It’s just under 2 months until the summer transfer window opens, but with just 3 games left in the Premier League and United’s recent return to toothless tedium, the transfer rumour mill is working full steam.
It seems as though Woodward has been briefing the press on our pursuit of the likes Gundogan, Bale, Clyne and Depay, but, as usual, we’ve been linked with a load of other names – enough for the MEN to compile this list of no less than 40 summer “transfer targets” for the club.
But how strong are the rumours linking Man Utd with our top transfer targets for summer 2015? And which players are the fans most interested in bringing to the club?
I’ve pulled together some data from Google Trends, for the period from the first week of January to the first week of May 2015, showing how search interest compares for our top targets in defence, midfield and attack.
Man Utd Transfer Targets 2015
Overall, during this period, interest in Hummels signing for United has been significantly higher than any other defender. This is followed by Varane, then Laporte, Clyne and Coleman.
In recent weeks, however, interest in Clyne signing for Man Utd has started to increase, but searches for Laporte and Varane haven’t yet returned to the levels they reached earlier in the year.
For 2015 so far, Pogba has been the most-searched signing for Man Utd, followed by Gundogan, then Strootman, then Koke. Surprisingly, searches around Vidal don’t even register on the Google Trends radar, suggesting this is a rumour most fans have already given up on.
The graph shows that interest in Gundogan has exploded from mid-April onwards, surpassing the levels of interest from the January window. By comparison, searches around Pogba returning to the club have declined, but remained significant, whilst interest in Strootman becoming a United player has largely subsided since the January window.
The player with most search interest overall so far this year is Gareth Bale, followed by Depay, then Cavani, then Ings. Dybala doesn’t register, indicating this is one rumour that hasn’t particularly resonated with fans.
Interest in Bale hasn’t yet returned to January 2015 levels; it’s PSV’s Memphis Depay that currently seems to be generating the most excitement amongst United fans. This peaked between 19-25 April, before dying down somewhat, whilst interest in Bale is continuing to gather momentum.
Obviously these trends very much mirror the weight and focus of press and blog coverage around Man Utd’s transfer targets and potential signings, but it’s interesting to get an overview of how this translates into what fans are Googling around the world as we approach another vital transfer window this summer.
Based on this data alone, it looks like we’re signing Clyne, Gundogan and Depay. If we only made 3 major signings this summer, would they be your top choices? Let us know in the comments below…