|LUCAS BIGLIA | Anderlecht, 25 |
Like the former Real Madrid star, Biglia makes a lot of important interceptions due to his intelligent positioning and he hardly ever makes fouls in midfield, despite the fact that he is involved in numerous duels. In recent years, the 25-year-old has also become of added value in possession as he has the quality to direct play from a deep midfield position with his accurate passing.
Biglia signed a new contract until June 2015 hardly six months ago, meaning that any team faces a tough task to lure the midfielder away from Anderlecht. Nevertheless, the Belgian champions have shown in the past that they're willing to sell if the price is right (eg Mbark Boussoufa to Anzhi in 2010).
An offer in the region of £8.5 million could prove to be enough to sign the Argentina international. Despite his recent contract extension, Biglia has expressed his interest to move to a bigger league on more than one occasion, and he would probably find it hard to turn down a club like Manchester United.
|JAVI GARCIA | Benfica, 24 |
The 24-year-old has been an ever-present figure in Benfica’s midfield since he joined the club from Real Madrid in 2009 for €7m (£5.8m). His efforts have seen him linked with a number of clubs in the last two years, but with a contract until 2014 and a release clause of €30m (£25m), signing the Spaniard will be a test to a club’s resolve. Javi Garcia’s agent recently said that the midfielder was fine at Benfica and focused on the club, so it seems highly unlikely he will be leaving before the end of the campaign.
|JAVI MARTINEZ | Athletic Bilbao, 23 |
His impressive performances in Denmark captured the attention of many interested observers, with scouts from all over Europe present at the continental competition. But unfortunately for them, Martinez had signed a new, long-term deal with his club, Athletic Bilbao, before the start of the tournament.
The box-to-box midfielder, who can also play in central defence, penned a new deal in May of this year and is now tied to the Basque outfit until 2016. His release clause is set at €40m (£34m) - a sum designed to deter Spain's biggest clubs. Real Madrid had been interested in signing the midfielder and Athletic moved quickly to secure the services of one of their brightest young stars.
Athletic's philosophy of fielding only Basque players means they wouldn't be able to replace him adequately and the Bilbao side would be unwilling to sell him in any case. The only way a deal would be contemplated is if Javi were keen to move on, but Athletic are a symbol of regional pride for the team's homegrown stars and, like Fernando Llorente (who was linked heavily with Madrid in 2010 but reiterated his commitment to the San Mames side), he seems perfectly happy where he is - at least at the moment - as the club continue their ambitious new project under Marcelo Bielsa. So Manchester United - and everyone else for that matter - will have to wait.
|LUKA MODRIC | Tottenham, 26 |
United wanted to part-exchange Dimitar Berbatov for Modric to offset some of the cost and a similar player-plus-cash deal would be the only realistic way that the Premier League champions could revive a move for a player whom Spurs value so highly that they rejected a £40m bid from Chelsea in the final hours of the summer window.
A January swoop is out of the question as Spurs will not sell, a point reiterated by chairman Daniel Levy at the club's AGM on Tuesday. But all bets are off at the end of the season, when Modric will once again ponder where his future lies. Contract talks which would make the 26-year-old the club's best-paid player have stalled, with Modric keen to wait to see how the team fare in the second half of the season before deciding his next move.
Should he agitate for a switch like he did last summer, Spurs are unlikely to be so determined to hang on to the midfielder, which could create an opening for his many admirers, who include Chelsea as well as United.
|WESLEY SNEIJDER | Inter, 27 |
His ability to find space and eye for the run of a team-mates make him an attacking midfielder of great quality, and he can drop into the midfield line to carry out an impressive job too. He may well not be in the kind of form which saw him lead Inter to the treble in 2010 and should have resulted in him winning the Ballon d'Or, but a move to United could well suit all involved.
Claudio Ranieri has found the winning formula in his recent absence through injury, with Inter carrying out a more considered approach to get them back on track, and the player himself has shown a tendency to drift out of games more and more as the club's fortunes have sunk further during the past 18 months. It all means he could come cheaper than he would have in August.