The growing list of players to have turned down Manchester United this summer, suggests that Louis Van Gaal has his work cut out.
Bayern Munich striker Thomas Muller has revealed that he turned down an “astronomical” offer to join Manchester United.
The forward, who impressed for Germany at the World Cup, was rumoured to be a top target for new United boss Louis van Gaal.
“Of course,” he told Bild when asked if United were close to signing him.
“I was aware that I could earn more by making that transfer.
“The amount that foreign clubs were offering me was astronomical. But Bayern are my club, a change was not an issue for me.”
And Muller is not the only German international to have turned down the self-styled biggest club in the world this summer. Marco Reus, who missed the World Cup through injury, is another to have spurned their advances.
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo claims that Borussia Dortmund forward rejected an “offer for a lot of money” to join Manchester United.
“I don’t know where the Marco Reus rumour came from. It’s a player who, at this time, is impossible to us,” he said.
“Look, he had an offer for a lot of money from Manchester United and he has not gone. We will not sign him with a lesser offer.”
Then there’s the case of Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, who has opted to move to Bayern Munich rather than link up with Van Gaal.
And that’s just this week. Looking back over the summer there have been several players who have said thanks but no thanks to United.
Dutch international winger Arjen Robben, who flourished under Van Gaal at the World Cup, was another who resisted the lure of Old Trafford.
“I have a special bond with him (Van Gaal),” said Robben. “He is the most important coach in my career. After the match he did ask me to come to Manchester.
“It is not an option. I will stay at Bayern Munich.”
Throw in Toni Kroos, who was a United target before he opted to join Real Madrid, and it’s clear that a pattern is developing.
Here we are, 10 days before the transfer window slams shut, and despite all their efforts this summer, United’s squad has barely changed from the one which limped to a dismal 7th-placed finish last season. Saturday’s opening day home defeat to Swansea City not only deflated the pre-season optimism at Old Trafford, but also reminded United followers that the present side is not strong enough to compete at the highest level.
It is little wonder United that are reported to be prepared to break the bank for Real Madrid flier Angel Di Maria.
For all the talk of Van Gaal restoring United’s aura, the fact that the club’s ‘major’ signings this summer comprise Luke Shaw, a promising but inexperienced teenager, and Ander Herrera, an uncapped Spanish midfielder, suggest that plenty of work is still to be done before Old Trafford is once again a go-to destination.