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Rio out, Rodriguez in?

As reported by various newspapers this morning, Rio Ferdinand has maintained he’s not anxious about renewing his contract with Manchester United.

Rio’s deal expires at the end of the season and, considering his injuries in recent years, the club finds itself in a delicate situation.

On one hand there’s a 33-year-old centre-back with his well documented fitness problems, on the other hand there’s a defender who’s still world class on his day and whose persistent back problems seem to have been finally kept under control.

Considering that his England career is done and dusted and that Rio has started all but two league games this season, a new contract seems like a realistic possibility, perhaps a one-year deal like in the case of Giggs and Scholes.

Fergie was adamant that Rio could carry on for another season – an option that would almost inevitably rule out buying a centre-back in the summer, while giving Smalling and Jones more time to develop.

“It’s always good to hear the manager say things like that but you just take every week and every month as it comes,” Rio told Inside United.

“The best thing to do is look at it at Christmas, then again in the summer to see how I am feeling and go again from there but hearing the manager say things like that definitely puts a spring in your step.”

With Vidic returning in January the situation should be clearer at the end of the season but if Rio doesn’t feel his body can carry him through another 12 months of professional football, then there’s no point trying to convince him to do otherwise.

Obviously should Rio decide to call it a day, United will have to go looking for a centre-back and one can only hope the club won’t mess around with it like they’ve done with our midfield situation.

Situation which could change in January or in the summer, as United have scouted James Rodriguez for the seventh time.

Rodriguez is an excellent prospect, having scored seven goals in 12 games in all competitions so far this season but he has a £24m buy-out clause – a hefty fee for a 21-year-old, particularly considering that United already have Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young in their ranks.

For all his infuriating moments, Nani is a quality player and can turn a game on its head but if he’s reallt rejected another contract, then good riddance and let’s cash in while we can.

Young was poor against Villa and many fans are growing unhappy with him, but unless we are prepared to sell him for a fraction of what we paid for him then we’re destined to keep him.

Not to mention that Rodriguez wouldn’t solve the central midfield issue anyway…


Dan (@mufc_dan87)



  1. Owen

    13 November 2012 at 15:40

    He has £36m buy-out clause . What you have mentioned is an old story,

    • Opti

      13 November 2012 at 16:07

      @Owen: We were willing to pay 30 million for Benzema and 30 million for Hazard, so 30 million for Jay Rod is reasonable, especially if partially funded by Nani’s release 😉

    • Daniele

      13 November 2012 at 16:30

      @Owen: Has a £24m buy-out clause. £36m only if you believe the Daily Fail.

  2. will

    13 November 2012 at 16:31

    yep we need j.r as well as hummels to cement our back as u see ferdinand and vidic ageing plus they are injury prone again a midfielder that is tough like strootman

  3. Moscow

    13 November 2012 at 16:32

    The only winger Rodriguez should be replacing is Young/Giggs. Nani is a quality player, him, Valencia and Rodriguez will be a good selection of wingers to choose from.

    How Young is immune to criticism I do not know, he has scored 8 goals in his entire United career, Nani basically won us the title in 10-11. I’ll hazard a guess and say it’s because he’s English, the same reason why mediocre players like Cleverley and Welbeck are overrated.

    • Stephen

      13 November 2012 at 16:37

      @Moscow: Why do you support an English club? You take any chance to have a dig and it is rather boring.
      I will say Young has been appalling, he was pathetic against Villa, Fergie signed him as he was “value”

      • Moscow

        13 November 2012 at 16:42

        @Stephen: It wasn’t a dig, it’s a fact. It’s the reason why Carroll, Downing, Young, Rodwell off the top of my head were all overrated, then bought at high prices only to flop. Why do I rarely slate Rooney or Carick, it’s because they are world class players. For the 50th time, I don’t have anything English people.

        • Stephen

          13 November 2012 at 16:48

          @Moscow: Mate, you do always bring up the overrated English thing. Maybe I am being over sensitive but you must see my point when it is constantly repeated, you never say that about an other Country, eg the next Pele.

  4. Traverse

    13 November 2012 at 17:16

    I’m more than willing to cut our losses with Nani and bring in a new winger. Christian Eriksen has today said he wont be signing a new contract at Ajax, so expect his name to be mentioned heavily.

    • Opti

      13 November 2012 at 17:36

      @Traverse: Since Laudrups+Schmeichel, Danes have suffered from expectations placed on their shoulders.

      Danes perform best when not expected to do so. At United, Eriksen would collapse under pressure and be shipped off to midtable italian side. Therefore, I am not a fan of Eriksen at United.

      • Moscow

        13 November 2012 at 19:36

        @Opti: Is Anderson/Cleverley a better option?

