe, apart from Real Madrid, who can meet Lionel Messia s release clause and still stay within the FFP boundaries. Manchester Uniteda s commercial strength is second to none and coupled with the new Adidas deal that is soon expected to kick-in, United could make this historic transfer possible.

Chelsea and PSG have run into trouble with the FFP guidelines and hence if Messi does decide to leave Barcelona, only Manchester United and Real Madrid are expected to be able to afford his transfer value. It is quite unlikely that Barcelona will sell their star player to arch rivals Real Madrid, leaving Manchester United as the only possible option.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Recently crowned Ballon Da Or Cristiano Ronaldo has sent the rumours mills abuzz after claiming that he could leave Real Madrid in the future while also reiterating his love for his former club, Manchester United.

a I think about Manchester United. The beginning of my career was there, that’s where I started. I know the fans are there supporting me.a

a I haven’t had a message from Sir Alex yet but I speak with him often. He told me to keep improving all the time. He said: ‘Cristiano, you’re the best, don’t worry about the rest.’ He’s fantastic, I miss him.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has often been linked with a move back to Manchester United and it seems that his latest comments have alerted those sitting at both Real Madrid and Manchester. Soon to be 30, Ronaldo has two more seasons in him before he begins the inevitable decline from his peak. Ronaldo too has a contract that runs till 2018 however Real Madrid are expected to think about parting with the winger if Manchester United make a world-record offer.

However it doesna t seem feasible that Van Gaal and Ed Woodward would want to invest heavily in a player who is about to touch 30 despite the attraction of bringing a Ronnie back homea . In all likelihood, Ronaldo would play for another two seasons at Real Madrid before making a move abroad to the MLS to finish his career.

Paul Pogba

Will Pogba Turn Up For The Red Devils Again?

Will Pogba Turn Up For The Red Devils Again?

Manchester United let Paul Pogba leave the Old Trafford for free and it now seems that they are willing to invest in a region of A?77 million to bring the French midfielder back home. Just 21 years old, Pogba has a contract with Juventus that runs till 2019. However Pogbaa s agent has revealed that the player is sure to leave the Italian club and is waiting for the right opportunity to do so.

a Ita s normal that he might leave in a year. He is one of the best eight players in the world and the top European clubs like him.a

a Wea ve renewed at Juventus and he feels great there, and he is playing very well. Will he leave? Ita s up to Juventus, wea ve renewed his contract, wea re happy there but when the right moment comes to leave, we will seize it.a

a I always knew how talented he was, but when you bring such a young player to Italy, ita s not easy for him to make an impact immediately.a

a Hea s grown quicker than even I expected. Pavel Nedved said he is good enough to be considered for the World Player of the Year award.a

Paul Pogba is reportedly being targeted by most European clubs, with PSG, Manchester City and Real Madrid leading the race to sign the French sensation. Manchester United let the French youngster leave the club after his relationship soured at the club and this might prompt Pogba to ignore Manchester United when the club comes calling. However this is a new manager and a new CEO that he will have to deal with and this might heal the wounds inflicted in the past.

Pogba is not expected to come cheap and Manchester United will have to meet the release clause to get the French midfielder away from the Italian Serie A. This is a transfer that is likely to materialize in the coming summer if Van Gaal can convince Pogba to sign for the Red Devils.

Thomas Muller

Thomas Muller was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United after Van Gaal was appointed as the manager of the club. However the German international refused to leave Bayern Munich but reports now claim that Muller is looking for a move out of the club and is reportedly keen to reunite with Van Gaal at Manchester United.

Just 25 years old, Muller has a contract with Bayern Munich that runs till 2017 but reports suggest that the German doesna t want to continue to play under Pep Guardiola and wants to move to Manchester United where he can play under the manager who gave him his debut at Munich.

However Muller wona t come cheap but it is believed that Van Gaal is keen to sign the goal-scoring machine who took the World Cup by a storm last year. The player had earlier highlighted the special relationship he shared with Van Gaal.

“It’s no secret that Louis van Gaal and I have a relationship that goes a little beyond the normal relationship between coaches and players.a

It is unlikely that Muller will leave in the Winter transfer window and is more likely to reconsider his future in the summer break which will give him the time to see how Manchester United finish their first season under Louis Van Gaal.