News Column

Van Gaal eyes up move for Barcelona's Sanchez, putting futures of Young and Welbeck in doubt

June 11, 2014

Jamie Jackson



Alexis Sanchez has been identified by Louis van Gaal as a summer target for Manchester United, with the manager considering a move for the pounds 20m-rated Barcelona forward.

Although United's interest has yet to reach any advanced stage, the manager is a firm admirer of the Chile international, who will face Van Gaal'sHolland during the World Cup in Brazil.

United would want to sell one or two of their forward players to ensure Van Gaal's squad remains uncluttered if Sanchez were to arrive. This would mean that Nani, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and

Shinji Kagawa, plus possibly the strikers Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, could be under threat as the manager assesses his new squad and how he wants the side to play.

Van Gaal has often utilised a 4-3-3, meaning he requires only one dedicated striker, with his team placing emphasis

on pacy widemen. When in charge of Bayern Munich he operated with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben on the flanks in this fashion.

However, Van Gaal has also proved flexible regarding team formation, usually deciding on the best shape to fit the players at his disposal.

Sanchez, at 25 and following an uneven three years at Barcelona, fits the profile of the young and hungry footballer Van Gaal often favours. The 2014 World Cup will Sanchez's second, plus his experience in the Champions League as well as featuring in a La Liga-winning team with players of the quality of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi at Barcelona, the hope would be that he could help make Manchester United serious title contenders next season.

Sanchez played a single season for Cobreloa in Chile, 2005-06, before moving to Italy with Serie A's Udinese. He was loaned out by the club to Colo-Colo in his home country and River Plate in Argentina, winning the countries' respective championships.

After three years in Udinese's first team he was signed by Pep Guardiola for Barcelona in summer 2011 for around pounds 21m. He has won a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, two Spanish Super Cups along with the Uefa Super Cup and the Club World Cup during his time at Camp Nou.

Captions:

Alexis Sanchez will face Louis van Gaal'sHolland at the World Cup with Chile and could be available for pounds 20m from Barcelona



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Source: Guardian (UK)


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