Who was Moyes scouting in France?

68822Manchester United, it seems, have a penchant for the comic as well as for the dramatic (the drama is normally induced by some staggering ineptitude, but drama remains) when it comes to the transfer window and it appears as the club and David Moyes have decided to step it up a notch this month.

The United manager clocked up enough airmiles in recent weeks to grant himself a life worth of discounted flights, as him and members of his staff flew around Europe to scout different targets which may or may not arrive (the latter is alarmingly probably than the former).

Moyes was spotted in Cagliari on Sunday, allegedly to keep an eye on Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio or just about any midfielder who could do what Tom Cleverley and Anderson can’t (spoiler alert: the category includes a large number of midfielders), before setting off for Bordeaux on Tuesday night, as the local side took on PSG.

Unless Moyes has always kept a secret of his love for French baguettes, expensive red wines and artisan patisserie, he must have been tracking either a Bordeaux or a PSG player, clubs with which United hadn’t been linked yet. So, who was the United manager keeping an eye on in the French city?

Well, but of course, no one else if not our fling from the summer of 2012. That Lucas Moura who teased us and got our hopes up before deciding that sipping a cafe by the Eiffel Tower was an altogether better proposition than drinking a pint of ale in Piccadilly Gardens (your loss, pal) and moved to PSG for £37m, prompting Fergie to declare that “the world had gone mad” if clubs were prepared to fork out that amount of money on an 18-year-old.

Moura had impressed at the London Olympics and many felt he would have represented a fantastic coup, but United’s decision not to enter a bidding war with a club with unlimited financial resources was probably a sensible one, particularly as we consoled ourselves with RVP’s arrival a few weeks later.

Things, however, haven’t worked out too well at the Parc des Princes for the Brazilian, who only played 14 games in all competition since arriving in January last season (he completed the move only in January, even though the deal was sealed in August) before forcing his way back into the first team reckoning this season, with 18 league appearances over which he racked up three goals and six assists.

The “Moura to United” rumour was first spread by the Daily Star, a paper reliable only in its incapacity of being reliable and has since been picked upon by other sources and publications, which gleefully ignore the fact that, even if PSG wanted to sell Moura, they’d be determined to recoup almost all of the £37m they shelled out last year.

Other sources yesterday reported that David Moyes might have been scouting Javier Pastore, the first of PSG’s marquee signings and one of the many to have fallen down the pecking order, obliterated into the black hole that dwarfs everything non-Zlatan at PSG.

The Argentinian is undoubtedly a classy player, albeit not worth the £36m PSG paid to Palermo in 2011, and has been linked with United before so, in that respect, a move for him would make more sense than a move for Moura.

Perhaps, however, we should simply accept the fact that Moyes fancied a nice glass of red and some delicacy cheeses.




  1. Moyes should have been scouting games in the autumn. Did he learn nothing from our deadline day fiasco in the summer?

    That is the real problem with signing Moyes. He simply doesn’t know European football and is playing catch up.

  2. I think Moyes did a wine tour-nice chianti in Italy followed by a good glass of French red.

  3. Is moyes and his merry men on some sort of “jolly around Europe or do they intend doing any business this window?.anyone’s guess.Got feeling though, even though moyes is putting in more air miles than most managers will put in, in a season,still expect the same old lines to be trotted out when the window closes,”we came close to signing a major “star” but we ran out of time”,”It’s a hard window to do business”……blah blah.Call me cynical, just think it’s a load of old bollocks.

  4. So when can we start throwing out predictions for Sunday’s game against Chelsea?

    I would have to say a draw is the most likely outcome.

    1-1 probably.

    But then again defeat is also a distinct possibilty.

    Jose Mourinho has never lost a home game at the Bridge ever. Not now or during his first spell at the club.

    And I don’t see Moyes breaking that record.

    So a draw it is.

    I maintain that Moyes might be able to beat the rest of the pack (the teams outside of the top five) on the regular but it is his record against the very best in the league that will expose him as inadequate.

  5. You guys are so wrong. This has his MO (Moyes’ Operandi) all over it. Moyes was scouting Laurent Blanc as possible replacement for Rio Ferdinand. However, Moyes first had to ask Platini about the quality and character of Blanc.

    • @Opti: You could be on to something here. I think Moyes has gone to France to sign a World renowned midfielder and have all of Europe take notice and no longer see him as a laughing stock. Expect the last two weeks of January to be used up in a vain attempt to sign Zidane.

      • @red astair: All this scouting is silly. As if United’s needs are so unique that you have to watch potential players in person. The need at United was so great in September/October/November that scouting should have occurred then… not now. Seems too late and insincere.

        Moyes is dithering. Prove me wrong, Moyes… please…

        • @Opti: Hopefully Moyes was looking at houses because he will be retiring there in a few months… 😉

  6. On predictions: Mourinho hasn’t ever lost at home with Chelsea, so winning at Chelsea is a mighty ask. Fletcher pulled off some anti-Chelsea magic a couple years ago with the floating header, but cannot see that happening again.

    With our very slow central midfield, we could be severely exposed with Phil Jones. With Welbeck up top, we need to create 2-3 chances at least before he puts it away.

