Christmas has come early! Well for football fans at least, as the thrills, spills and fabled rumour mills of transfer deadline day are upon us once more. Jim White is currently limbering up with a few light stretches and vocal exercises alongside his dedicated fleet of journalists, busy setting up tents outside training grounds up and down the country.
Deep down, beneath the boyish defiance and optimism, every fan from every club is praying for a high-profile signing. Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs all need reinforcements while QPR and Manchester City have the potential to spend big, if only because their transfer budget appears to replenish itself every 13 seconds. What about Manchester United, isn’t it about time they got their hands dirty along with the rest of us?
Many would argue that the Red Devils are content with the size and depth of their squad, which has once again been bolstered during the summer break. Former Dortmund dynamo Shinji Kagawa resembles a technically gifted product of the Barcelona academy and should form an exciting partnership with last season’s player of the year, Robin van Persie. Not only did the Dutchman’s arrival deliver a passing blow to Roberto Mancini but it has also continued the Manchester’s trend of further weakening their former title rivals. In addition, when we were all deliberating the true transfer ‘value’ of Leighton Baines, Ferguson swooped to acquire Alexander Büttner to provide much needed cover at left-back.
“We definitely won’t be buying anyone else, that is for sure,” insisted the 70-year-old just a week ago, but how many times has Ferguson deceived the media throughout his illustrious career. This is the man who remarked, “I don’t get the press coverage I’m entitled to and I no longer see it as part of my job to fulfil their interest.” His relationship with the nation’s journalists has always been fractured leading me to believe that he wouldn’t give them the satisfaction even if he was on the verge of sealing the deal of the century.
The recent speculation surrounding Wayne Rooney’s future merely echoes the desperate measures employed by British press in order to conjure interest surrounding the country’s biggest club. However the reports linking Nani with a move away from Old Trafford perhaps carry more credibility considering his absence during the recent victory against Fulham. The Portuguese winger’s imminent departure would certainly free up the funds required to spur Manchester United into life.
Ferguson’s history on deadline day is incredibly mundane with only the capture of Dimitar Berbatov – who now looks set for a move to Fulham – from under the noses of Manchester City grabbing the headlines in recent years. His departure coupled with Rooney’s spell on the sidelines will see United’s strikeforce depleted to just three recognisable names. Perhaps a more realistic option is a venture into the loan market, especially as their current defensive crisis means personnel are also needed in the heart of defence.
Ferguson is vastly experienced in all manner of transfer ‘battles’ and will not be forced into any deal that doesn’t represent value for money. Aside from the euphoria and jubilation that come with a deadline day purchase, many United fans will understand their need for caution under the debt-ridden reign of The Glazers. However, Ferguson is likely to wait patiently in the shadows, monitoring every situation and preparing for the ‘shock’ move that will kickstart the transfer domino effect. The media spotlight will be shining away from the red half of Manchester for once, which could present the perfect opportunity for him to strike.
Join me on Twitter @theunusedsub where I am hoping United resort to using ‘Fergie Time’ in order to push through a last-minute deal