The David Moyes era has finally begun for Manchester United. Whilst the Scot's tenure officially starts on July 1st – reports have suggested that he has worked behind the scenes already at his new club, before setting off on holiday.
Despite the loss of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United continue to be linked with Europe's finest players.
Central midfield has been the subject to a number of rumoured additions already, with a host of young, bright talent seemingly on their way to the Theatre of Dreams this transfer window.
Midfield will not be Moyes' only priority however, with top talent all around linked with the club.
Cesc Fabregas – Barcelona – 26
Arguably the most attractive rumour for Manchester United fans, Cesc Fabregas was linked with a move to United via The Metro way back in early June.
The Barcelona midfielder scored 14 goals and 11 assists in all competitions last season for Barcelona. He has eight years experience, at 26, in the Premier League due to his early Arsenal adventure.
Unfortunately for Manchester United fans, myself included, this move appears to be dead already.
Fabregas himself lamented the rumours of him leaving the Nou Camp as 'absurd', and told Spanish newspaper Marca:
"I've always said I'm delighted at Barca,"
"Whoever says I'm leaving doesn't know me and has never talked to me or my agent, because he knows I don't want him to talk with other people about me.
"I'm very private and don't talk about those issues, even with my family.
"If anybody says something different than that I want to play for Barcelona, that's absurd"
Unfortunately for United fans, a move for Cesc Fabregas seems near on impossible. Not only is Fabregas finally at his 'boy-hood club', he has a strong affinity to Arsenal Football Club.
Maybe one day we will see Cesc return to the Premier League, but it'll be in the Red of London, not Manchester.
Thiago Alcantara – Barcelona – 22
Another Spanish, Barcelona midfield Manchester United have been linked too is Thiago Alcantara.
Thiago starred yet again for the Spanish U-21 side this week, scoring a hatrick in the final of the UEFA European U-21 Championship. Putting himself in the shop window you could argue, as his future at the Nou Camp has been questioned.
Despite obvious talent and potential, Thiago has struggled to cement a first team spot in the current Barcelona midfield.
With players like Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and the aforementioned Cesc Fabregas all battling for a starting berth, its been tough on young Thiago.
An £18million release clause is fantastic value for money – it may be just a matter of time to see whether United can lure Thiago from the Spanish champions.
Kevin Strootman – PSV Eindhoven – 23
The Daily Express linked Kevin Strootman with a move to Manchester United all the way back in April. They also linked the Dutchman with Everton, who's boss at the time was none other than David Moyes.
It may be a question of when rather than if for Strootman and United.
At 6'1" and with good upper-body strength, Strootman is a behemoth in midfield. He can bully the opposition by holding them off the ball and winning possession back for his side with ease.
He is a natural and gifted tackler, and while he will pick up his share of yellow cards, he plays with wisdom beyond his years.
At 23, Strootman has a long career ahead of him and fits the model perfectly of United's youth transfer policy.
Acquiring Strootman would help United beef up their midfield and add some youth to the current set up. This move is attractive for the present and future, something all Manchester United fans would love to hear.
4. Robert Lewandowski – Borussia Dortmund – 24
For the majority of the season I was confident of Lewandowski's potential move to Manchester United. With rumours flying around the future of Wayne Rooney, the much coveted Pole seemed like a fantastic replacement for the out-bound Rooney.
However, a recent report in the Daily Mail has claimed that Lewandowski would in fact snub interest from United in favour for a move to German champions, Bayern Munich.
At first, Dortmund gave United the green-light in their pursuit for the Pole. A £25.5million bid would have been enough to land the 24 year old, as Dortmund looked to sell him abroad.
However, they have now accepted defeat and have acknowledged Lewandowski will be a Bayern Munich player, eventually.
A bid may be accepted from United if offered, but in the eyes of this author, Robert Lewandowski will not be a Manchester United player any time soon.
Ezequiel Garay – Benfica – 26
Numerous sources have claimed that Manchester United have a 'gentleman's agreement' for Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay. The 26 year old, rated at £17million, is seen as a 'young Rio Ferdinand', due to his ball playing abilities and cultured style.
This may not be the most exciting transfer rumour for Manchester United fans, but its an important one. Nemanja Vidic, 31, has been plagued with injuries in the last two years, whilst Rio Ferdinand will be 35 in November.
The future at the heart of the centre of defence looks strong for United with Smalling, Jones, Wootton and Keane. But what about the present? Sure, Ferdinand has just come off arguably one of his most impressive campaigns to date, whilst we can only hope Vidic can reach similar levels of brilliance prior to his injury hell. But as mentioned, Rio is 35 this year whilst we just don't know if Vidic can be the same dominant player he once was.
Brining in Garay to Old Trafford would ensure United have another top class, European experienced, young centre half capable of playing for many more years.
That's just five of the many players linked with Manchester United this summer. Whilst Fabregas and Lewandowski may be out of reach, a midfield duo of Thiago and Strootman would no doubt put a smile on the faces of many Red Devil fans, who can surely expect a busy summer, in what will be the first of David Moyes' tenure.