In the first part of the article you read about the current recruits and how they have fared at Old Trafford in the first ten months of their arrival. Now let’s take a look at the gaps in the team that need to be plugged and the possible exits from Stretford End.
In the past few months there have been several rumors about Rio Ferdinand leaving United at the end of the season. He has been linked with moves to China but that looks unlikely. The 34 year old has had a long list of injury woes and is finding it difficult to keep up with the pace of PL at times. SAF had also asked Ferdinand to change his style of play to suit the current needs. He completes 10 years at Old Trafford this July. But Rio has also shown his experience and class in many games this season. If I’ve understood SAF well I’m guessing he’ll keep him for one more year to ensure the incoming players from other leagues and from Carrington Park are given the right direction.
This seems to be a definite transfer. Berbatov has been left to warm the bench since last year’s CL final. He has been hardly used this season. But he has shown his class in the limited chances he has got. He came in with a price tag of 30 million on his forehead, a record United transfer. In the four years at the club he has scored over 55 goals, a very impressive record one must say. But with arrival of Chicarito and Welbeck his chances have diminished. We wish the silky Bulgarian all the very best for his future. He might head back to Tottenham, Galatasaray, and Leverkusen or even to Russia.
Ritchie De Laet
The 23 year old defender has been very unlucky. He has picked up several injuries in a short span. He was forced to return to the Reserves team from Norwich after sustaining yet another injury. SAF may let him go back to Stoke City.
The 32 year old striker may not get an extension this time. He’s been another injury prone player for United who has missed a solid chunk of the season. Don’t be surprised to see him play for one of the lower teams in EPL such as QPR or even championship side WHU.
Only SAF can explain what made him to do this alien signing. Bought at 7.5 million pounds this guy was a laughing stock. Ole Solskjaer, the then reserve coach said he is not even good enough to make the reserve team bench! So one may assume he’ll continue on loan at Besiktas or SAF may wash his hands off on this guy .
Paul Pogba [doubtful]
This teenager has definitely had his head messed up by his agent. He is still 19 and plays for one of the most successful and respected clubs in the world. He cites a lack of first team action as a reason to move on. But obliviously it’s the Vitamin M that has caused the problem. A transfer to Juventus would make his agent richer by a million pounds and he would earn an extra 10000 pounds a week. But SAF is keen on holding back this youngster and has promised him first team action in the upcoming season. A contract has been offered and now it’s all up to the player to sign it.
Manchester United currently has three wingers playing at their best. But the major concern has been the quality of central midfielders. Scholes has made an impressive comeback, but then you can’t stretch him for long. Giggs has been the evergreen hero at Old Trafford and agreed to sign another year’s extension. But then you can’t expect the veteran to feature in every cup and every game for 90 minutes. The performances of other midfielders can be said as ordinary. There has been no news about the Scotland captain’s return after being diagnosed with a rare bowel condition. Anderson’s started the campaign in style but has been dented again by injury. Michael Carrick has played just about okay. He can’t do much on his own. The former Korean captain Ji Sung Park is growing old and must be used sparingly in competitions. Cleverley has showed promise, but is young and injury prone. So midfielders would be a top priority in this transfer window. A left back is also needed considering the aging Evra and Fabio’s loan move. Below I present some of the possible transfer deals that could happen.
Strong Transfer Possibilities
Oscar De Marcos
A rare talent capable of playing in varied positions. He’s played as a central midfielder, right back, left back. He scored in both legs of the recent Europa match against United. He’s going to cost United anything between 22-27 million pounds, but would be a great addition to the lackluster midfield.
This Benefica midfielder has been linked to United for about a year now. Going by the recent reports a deal seems to be in place for 20 million with a loan move for left back Fabio. Macheda is also a part of the deal but it isn’t confirmed if it’s a permanent move or a loan move for the Italian. This deal seems very likely to go through unless the noisy neighbors offer 30 million or more.
The left back currently with Valencia has drawn the attention of the Red Devils as well as Barcelona. He’s been valued at 15 million. Being a Spaniard he might just agree to go ahead with Barcelona should they make an offer, since this would also increase his chances of making it to the national side.
The Dutchman’s transfer saga has spanned over three transfer windows now. This looks a very unlikely deal given his age, wage demands and also the expected transfer fee. But in football you never know!
The Croat was on the verge of joining Chelsea FC at the start of the season for a fee of 40 million. But he was held back by manager Harry Redknapp. With Redknapp planning to fill the hot seat as England manager, Modric is sure to make a move away from White Hart Lane. SAF has made his admiration known for the Croat many a times. Apart from the high transfer fee Spurs expect, the player’s wage demand could also be a problem since Chelsea are the other team willing to get his services. But SAF and David Gill may be able to convince the player to join United and offer the Bulgarian striker along with cash in return should the need arise.
Another player heavily linked with United and several other teams. The 21 year old is being tracked all across Europe. With a price tag of 35 million, it looks unlikely SAF would buy him. But if he’s able to make a deal similar to Gaitan’s, i.e. offering players on loan or sale then it can get interesting. The player however has mentioned about his interest of playing in the Spanish league.
There have been several other players linked to Man United such as Villareal’s forward Rossi, Javi Martinez from Bilbao. There have been players from Bundesliga linked to United, but I’ve not considered them as a serious transfer targets, mainly because Germans prefer playing in their home league!
What has surprised me is the lack of a good striker being linked with United. With Berbatov set to leave and Owen aging, there’s a need for another striker. Macheda may move on loan or permanent and Will Keane is too young to play in the senior league. That effectively leaves us with Wazza, Chicarito and the fast maturing Welbeck. A good finisher aged about 30 years old and who’s not injury prone would suit United, given that they need to spend heavily on midfield re-enforcements.
As the season draws to a close, the transfer rumour list is bound to grow. Let’s see how it shapes up. Till then sit back and enjoy the remainder of the season!