Tuesday Team Talk: Manchester United need more than £200m to compete in transfer market

Paul Scholes said last week that Manchester United need six new signings to challenge for the Premier League title next season.

It has been reported that new manager Louis van Gaal will be given a £200million transfer war chest to spend to improve on last season’s dismal seventh place finish.

However, it looks like United will require more than this, or even six new signings, to challenge again given the over-inflated European transfer market.

At the weekend Paris Saint Germain’s paid a ridiculous £40million for Chelsea’s David Luiz.

Usually, £40million would get you the world’s best player such as Luis Figo to Real Madrid at the start of the 2000s, now you can only get an unconvincing Premier League and Brazil defender for that money.

United have already suffered with the astronomical prices you need to pay just for a half decent defender as it looks like £27million won’t be enough to prize Luke Shaw away from Southampton.

Shaw is a promising left back but has yet to establish himself as an international footballer yet still commands such a hefty transfer fee.

The reason behind all this is due to the fact clubs no longer have to sell their star players to stay afloat financially due to the amount of money they get from television rights, combined with the fact that billionaire owners are willing to pay over the odds for the best players, seeing money as no obstacle.

You only have to look back at last summer’s transfer window and the fact that United had to pay £27million just to get Marouane Fellaini from Everton. Fans need no reminding how much of a flop he was.

Therefore, if United are to get the six players that former great Scholes, who was a coach at Old Trafford last season, feels the team requires then they are all likely to demand a higher fee than the Belgian.

Another reason for United needing more than £200million to get these six players is that they are no longer in the Champions League.

It means despite the fact that this might just be a blip, it is not certain that Van Gaal will immediately return United to Europe’s elite club competition.

There is a lot of work to be done at Old Trafford and the players United are trying to attract are already playing for clubs who will compete in Europe next season.

This has been showcased with United’s pursuit of Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich, who has chosen to stay with the German champions rather than move to Old Trafford.

One of the factors behind this is said to be that the midfielder wants to play in the Champions League next season and fears for his place in the German national team if he moves to United.

United can still sell their history to Europe’s top players but as Liverpool found out not being in the Champions League does prevent you from most of Europe’s already established players.

Instead the Merseyside club had to resort to signing squad players from Europe’s big boys or searching the smaller league in search of talent.

This did lead them to find Luis Suarez from Ajax but other than him they had to pay silly prices for some high profile flops like Andy Carroll and Alberto Aquilani.

United will be desperate not to become like Liverpool and spend years in the wilderness, so they need to be prepared to spend the right amount to bring in the top players and not let a fixed budget stop them.

If they can get back into Europe at the first attempt it will become easier to bring in the best players, so they need to take the financial hit this season.

This is unless Van Gaal can replicate what he did at Ajax and bring through a top quality bunch of youth players such as Edwin van der Sar, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf and Patrick Kluivert.

If he can produce players like these from United’s academy then they could fill some of the six players needed to bring them back to the top table.

If not, United will need about £300million to sign six world class players which will all cost close to £50million if someone such as Luiz is worth £40million.

Main image courtesy of the_junes via Flickr, with thanks.

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