David Moyes might have endured a dismal inaugural campaign at Old Trafford, but by now the United manager must have earned at least two life-times worth of air miles, given the regularity with which he flies across the continent to scout potential transfer targets.
Moyes was at it again yesterday, as he flew to Lisbon for the semifinal of the Portuguese Cup between Benfica and Porto, where he apparently scouted three of the many “top targets” he has on his book ahead of the summer.
Southampton’s left-back Luke Shaw could be David Moyes’ first signing of the summer, with reports suggesting that United are confident to clinch a deal, thought to be worth around £30m, for the 18-year-old England international.
Shaw has been hugely impressive for Southampton this season, winning his first England cap and forcing himself into contention for a place in the World Cup squad, all while emerging as one of the brightest talents in English football and attracting interest from a host of big clubs.
Manchester United are set to offer £260,000-a-week to Toni Kroos, in an attempt to lure the German international away from the Allianz Arena this summer, after David Moyes has realised that his already uncertain future could be under even more intense scrutiny if he fails to secure world class signings.
Kroos has been on United’s radar for a while, and even though it was largely thought he had used Moyes’ interest simply to earn himself a better contract at Bayern Munich, according to reports in the German press over the last few days, the 24-year-old is now considering his options, before deciding whether to extend his current deal with the European champions, which expires in 2015.
Reports today suggest that Manchester United have agreed a deal worth £35m for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, which will bring the defensive midfielder to Old Trafford after the World Cup, as David Moyes looks to bolster his options in the middle of the park.
United have scouted Carvalho intensely this season and the 22-year-old was also on the radar of a host of other top European clubs – including Liverpool, Monaco, Inter Milan and Real Madrid – but talkSPORT suggests that Ed Woodward has managed to get his man this time around – as indeed had the Mirror a few weeks ago – after failing spectacularly with bids for Ander Herrera and Cesc Fabregas last season.
Manchester United could target Jurgen Klopp as replacement for David Moyes if they decide the Scotsman is not the right man to guide the club forward after a disastrous inaugural campaign at Old Trafford, which has seen the Reds fall 20 points behind league leaders Liverpool.
Last week it had emerged that United had met Holland manager Louis Van Gaal and even though the rumours were then swiftly denied by the club, the news was enough to place Moyes’ future under a cloud, particularly as an increasing number of fans seem to have turned on him.
Yesterday was a horrible day. Not because my legs felt like they were made of concrete after a 10-mile run or because I started feeling the symptoms of man flu, but because despite forcing myself to support Manchester City for 90 minutes, all I was left with was a bitter taste in my mouth.
That taste quickly became nauseating once I realised just how close Liverpool are to win a first league title since 1990, barely 12 months after Fergie steered us to number 20 last season before calling it a day. Were Liverpool to win the league, it would be utterly devastating for a number of reasons: nobody saw it coming and media love-in with the scousers is already in full swing, even though they haven’t won it yet.
Since taking over the club in July, David Moyes has repeatedly stressed the need to rebuild his team and part ways with many players of the current crop, regardless of how successful or how important to the club they might be.
It is, therefore, slightly surprising to see one players widely expected to leave Old Trafford this summer declaring that he’s determined to continue playing football with Manchester United, yet that’s exactly what Rio Ferdinand did yesterday, when he announced his intentions to remain at the club beyond the summer.
Darren Fletcher’s return to action has been one of the few positives of this wretched season and Fletch is one of the few senior players to have embraced responsibility, rather than shying away from it and the United midfielder has warned his team-mates that they’re all playing for their future.
United’s shambolic campaign was brought to an end in Munich and the Reds enter the last five weeks with absolutely nothing left to play for apart from dignity and personal pride, a stark reminder of how low the standards have fallen in David Moyes’ first season in charge.