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.
We all think we know football, we all think our opinion is far greater than the next mans and we all think we know what’s going to happen between now and the end of the Premier League season (well I do anyway!).
So, here’s you chance to show us what you’re made of and I’ll find a decent prize for the winner come the end of the season.
There was a time when the Premier League was almost exclusively contested between the red corner of North London and the red half of Manchester and, even more incredibly, there was a time when United were not afraid to tap into the transfer market in a swift, secure, way, without baulking at transfer fees.
A decade ago United still boasted a midfield that was envied by many, with the likes of David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes all in their pomp, while Argentine playmaker Juan Sebastian Veron had joined the club in 2001, becoming the most expensive transfer in English football at that time.
Manchester United have found an unexpected ally in their bid to keep Wayne Rooney at the club, with England manager Roy Hodgson claiming that he’ll warn his players from talking with the United striker about his future, when England meet ahead of their friendly against Scotland.
Hodgson, who described his decision as a “duty of care” towards United manager David Moyes, will not stop Rooney from talking to the rest of the team as “it might be difficult”, but the England manager stressed the need to leave transfer gossip away from the England camp, today’s papers reports.
Cesc Fabregas has once-and-for-all put his fabulated transfer rumour to bed by committing his future to his beloved Barcelona.
The news will not come as a surprise to United or their fans who, during the last week-or-two, have gradually realised the arrival of Fabregas was merely a pipe dream.
The question now is, why did United even bid for the player in the first place?
What a strange summer this has been so far. United are either linked to unrealistic targets, not going to sign anybody or, as it the case today, are reportedly poised to bid for not one, but two players, as David Moyes looks to add to his squad before the start of the season on August 17.
The names today’s newspapers link with a move to the club are hardly going to set many hearts racing but, at this stage, one gets the impression that a signing is better than no signing, if nothing else to provide the fans and the dressing room with some much needed lift.
Some newspapers can’t help but have a field-day with the mind of United fans as they capitalise on United’s somewhat ‘quiet summer’ of squad strengthening by regurgitating the same old rubbish thus offering players and agents the opportunity to milk their current employers while callously tantalising fans that their favourite target is about to step off the plane in Manchester.
From Thiago to Fabregas via Ronaldo and Bale, rumours re-emerged yesterday that Arsenal ‘have joined United in the race’ to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan.
United are in the race for Gundogan? I must read on….!
However, when you read deeper it becomes evident that player, Father and probably agent are using the media to extract an almighty contract extension.
With ten days to go until they begin the defence of their Premier League title away at Swansea, Manchester United might have finally made some significant progress in their quest to add some steel and quality to their midfield, as David Moyes has launched a bid for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
Moyes’ decision to launch a bid for the Belgian is thought to spell the end for United’s pointless pursuit of Cesc Fabregas, with the former Arsenal captain destined to remain in Spain at least for the foreseeable future, while United won’t have to fork out in the excess of £35m to secure his services.