Manchester United have spent over $115 million so far in the summer transfer window, strengthening the team considerably, but one area is looking a little bare: up front.
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Louis van Gaal has spoken to The Times newspaper during United’s tour of the U.S. and after seeing his side secure a 1-0 victory over Club America in their opening game of the International Champions Cup in Seattle last Friday, van Gaal is rather pleased with how things are going.
However, he admitted that he still believes there could be “a surprise” signing when it comes to bolstering United’s attack before they begin their Premier League campaign against Tottenham Hotspur on Aug. 8 (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) but is fine with the options he has right now.
“No, because still we have Rooney, he can play in the striker’s position,” van Gaal said when asked about signing a new striker. “All the media had written he had to play there so I listened and now you put this question [to me] so I don’t know what you want… Also we have Chicharito [Hernandez] and maybe Wilson and maybe there comes a surprise. It’s a process. Hernandez is coming [to join us on the tour] on July 25. He can prove himself and now Falcao and Van Persie are gone so his chances are better. I’m not worried about that position.”
This situation of a “striker shortage” has arisen after Van Gaal sold Robin van Persie to Fenerbache and despite heaping praise on Radamel Falcao, he decided to not turn his loan deal into a permanent transfer from Monaco this summer.
But with Wayne Rooney leading the line and United set to only have one central striker in van Gaal’s preferred formations of 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1, do they need any more forwards? They have four strikers at the club if you draft in new signing Memphis Depay to play centrally instead of out wide, but it is highly unlikely that Chicharito hangs around to sit on the bench again. So that could open up one spot for the Red Devils as they look to mount a serious PL title challenge and succeed in the UEFA Champions League.
Rumors linking Edinson Cavani and Gonzalo Higuain to United continue, especially with Angel di Maria edging closer to a move to Paris Saint-Germain which could see Cavani heading in the opposite direction.
For now, LVG is happy with his strikers. But, as always, the United boss is keeping his players, the media and everyone else on their toes as a little “surprise” signing may happen between now and Sept. 1 when the transfer window slams shut.