United set to continue spending

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iol spt sep3 Di Maria-Van Gaal Reuters Manchester United will continue to be big spenders despite paying out a staggering �150million on new signings this summer. Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters

Manchester United will continue to be big spenders despite paying out a staggering £150million on new signings this summer.

Although six players have arrived at Old Trafford — including Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria — United expect to be busy in the next few transfer windows, according to senior club sources last night.

There are concerns that Louis van Gaal’s squad still needs strengthening in defence and midfield, and Roma’s Kevin Strootman has already been lined up as a £25m target in January when the Holland star will have fully recovered from a serious knee injury.

United will not stop there as Van Gaal sets about reviving the fallen giants of English football after a spectacular summer of spending.

Having broken the British transfer record to sign Di Maria for £59.7m, United pulled off a stunning deadline day deal for Falcao that could eventually cost them another £52m.

The Colombia striker celebrated by joining his agent Jorge Mendes and other advisers for a Chinese meal in Manchester city centre in the early hours of yesterday morning after the initial £6m loan move from Monaco went through well after the 11pm transfer deadline.‘We were waiting until the last minute, but I didn’t lose my faith,’ said Falcao. ‘I am very happy to be part of this big club — Manchester United is the best team in England.’

United captain Wayne Rooney welcomed Falcao’s arrival even though the two players could end up competing for a place.‘I obviously don’t know how it could affect my role, that is something you’d have to ask Louis van Gaal,’ he said. ‘But I think it’s a fantastic signing. It’s a real sign of intent from Manchester United.’

The club off-loaded several young British players as Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Michael Keane, Nick Powell and Tom Lawrence left the club, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant Mike Phelan yesterday questioned the direction the club had taken.

‘They have probably lost the way of Manchester United a little bit,’ said Phelan.

‘Someone like a Danny Welbeck has been part of United’s identity. That has been broken.’

Cleverley’s loan move to Aston Villa was not ratified by the Premier League until yesterday.The England midfielder was set to join Villa for £7.5m until Everton tried to hijack the move.Villa were then granted a two-hour extension to resurrect a loan deal for Cleverley after submitting a ‘deal sheet’ before the 11pm deadline.

The document, signed by both clubs and the player, is an agreement in principle which gives all parties time to complete the formalities.The Premier League board approved the deal yesterday. Robin van Persie last night dismissed as ‘total nonsense’ speculation that he may require knee surgery. He told Fox Sports NL: ‘I can say with my hand on my heart that I won’t be in a hospital to have the operation.’ – Daily Mail



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