Wingers Manchester United are eyeing this summer


(L-R) Ivan Perisic (L), Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez (Photos: Facebook/AFP)

Which one of these top talents will be dazzling crowds at Old Trafford next season?

Despite seeing their side lift two big trophies, Manchester United fans were not happy with the club’s performances last season. Apart from a sluggish performance in the Premier League, their main complaint was dearth of goals. So with Champions League back on the table for the Red Devils next season, The Statesman takes a look at the flying wingers who are being eyed by the English giants. 

Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan)

A deal that seemed to be on the verge of completion last week, according to various reports, seems to be stuck with Inter allegedly demanding more than what United are comfortable with.

What the Croatian winger is truly worth is debatable, considering he is not the most prolific of players. While an exceptional work-rate is one of his many attributes, flair and precision-finishing are definitely not. 

Last season with Inter was his best of his career till date, with 11 goals and nine assists across all competitions, which goes on to reinforce the point that he is a well-rounded winger without any significant strength or weakness. 

Fans should temper expectations if the 28-year-old arrives as he seems to be an dependable workhorse that will be consistent if not exceptional throughout the season.

Transfer Possibility: High
Expected Fee: €40 Million

Felipe Anderson (Lazio)

A player, who will surely excite fans, even if the ever-demanding Jose Mourinho may be groaning more often than not. 

Reportedly, the 24-year-old Brazilian ‘dreams of a move to Manchester United’, and while the Red Devils seem to be linked with him every summer window for the past two seasons, this year might witness some Brazilian flair at Old Trafford.

Blessed with terrific pace and sensational dribbling skills, Anderson definitely has the wow factor but he can be guilty of losing the ball one too many times. The fact that he had four goals and nine assists last season, suggests he is not quite the finished article Mourinho seeks in prospective transfer buys. 

Transfer Possibility: High
Expected Fee: €35 Million

James Rodriguez (Real Madrid)

It’s almost confirmed that the vaunted Colombian is on the move from the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Where, is a different matter altogether, for United aren't the only teams chasing the 25-year-old. Chelsea, PSG are said to be interested and could spark a bidding war. 

Capable of playing as an attacking midfielder and winger both, James has struggled to break into the Los Blancos starting XI since moving from Monaco in 2014. His technical ability is second-to-none and with an excellent left foot, he could wreak havoc on Premier League defences. 

A word of caution for United fans getting excited as managers Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane both openly criticised James for his party-heavy lifestyle, suggesting that the player himself was responsible for his lack of opportunities. 

Transfer Possibility: High
Expected Fee: €60 Million

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

Another player on the verge of leaving his current club, but the destination remains unknown yet. 
Arsenal, Manchester City and Barcelona are but a few of the teams in the race to sign the mercurial Algerian, who has become disillusioned with life at the King Power Stadium.

After a sensational 2015-16 season (18 goals in all competitions), like most of his teammates, Mahrez was brought down to earth last season (10 goals in all competitions).

Not the most physical, Mahrez more than makes up for his slight build with his trickery and exceptional crosses and possesses a keen eye for goal.

The Algerian is quite fast but his dribbling skills are perhaps the best in England and while his work-rate isn't something to write home about, a manager like Mourinho could wring the best out of him. 

Transfer Possibility: Moderate
Expected Fee: €40 Million

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

Always on the cusp of greatness, but somehow never quite achieving it is the frustrating tale of the talented but injury-prone Welshman.

His first season with Los Blancos was an sensational one, as his goal sealed a historic La Decima, but following seasons have not been as he would have hoped for, at least individually. 

The club’s unparalleled success as a team over the past couple of seasons have masked the inconsistency of their record-signing, who has been plagued with a number of injuries over the years. 

Bale is still world-class, of that there is no doubt, but the flying Welshman is so much more than a player who produces a few moments of magic over the course of a season. He’s well-versed with the Premier League and United fans will instantly take to him, something which has not happened with the notoriously-fickle Madrisistas.

Possessing sensational pace, a wondrous left-foot capable of scoring goals from any distance and a pretty good work-rate, the 27-year-old would truly be a dream signing for the Red Devils.

More than Real wanting to sell him, however, it all depends on the player himself, if he wishes to leave and while United are not, without any disrespect meant, in the Spanish club’s league, they could return to the top of Europe with a talent like Bale in their ranks.

Transfer Possibility: Low
Expected Fee: €100 Million

Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Yet another want-away player, Sanchez has all but confirmed his departure from the Emirates this summer. 

Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Chelsea are all said to be after the Chilean winger, who is currently on national team duty at the 2017 Confederations Cup. 

Premier League fans will be well acquainted with the 28-year-old winger, who has taken to English football like a duck takes to water.

With over 100 goals for an under-performing Gunners side since his arrival three seasons ago, one shudders to think what he could do in a side that are serious title contenders. 

Pace, dribbling, finishing, crossing are all attributes Sanchez ticks, but his never-say-die spirit is what truly sets him apart from the rest and probably why he is considered the best player in England right now. 

There are plenty of roadblocks in any potential deal as while Arsenal will be reluctant to offload their star player to their arch-rivals, it seems the Chilean would prefer Chelsea or Bayern Munich over United. 

Transfer Possibility: Low
Expected Fee: €90 Million

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