Who will be Manchester United’s new midfielder?

Steven Defour is one of many midfielders to be linked with Manchester UnitedAs Manchester United look towards clinching a Champions League and Premier League double, it seems as if their squad is as strong as ever. But what of the defeat to their “noisy neighbours” in the FA Cup semi-final. Does this defeat to their once dominated shared city rivals show that the gap could be closing on them, as many of red sides players come very close to the final curtain closing on their careers.

Maybe this defeat will spur United into spending big on new players to continue their dominance of the English game. When also taking into account the fact that rivals such as Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are all likely to spend big in the summer, the competition will surely be even fiercer next season. With seasoned players such as Edwin Van Der Sar and Paul Scholes likely to call it a day, and with Gary Neville already moving on to Sky Sports, a group of new stars seem a must. More players likely to leave will be out of contract are stars Owen Hargreaves and Michael Owen, who have spent more time on the injury table than Avram Grant has in the relegation zone.

So with this exodus of experienced players, plus a possible clear out of players that Sir Alex feels may no longer be of good enough quality for the Red Devils, for example, Michael Carrick, Wes Brown, and maybe even Dimitar Berbatov, it seems that it may be more important than ever to dip into some of the owner’s dollars to once again make them the most feared team in Europe.

But what positions, and more importantly players, does Fergie need to look at getting the cheque book out for? Well a goalkeeper will have to be a certainty if Van Der Sar does hang up his gloves. There’s a list of players available with the most likely options coming from abroad, whether that be the two young Germans Rene Adler and Manuel Neuer, or maybe the young Spanish keeper David De Gea. All three of these young players could protect the posts for 10 years or more at Old Trafford.

With Rafael beginning to make the right back spot his own and with Ferdinand, Vidic and Evra comfortably owning the other three defensive spots, the midfield seems to be the next main point of interest for transfer funds. While Scholes is seemingly ready to finally walk out of Old Trafford after years of service, and with Carrick and Anderson still failing to deliver the goods which their high transfer fees promised, a central midfielder must come near the top of the wanted list.

Options from foreign leagues, such as Standard Liege’s much sought after captain Steven Defour, would offer a cheaper option to current Premier League players, like Luka Modric. Snapping up Defour would also give Manchester United the opportunity to get one over on rivals Liverpool, as the Merseyside clubs interest in Defour has been noted for many years. However, Tottenham Hotspur’s Modric has the experience of top level football in England, which may make him a more attractive proposition.

Finally, in terms of the attacking force of the team, Gareth Bale is on the target list of almost every major team in Europe, and the opportunity to link him with Ryan Giggs, the man he replaced in the Wales team, could seem irresistible as Sir Alex looks to leave a legacy. That legacy will certainly be left up front, with both Rooney and Hernandez young enough to play and score at United for quite a few years to come, plus the return of young loanees Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda gives Manchester United one of the most exciting young attacks the club has seen for years.

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