        • Owen

          13 November 2012 at 19:45

          @Moscow: They can’t be compared . He is an attacking midfielder and we already got Kagawa.If a player is available,it does not mean you sign everyone.

      • Stephen

        14 November 2012 at 11:02

        @Opti: Is that the same Ericson who took City apart, oh yes we have Anderson who is far better….

        • Opti

          15 November 2012 at 15:17

          @Stephen: Trust me on this. Eriksen is good for Ajax, because Ajax are not supposed to win ECL. Put him on United’s team and like any good Dane he will crumble under pressure. Agger is the same. Great at under-achieving Liverpool, because they are not expected to win, but pressure him and he crumbles.

  5. colver

    13 November 2012 at 20:01

    I’d say we need a centre back to replace Vidic, who can’t seem to stay fit.

    I don’t understand how we are so casual about our central defence when arguably it is as important as a strikeforce in terms of winning you trophies.

    We need two experienced central defenders. Rio is moving into the Giggs/Scholes category and I don’t trust Vidic to stay fit. Evans is maturing but still lacks leadership and is easily bullied and Smalling and Jones are both very green.

  6. rijah

    13 November 2012 at 20:43

    I don’t think Rio is going to quit. We need him and we need to give our youngsters some more chance in the coming matches for making them our number one.

  7. lethu

    13 November 2012 at 21:44

    We dont need erickson we already have brilliant kagawa bt we need a holding middlefilder like moutinho

  8. Stephen

    14 November 2012 at 09:15

    To some degree it is pointless speculating about transfers. The most likely scenario is that we without doubt won’t buy anyone in January, even if Nani leaves. We obviously will need a midfield player, Scholes and Giggs will more than likely retire which will leave a gap and Nani will move on. I would take Walcott on a free, for me this is a no brainier. I’m not his biggest fan, but as a squad player he would be ideal. The best option out wide is Bale, if Spurs fail to qualify for the Champions League he must surly want to move on. Rio will sign another contact, but another centre half is must, people talk about Hummles but he is German and Fergie doesn’t sign Germans. I would love to see Jones and Smalling get their opportunity, but to be brought in gradually as well as playing right fullback. Neven Suboti? would be a good fit, especially with doubts over Vidic. Midfield wise, I still have no faith in our well nourished Brazilian and the jury is still out with Cleverley. We will need two players ideally, with Ericson a self confessed United fan in the mix and for me Tiote.
    Te most likely is none of this will happen, Scholes and Giggs will sign a new contract and we will go again the same squad a this season, but we can dream.

    • The_Philosopher

      14 November 2012 at 09:56

      @Stephen: You took the words out of my mouth with that Gareth Bale comment.

      We so need a naturally left sided player. Nani trys but he is not quite good enough for me. Bale would be the first option. But Daniel Levy isn’t gonna give him up without an all mighty fight.

      Thats why I wouldn’t look any further than Jay Rod. The kid is left footed. We can’t keep putting right footed players on the left. Its just awkward. Look at what it did to Fabio.

      Ryan Giggs was awesome because he has a natural left foot. And Giggs is still brilliant at crossing because of his natural left foot.

      Van Persie made an assist earlier this season by crossing from the left flank to Rooney using his NATURAL LEFT FOOT.

      And don’t tell me Nani has a left foot. When was the last time you saw Nani make a decent cross from the left flank?

      James Rodriguez fits the bill.

      Imagine Bale and Valencia bombing down the flanks simultaniously. What defense in the world is gonna stop that?

      I don’t know anything about Neven Suboti but if he’s playing for the German champions he must be doing something right. And he’s the right age. Either way whether its him or Hummels or anyone else we need a marquee signing at centre back.

      We obviously need (and have needed one for a VERY long time) a marquee signing in central midfield.

      I would happily accept Walcott as a squad player to cover on the wings. But would he accept that role? I say lets buy Jay Rod and have him and Valencia as our first choice wingers. Then either Nani or Young (we would have to sell one of them unless we can afford 4 wingers) can play the squad rotation role.

      Victor Wanyama or Lars Bender for central midfield.

      Jay Rod, Wanyama and a quality centre back in January and we could do the treble this season. Probably won’t happen though.

      So I’m gonna keep dreaming.

      • Stephen

        14 November 2012 at 10:30

        @The_Philosopher: A natural left footer would be ideal, I would prefer Bale over Rodriguez.
        I think Levy would’nt sell cheap, he would want a least £50m and if we can get the Columbian for a lot less, he would be a no brainer as long as we invest in the centre of midfield.
        The squad is actually quite good, if fully fit. Cleverley and Anderson had to get their chances, but don’t seem to be taking them. If Fletch can get fit and partnered with Carrick this seems the best combo for now, but lets wait and see if this happens.

