United planning for ‘busy summer’

With Edwin van der Sar due to follow Gary Neville into

retirement, Paul Scholes yet to confirm whether he will extend his

career by a further season and major doubts hanging over senior

figures such as Michael Owen, Wes Brown and Owen Hargreaves,

changes are inevitable at the Premier League champions. It does

appear youngsters Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley will be given

their chance after impressing during loan spells with Sunderland

and Wigan respectively. However, Gill has given the clearest

indication yet that United supporters can expect at least one

big-name arrival, and the likelihood is there will be more. “It

probably will be slightly busier than normal,” Gill told MUTV

during the annual Manchester United players’ awards ceremony at Old

Trafford. “Gary has retired already. Edwin is retiring and Paul has

to decide what he wants to do. “We have been working very hard over

the course of the last 12 months to plan which positions we need to

fill, identifying those players and trying to work on it. “What

Alex Ferguson has done very successfully for nearly 25 years is to

reinvent the team slowly and integrate them within the established

stars. “That is what we will continue to do. “It gives a buzz to

everyone at the club when you bring in high quality players. It is

something we look forward to with relish.” United have been heavily

linked with Atletico Madrid’s 20-year-old goalkeeper David De Gea,

although it would go against Ferguson’s preference for a goalkeeper

with great experience. Aston Villa’s Ashley Young has long been

viewed as a potential United target, although more latterly Inter

Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder has come into the reckoning. The

Dutch World Cup finalists would be an obvious replacement for

Scholes, whom Gill admitted last weekend might opt to call time on

his stellar career after the Champions League final with Barcelona

at Wembley on May 28.