Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is clearly loathe to talk about his transfer business with anybody but executive vice-chairmen Ed Woodward right now.
It’s a sensible policy from a highly experienced coach who knows that publicly speaking about transfer targets can backfire badly.
Just ask David Moyes after his failed and public pursuit of Cesc Fabregas which tarnished his reputation before the season even started.
One of the players who has been persistently linked is Angel di Maria and Van Gaal has spoken of him being a player of the highest quality so we know that the boss likes him.
United should pull out all the stops to sign this guy, whatever the price, because they are drifting away from the leading pack right now.
But the other real problem area, apart from the lack of pace, is the continued paucity of quality in the midfield – someone to solidify, mobilise and strengthen that engine room.
No one quite knows what’s going on with Arturo Vidal at the moment and there is still hope the Manchester United can sign him. The other mooted solution is to hold off and wait for Kevin Strootman to recover fully at Roma before signing him in January.
But United need someone now.
One player who seems potentially available and could thrive in the role is another of Real Madrid’s peripheral stars, Sami Khedira.
Publicly Real Madrid don’t want to lose him but there have been persistent rumours suggesting that his agent is in London to discuss a move to The Premier League. Are United one of the suitors? They really ought to be. They were linked last summer and their need now is possibly even greater.
Chelsea and Arsenal are both reportedly interested but if Manchester United really pulled their fingers out than they could sign a player who, at 27 years of age, is right on top of his game.
He may not have quite the ability or goal threat of Arturo Vidal – but what midfielders do?
If the Vidal deal can’t be done Manchester United desperately need to get someone else in and at around £30-£35 million they could have one of the best players from World Cup 2014.
The stock of German players has never been higher and Khedira will be absolutely brimming with confidence after his World Cup win. It feels like he’s about to have his second dawn as a player, after that long-term injury last season, and we think he would be a guaranteed success at Old Trafford.
Let’s have a look at him in action. Manchester United fan: a good option?