Man U steps up big with several marquee signings

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By NICK PAPADIS
College Contributor Network

After a slow start to their action in the transfer window, Manchester United stepped up big with several marquee signings.

The Red Devils have already brought four players to Old Trafford, and will be looking to bring in a few more as they look to improve on last year's fourth place finish.

Louis van Gaal's main signings this summer have all been in the midfield, which was a notable problem area during the previous campaign. The additions of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger, have already greatly improved his side.

The addition of Matteo Darmian will also be crucial to the Red Devils' plan this season. The 25-year-old, who arrived at Old Trafford from Serie A, will offer much needed relief at right back, which was a problem position for United last season.

Memphis Depay, who has already played under van Gaal, will also add a key element to the Red Devils' attack. Depay was named to LvG's 23-man squad for the Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup, and surely gained the admiration of his new manager.

Depay was one of the Manchester side's first signings of the summer, and was one of van Gaal's top priorities.

However, Depay will have big shoes to fill in the absence of several players who have left Old Trafford this summer. Loss of attackers such as Nani and Robin van Persie, and the end of Radamel Falcao's loan spell will leave a large gap in United's attack.

Another quality striker will surely be one of the biggest targets for the remainder of the transfer window.

Currently, the only world-class striker Man U can rely on is their skipper, Wayne Rooney. However, given the system of play utilized by van Gaal last season, it can be expected that United will be looking for another striker to play alongside Rooney.

The names of several possible targets have been discussed, with Barcelona's Pedro being the most likely if current speculation holds true.

Other targets that have been mentioned are Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain and PSG's Edinson Cavani.

Despite the need for a striker, one of the top targets has been Sergio Ramos. The Real Madrid center back has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester, but as it stands, Real seem unwilling to allow their captain to leave.

Controversy has also surrounded the Red Devils starting 'keeper David de Gea. Real Madrid has been linked with a move for de Gea, who only has one year remaining on his contract, but Man U have said he would only be allowed to leave should Madrid offer 'keeper Keylor Navas and/or Ramos plus cash.

However, the Red Devils look to be preparing for life without de Gea, whether they lose him this summer, or next summer when his contract expires.

Louis van Gaal's side has been strongly linked with a move for Ajax and Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, who has been all but confirmed as the successor to de Gea at Old Trafford.

With over a month still left in the transfer window, it is clear that despite having already made significant transfers, more moves are yet to come. Man U will likely use the entire transfer window as they look to complete business and push toward another league title.

Nick Papadis is a junior at American University majoring broadcast journalism and broadcasts AU Men's Soccer amongst other sports. Nick is an avid Liverpool fan. Follow him on twitter @NPSoccerTalk
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