Manchester United Begin Overhaul With Pounds 25m Depay

Manchester United have made the first move in a summer overhaul by agreeing the pounds 25 million signing of Memphis Depay.

Published: 08th May 2015 08:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2015 08:59 AM   |  A+A-

Memphis Depay-AP

Manchester United have made the first move in a summer overhaul by agreeing the pounds 25 million signing of Memphis Depay.

United announced the deal for the PSV Eindhoven winger pending a medical, with the 21-year-old confirming he rejected offers from Premier League rivals to reunite with former Dutch international coach Louis Van Gaal.

It is understood Liverpool were among those keen to match United's bid for the attacker, but the lure of United has proved too strong.

Depay will not be the only major arrival to enhance Van Gaal's squad this summer, with up to six new faces being targeted to mount a title challenge. Van Gaal still wants a right-back, a right-footed ball-playing centre-half, a deep-lying midfielder and a striker, while the long-term interest in Gareth Bale remains.

The speed with which Depay has been recruited shows United are keen to act decisively in the market and hit the ground running in August. They want all their business concluded before their pre-season tour in July.

"Pending the successful completion of the medical, the [Depay] deal will go through once the transfer window opens in June," United confirmed on social media.

Depay also revealed his delight at the move. "In the end it was just a matter of feeling, not a matter of money," he tweeted. "It was an exciting and pretty hectic period, and to have a choice between so many top clubs doesn't make it any easier.

"Now it is time to set my goals again on winning trophies with Manchester United.

"For me, Manchester United is an absolute dream club, so I didn't need any convincing by the guys who already play at Manchester United. Working with manager Louis van Gaal again is also a big bonus."

Depay has scored 49 goals for PSV and was also part of the Dutch World Cup squad, where he played under Van Gaal.

The manager is sure to see it as a prized capture. After a haphazard transfer window when he moved to United, there is a more strategic approach to his recruitment this summer.

The next key signing for Van Gaal will be a "No 6" midfielder - a deeper-lying play-maker or controller - who will be integral to how he wants his team to play in his 4-3-3 formation.

Van Gaal has Michael Carrick, but he is 33 and has suffered too many injuries to be relied upon every week.

Juventus's Paul Pogba, who is comfortable in attack and defence, would fit the bill with United expecting the Italian club to listen to offers for the French international. United have twice considered moving for their former midfielder, but he could cost between pounds 60?million to pounds 100?million.

The finances are not a problem for United, but there would be strong competition for the 22-year-old, especially as Chelsea remain keen and Manchester City, Paris St-Germain and Real Madrid are also interested.

United might instead turn their attention back to Roma's Kevin Strootman, another long-standing target of Van Gaal. Strootman's injuries have prevented United solidifying their interest. Another option, therefore, is Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan.

Another Dortmund player, Mats Hummels, has long been trailed as a possible central defensive target, although United are concerned he is over-priced and may struggle with the pace of the Premier League.

At right-back, Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne is under consideration at Old Trafford.

Aside from these positions, United will continue to monitor the situation of Bale at Real Madrid. United failed with a pounds 100 million bid two years ago. They would be prepared to match that, so convinced are they the Welshman can elevate them back to genuine title contenders.

Bale has made it clear he wants to stay at Real for at least one more year but that could change if he is told he is no longer wanted. Although United would also have competition in signing Bale they are confident they would outbid any other club.

Intriguingly, United are also interested in bringing back Cristiano Ronaldo to the club because even though the striker is 30, he is regarded as a player who could carry on at the top level for many more years.

However the impetus for that deal would have to come from Ronaldo himself given he signed a new contract at Real two years ago when United were confident the wanted to return to them.

Despite these planned incomings, United still want to retain Angel di Maria even though he has struggled for form following his British record pounds 59.7?million move from Real Madrid last summer.

The key deal in terms of retaining players will be to try to secure the future of goalkeeper David De Gea.

United hope offloading Javier Hernandez, Nani, Jonny Evans and Rafael will rise around pounds 25 million.

Should Radamel Falcao leave as expected, it will save pounds 265,000 a week in wages. His future will be determined by a more realistic financial package given his contribution.

United also intend to keep Robin van Persie, even though he has only one more year left on his contract. However, the striker will be allowed to go if he requests a transfer.

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