With Christmas done and dusted, the January transfer window is less than a week away, meaning that tabloids across the country are starting to flex their muscles in a bid to produce a different rumour every day.
As far as United are concerned, Sir Alex has made clear he doesn’t intend to strengthen the team in January but, according to some of today’s newspapers, Fergie is close to finalise a deal to bring Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski to Old Trafford next year, in a deal worth around £18m.
The Polish international has been on United’s radar for quite sometime now, and fits all the requirements. At 24, he’s still relatively young, has a price tag under the £20m roof and, crucially, he’s not a midfielder. Lewandowski is a proven goalscorer, as he demonstrated domestically and in Europe over the last few years – 40 goals in the last two seasons, 16 in 26 games in all competitions so far this year – but is he really the best way for United to invest almost £20m?
With the arrival of Lewandowski, United would find themselves with an abundance of strikers and Ferguson would have a very complicated task in trying to accomodate them all – or at least to guarantee them enough time on the pitch – without overly disrupting the shape of the team.
Robin Van Persie’s impact since signing from Arsenal has been such that he’s now crucial influence to the team, while Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez have developed an excellent understanding with the Dutchman and it’s hard to see any of them leaving the club. Rooney is being touted as a future captain in some quarters, while Hernandez is the closest United have ever come to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
That leaves Danny Welbeck as the more likely to be casted out of the club, unless Ferguson plans to utilise the striker out wide more regularly – a position that Welbeck doesn’t like and one in which he has never thrived.
The outcome of the season is likely to determine strategies in next summer’s transfer market but, thankfully, it doesn’t look like we’ll be burdened with a new midfielder any time soon. Happy belated Christmas, then.