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Manchester United linked with Barcelona's Dani Alves and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema

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A Bola says Nicolas Gaitan is soon to just United. Manchester United have been linked with Barcelona's Dani Alves, Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, Schalke's Benedikt Howedes, along with Valencia's Nicolas Otamendi and Dortmund's Mats Hummels.

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"We could do this, but with more rain."
"We could do this, but with more rain."
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The most important thing, far more important than transfers, is this story from David Conn in The Guardian about FC United of Manchester's success, which you can read here. They haven't quite yet met their fundraising targets but are on their way to do so, are committed to be being part of its community, and aren't destroying their other people's dignity at every turn.

Which brings us to Manchester United. Mark Ogden in The Telegraph has an update on Dani Alves and others. Apparently Alves is now on the transfer list for United's targets for the summer. It's not clear where he is on that list. There are other defenders mentioned, with Mats Hummels at the top of the list, Nicolas Otamendi and Nathaniel Clyne also named, even if not as priorities. A new name is Benedikt Howedes, from the currently woeful Schalke. That's here.

Also in The Telegraph is Chris Bascombe, who mentions that Christian Benteke of Aston Villa is a target for both Liverpool and United. Liverpool might consider themselves favourites for him. One, they can offer him more first team football given Daniel Sturridge's lack of fitness, and Sturridge's potential to replace Raheem Sterling on the wings should he be sold in the summer. Two, United can't, with Wayne Rooney clearly the senior striker in a 4-3-3 formation. If not, and Rooney will be a number 10 to support him, may God have mercy on us all. Read the article here.

Some more news on Otamendi, from Valencia, which is on ESPNFC. It seems Valencia are going to hold any suitor to the full release clause of the £30 million-ish release clause, and also make Otamendi publicly ask for a transfer to make sure the fans turn on him rather than the club.

And lastly, to The Mirror, which is running the same story as The Sun, that Manchester United are after Karim Benzema. It's hard to believe United will spend so much when they have Rooney, really, and neither of the journalists reporting it for those two papers have an exceptional pedigree. Which is not to say it's not true, just there's little reason to believe it is. That's here.

And another story that I've just noticed, so is now another lastly: Nicolas Gaitan is apparently going to join United from Benfica for £25 million, to be done after the Portuguese cup final. FACT. Possible.