Despite the season being not over for another three weeks, newspaper are dedicating an increasing number of columns to transfer rumours and, as usual, United find themselves right in the middle of it. The next few months could be absolutely crucial for United’s future, something Sir Alex Ferguson hinted to in the immediate aftermath of last week’s title celebrations as he stressed the importance of planning ahead.
With City likely to launch into another shopping spree – one that they hope will yield slightly better players than Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell – and Chelsea edging closer to Jose Mourinho, United are likely to face an even harder challenge in 2013-14.
While we wait for the Rooney saga to either be settled or explode to another level, all we can do is formulate hypothesis on the possible ins and outs. With Paul Scholes set to retire, uncertainty surrounding Darren Flecther’s future and Wayne Rooney uncomfortable – and not good enough – when deployed in a deeper role, much like in the last five years, midfield is the area United must look to address.
We know all about the reasons behind this necessity, and the potential risks of overlooking the midfield issue yet again, so let’s not repeat ourselves and spell some names out. The Mirror today revives the Victor Wanyama rumour, while the Telegraph points at Porto’s attacking midfielder James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale. Bale, though, is considered to be a very unlikely target as Fergie appears willing to spend his money elsewhere.
Wanyama does indeed look like the sort of physical presence United have lacked in the engine room for a long time, but the SPL is hardly a reliable benchmark in terms of measuring a player’s talent, while Rodriguez would undoubtedly add guile and speed to United’s midfield but Fergie’s record with players from the Portuguese league – apart from Ronaldo that is – is suspect to say the least.
The Manchester United transfer rumours continue to link Lewandowski with a summer move to Old Trafford but they have taken another twist, with the Polish striker’s agent declaring that his client won’t be playing in the Premier League “this summer”, as reported by the Guardian. Why United would be so desperate to add another striker is anyone’s guess, but the Telegraph argues that Ferguson should look at quality rather than quantity this summer, hence the suggestion that Nani and Anderson could be sold.
Getting rid of the pair would allow United to pour some extra cash in their transfer kitty, money that could perhaps be spent on Leighton Baines, although the media are unanimous in declaring that United have cooled their interest for the Everton left-back.
Fergie has done his bit to keep us guessing for another couple months by saying that: “We’ve been doing a bit of work on that over the last three or four months, targeting who the players are that we feel could enhance us, make us better or help us maintain the level we’re at.”
The silly season has well and truly begun.
Related items from Red Rants: