The lack of new faces at Old Trafford this season and the team’s poor display during the opening match against Swansea last Saturday, have probably been keeping Van Gaal awake at night these days. Manchester United desperately need to bring in at least two or three quality players (a midfielder, a wide back and probably another centre back) and they better hurry, otherwise they might risk losing the “top teams’” train earlier in the season, as it happened last term.
According to recent reports from the media, Manchester United are preparing an audacious bid for Real Madrid’s skillful midfielder Xabi Alonso, but such deal might not be easy to fulfill, especially if we think that he was part of the team’s starting line-up for last Tuesday’s match against Atlético Madrid.
Although there has been plenty of fuss surrounding some alleged problems between Xabi Alonso and Real’s coaching staff, the truth is that he took part in the Spanish Super Cup match this week, relegating James Rodríguez to the bench, and he has only failed to participate in the European Super Cup final against Sevilla, probably only because he was suspended.
Regardless of his age, the Basque-born footballer still has a major role in Real Madrid’s strategy, whether by playing as a defensive midfielder on a 4-3-3 scheme, or by playing as some sort of deep lying playmaker on a more offensive 4-2-3-1 approach. Xabi Alonso’s splendid vision, combined with his fantastic positioning and superior passing skills, transform him into a must-have player in any team and Real Madrid is no different.
The arrivals of the German passing master Toni Kroos and of the Colombian wonderboy James Rodríguez might constitute a serious threat to Xabi Alonso’s place at the team, but the truth is that the former Liverpool and Real Sociedad player is one of the few Spanish footballers in Real’s team to have a deep knowledge of La Liga, which may turn out to be quite handy in a team that desperately wants to win the league title once again.
This being said and given Xabi Alonso’s current importance at the European champions’ team, Manchester United will need to be very persuasive in order to convince Real Madrid to sell them the player, otherwise, this hypothetical transfer might go down the drain as the never-ending story around Arturo Vidal and the utterly failed approach for Kevin Strootman.