    Heart says United will pull an upset and stun Chelsea 1-2 win and start climbing the league table…
    Brain says United will be massacred by Oscar-Hazard: 3-0 loss

    Come on United, win my Heart out!

  7. Moyes doesn’t have money to spend-he can scout as much as he will, he can do it in October, November, January or April, there will still be no signings. It fascinates me that there are still people who blame him for no signings-as if he wouldn’t want his team to be stronger. He wants that, but he doesn’t have the do-re-mi to support that wish.

    • @Andrija Djuranovic: Moyes has his hands full dealing with his and the teams transition. Lets face it, he was hired without any consideration for his experience in maneuvering the upper echelons of the transfer market was he? This was clearly a hire that suited the conservative nature of the United board. If JM was brought in, who knows what kind of expenditure demands he would deem vital, and that, my friend, is what is key to solving the reason why:-

      1/. Ronaldo was sold for 80m and we got Valencia in return.

      2/. The rebuilding of the MF is an impossible task.

      3/. Allowing Rooney to approach the final year of his contract without any concord.

      4/. Making an idol out of SAF as if to say “see what we’ve given you over the last 25 years”.

      As many years as I’ve been contributing to this blog, I cannot remember feeling as so disconnected from the popular topics and persuasion as I do now.
      It seems everyone is buying into the convenient “blame-the-manager” rant – when really, they have chosen to ignore the fact that this team has had cursory reinforcements for 5 years now. As if a Manager will make a Messi out of a Hernandez or a a Iniesta out of a Cleverly – not possible!! This is done to deny the quality of what we put on the pitch.

      Frankly shit is shit, unless someone can make a case that that is the new way to go…. anybody…. Jaywire, perhaps ????

      • @Redrich:


        Apart from “making the idol out of SAF” part-as he make a strongly deserved idol out of himself with his incredible success, I agree completely.

        One of the best posts in this blog-keep up the good work! 🙂

      • @Redrich: I agree with you on “shit is shit”. Our current team is far from perfect. Due to us winning under SAF (“unfortunately” in this sense), it blindsided him and the OT hierarchy to this fact. Now, the team is not winning…and the blindfolds are off. Now it is clear for everybody that the team needs a major overhaul. Problem is… I don’t believe DM is the right person to do that. His overhaul will mean that we turn into another Everton. We might (BIG might) end up with better players (maybe even Ronaldo again), but we will still play shit football, and have no real chance of winning – especially not against the top clubs.

        I agree with you that the team needs a massive “clearance sale” and fresh blood…we just disagree on the part where I believe Moyes should set the example and fuck off first.

      • @Redrich: For many years, I would appear in this blog during tranfer periods. And I would say “Buy somebody who can run tirelessly and is not injury pronr like Hargreaves. Buy the new Essien. Find one and buy him”.

        During this summer, I was like “OK, you want to sell Rooney? Then sell Carrick too, or at least keep him for slow-paced teams. Cause Rooney is hard working and he is the only player who connects midfield and attack for the last 4-5 years.”.

        And now we ve got fans going like “yeah, bring Rooney back to midfield”…

        Where we van blame him for not contributing may goals and assists? Where we can use him so as we can let another star shine? (ronaldo, van persie)

        BRING A FUCKING PROPER TIRELESS MIDFIELDER. I’m saying this many years!! Bring him, and free players like Rooney and kagawa!!!

        In this ransfer period, all I’m saying is “we have to play januzaj rooney kagawa and rvp alltogether upfront in a 4231. We at least have to try it. And wether or not we try this, we have to buy a song or a witsel bender mario suarez…whoever is needed who can run tirelessly and has tactical awareness.”.

      • @Andrija Djuranovic: 2 things I want to bring in this conversation.

        1. Moyes was hired exactly as a manager who can work on a low budget, is respected by his players, is hard working and no-shit manager. He is a serious man for sure. But his no-shit approach brings ties and 0-0 or 1-1 scorelines. I don’t know if he will ever be given big money.

        2. Andersond is in fact a technical player. I’m sad we treated a fantastic brazilian No.10 like this. It’s depressing. In Porto, he was tricky, creative and had an eye for goal. In MU he was even used to man mark Fabregas. He did excellent. But he has no big lungs, no stamina and is injury prone. All these, made him useless for the No.6 and No.8 positions (cm and box to box) especially in the epl football. I wish him good luck and may he find a bit of his old magic touch.

        P.s. : our scouters referred to him as the new ronaldinho before we bought him. Why we used the new ronaldinho as a CM? Cause SAF would nevere buy the tireless cm. Oh sorry, he bought that injury prone one.

  8. Who was Moyes scouting in France?

    This is embarrassing. Why is he even “scouting” anyone? Where did they find this guy? It’s been the most embarrassing 7 months in my memory. There are human beings called scouts that are hired for such purposes. Clandestine ops. I know Ferguson has gone to matches before but very rarely and certainly not in recent memory. Moyes in the past week has travelled Western Europe attending matches that have nothing to do with United. We don’t have the luxury for that kind of embarrassing behaviour. If anything,for all our sakes,David Moyes should be keeping a very low profile. So low even that the folks at Langley can’t find him. It’s so unprofessional of him.

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