        • The_Philosopher

          14 November 2012 at 11:03

          @Stephen: Also: I would steal Oxlade Chamberlain before any one else from Arsenal.

          Jack Wilshere second.

  9. The_Philosopher

    14 November 2012 at 10:37

    We need a solid first choice Centre Back. Vidic and Ferdinand aren’t consistent any more. We need a centre back who will play for the whole season. And January would be a good time to buy one. Or borrow one if we gonna be that cheap. Kolo Toure is just sitting at City.

    Ferdinand is losing form I think. I’m beggining to doubt his usefulness. Other than his experience in and around the squad and his influence with the younger players. I’m not sure he qualifies as first choice any more. He needs to take on the elder statesman role Ryan Giggs has assumed so well.

    Chris Smalling needs to play in every single game to bring him up to speed just like was done with Johnny Evans a season or two back.

    James Rodriguez is a must buy. If we can afford to keep Nani on the books and still buy Jay Rod at the same time I would say lets, otherwise we might have to sell Nani.

    Strangely I’m half tempted to say lets sell Young and keep Nani as the squad player, with Jay Rod the first choice on the left flank.

    We need a midfielder: Wanyama, Moutinho, Bender etc. Who ever doesn’t matter as long as his GOOD. Age doesn’t matter so much either.

    I wouldn’t mind losing Anderson and Fletcher if we could replace them both with one quality midfielder.

    How about we sell Bebe and Macheda and get Daniel Sturridge. He’s not happy at Chelsea. But my goodness what a talent. Di Mateo is a bit dull for letting him languish on the bench me thinks. He would be great for us. He has that United fighting spirit. And Fergie would give him more game time than Di Mateo has done. Then we would have an even more ridiculous strike force. I’m not even kidding.

    I think Giggs should call it a day. Although his experience still has some value.

    Scholes is still good for another season beyond the current one in my books.

    We have too many players in our squad who don’t seem to be making much of an impact. But then every now and then they will surprise you with a great performance or useful contribution. Then you go “Oh. Thats why Fergie persevered with him.” Thats perhaps what makes us a special team. Ferguson finds so called “B players” and with a lot of hard work and a couple hair dryer sessions he extracts “A performances” out of them. He sees other qualities in them that most people wouldn’t consider valuable in a football player. Many of our guys wouldn’t make it into Chelsea, City, Barca or Real’s first teams. But they’ll make it into Fergie’s team.

    • Stephen

      14 November 2012 at 10:52

      @The_Philosopher: Toure and Sturridge are big no, no’s for me. Toure has had it, Sturridge is such a poser and simply cannot apply himself. He is no better than Welbeck, who I would more than happily see moved on.
      Selling Bebe and Macheda would be a great day in our clubs history, Bebe was a total waste of money and Macheda has never kicked on from his initial impact.
      Fergie has not got the budget of the teams mentioned. He likes to rotate, still with keeping a core of players. Lets be honest, we are top of the table but we are fortunate being there. RvP has been an inspired buy, Kagawa looks so far like he is struggling with the pace but has shown promise. I like the look of Powell, but he will need more time.

    • Stephen

      14 November 2012 at 11:28

      @The_Philosopher: Wiltshere will be one of the best players in the World, The Ox is very overrated in my opinion, no tricks, no brain.

    • RMJ

      14 November 2012 at 14:35

      @The_Philosopher: I would never pick Sturridge because of two reasons, first he is not good enough and he is still not good enough. In addition, he suffers from the same ailness that affects Nani :- the rather frequent brain freeze.

      I would rather we keep Nani cos on any given day he can turn the tables in a flash on his own and then we should pick up Ilkay Gündogan from BvB. The lads so talented and a definite buy before bayern, real or barca make their moves.

  10. Stephen

    14 November 2012 at 15:45

    If we do sign Rodriguez, it will put pay to the Red Rants myth that “if Nani was a available now, we couldn’t sign him” United will always be a big draw for players.

  11. AS

    14 November 2012 at 16:32

    People don’t seem to understand that Rodriguez isn’t a natural winger, he’s a number ten, and for a playmaker who can play on the wing we already have Kagawa. I’d prefer Varela personally and he’s definitely cheaper…

    • Owen

      14 November 2012 at 18:39

      @AS: I’d prefer Ronaldo.

  12. Owen

    14 November 2012 at 19:25

    Uzbekistan beat Iran….

    And Iran is managed by Tactical Genius of all time CQ 🙄

    • Stephen

      14 November 2012 at 19:38

      @Owen: 😆 😆 😆 😆 Hope you had a good Diwali mate.

      • Owen

        14 November 2012 at 19:43

        @Stephen: Waiting for the Test series to start in Few hours 🙂

        • Stephen

          14 November 2012 at 21:02

          @Owen: Me too, hope you lose! In fairness should be good.

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