After spending about £30m on Luke Shaw in a bid to replace the versatile Patrice Evra last summer, Manchester United are reportedly shopping for another left-full back and this time they are taking their time to sign an experienced and tested defender. Of the many players that have been linked to the club, only a few could actually have caught the fancy of Louis van Gaal. At some point, even Ashley Cole who was having a hard time settling down at Italy was rumoured to be eyeing a move back to England with Manchester United on top of his list of possible options.
The Red Devils have suffered immensely this season with several of their defenders side-lined due to injury at one point or the other, in fact at the moment, none of their central defenders are available for deployment in their next game. Although Luke Shaw is currently fit, there is nobody to work in his stead if he gets injured and to ensure that the club gets an option, Louis van Gaal has resolved to reinforce his squad by January.
At the top of his shopping list is Fabian Coentrao. The former Benfica man has fallen out of favour with Carlo Ancelotti as Marcello has been getting most of all the game time. The Old Trafford boss is reportedly lining up a bid to test the resolve of the Madrid based club and although the possibility of this deal isn’t certain, reports from Spain have predicted that Ancelloti will not be rigid regarding the sale of Coentrao as he is already stepping up his efforts to sign Bayern Munich’s David Alaba.
The fact that Real Madrid will be open to sale does not mean that Manchester United will have it easy with the deal as several of other European big spenders including Juventus and PSG have also shown interest but Manchester United will bank on the first team football and long term contract which they can offer to lure him over to the club. Reports have also revealed that the Old Trafford club could also use Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria to try and convince Coentrao to move to Old Trafford. The three players use the same agent, Jorge Mendes who is also referred to as the super-agent.
However, despite the fact that a serious competitor is required to help Luke Shaw develop, it is not to the extent of spending £27.4m for another left full-back. Although at 26-years-old, he fits in perfectly as a player who could be part of the building process that Louis van Gaal has going on at the club, that fee is still too high for a player who currently cannot earn enough game time at Real Madrid. If Louis van Gaal demands more from his scouts, better and cheaper alternatives can be sourced from smaller clubs. Apart from the fact that Coentrao is expensive, the only reason why he will agree to a move is if Louis van Gaal assures him of ample game time and that will mean the £30m summer signing, Luke Shaw will be relegated to the bench. This move will surely polarise the team and so the manager should consider a less demanding full-back by January.