Having spectacularly failed to secure plan A (Thiago Alcantara) and having been systematically told to forget about plan B (Cesc Fabregas, however plan A and B can be exchanged as required) United seemed determined to move onto plan C (Marouane Fellaini) during the week, but reports suggest that they might be looking further down the alphabet.
During Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial last night, Tom Cleverley and Anderson were by-passed with the same regularity with which United have been linked to a Barcelona midfielder this summer, as Sevilla tore United’s non-existent midfield to shreds repeatedly in the first half, until the introduction of Michael Carrick in the second half steadied the ship somewhat.
David Moyes is desperate to bolster his midfield options and today’s backpages claim the Scotsman’s latest target is Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, who had already been linked to United in the past and who has so far struggled to secure a spot in the starting XI at the Bernabeu following his £33m from Spurs 12 months ago.
The Croat schemer could find himself on the fringe this season too, with the arrival of Asier Illarramendi likely to further limit Modric’s chances, but Real Madrid are thought to demand a fee in the region of £25m for the 27-year-old.
Modric would undoubtedly be a much more appealing than Fellaini a lot of United fans, however, as the Guardian’s Manchester football correspondent, Jamie Jackson, points out: “Although Moyes is an admirer, there is also a view at United that Modric can sometimes lack robustness and there are questions regarding his goal return when at Spurs, where he managed only 13 in 123 league starts for the club.”
Were Moyes to purchase both, Fellaini AND Modric, then United’s midfield could turn from the team’s achilles heel to be one of the best and most complete in the Premier League, but a lot of work is yet to be done for Moyes to secure one, let alone, both of these players.
The United manager was thought to be interested to assess the performance of Sevilla’s Geoffrey Kondogbia during Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial last night, as United are the latest in a host of European clubs – including the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid – to show interest for the 20-year-old French midfielder, whose release clause is worth around £8.5m.
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