Manchester United claim a £100 million transfer budget will be made available to Sir Alex Ferguson this summer, if you believe David Gill that is. Yet who and where could the money go?
The 26yr old French winger has been coveted by Europe’s elite for the past 18 months and whilst a summer move for the Bayern Munich speedster looked likely last summer it failed to come to fruit. Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s £80 million move to Real Madrid, the value of the top players increased massively with Bayern quoting an extraordinary £60 million for the talented winger. With even Real Madrid reluctant to pay such an amount Ribery stayed in Germany. Bayern have since signed Arjen Robben and in some circles is seen as Ribery’s long term replacement, paving the way for a move to Old Trafford for the player. Ribery could be a direct replacement to Ronaldo’s crown; the former Marseille maestro would bring the pace and dribbling skills of the Portuguese sensation. Furthermore Ribery scores often from the outside position and offer the X factor Manchester United are looking for alongside Rooney. It is believed a more reasonable £35 million would release Ribery from his contract at Bayern Munich, this may tempt Sir Alex Ferguson into signing the Frenchman, yet would he be able to cut the mustard in the Premier League?
Another Frenchmen Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United are known to have a keen interest in; Benzema turned down the overturns of Sir Alex last season and joined Real Madrid from Lyon for £35 million. The 22 yr old striker is seen as one of the leading lights in French football and the future of the national team. Having scored an impressive 43 goals in 112 games for Lyon, Real Madrid bought the player, yet this season following the massive upheaval at Real Madrid with new ownership, management and players Benzema has seen his first team chances limited. It is believed the player is not particularly happy at the situation and a move to Old Trafford could be on the cards. The striker whose pace, technique and finishing are some of the best in Europe could offer Manchester United an alternative to the failing Berbatov who could be on his way out of Old Trafford at the end of the season. Expect a fee for the Frenchman to be around £25 million if Sir Alex Ferguson follows up his interest.
The 18yr old English sensation has burst on the scene this season with some committed performances for Everton. Rodwell, whilst turning out in central midfielder for the Merseysider’s is known to be a very capable centre back and has been touted as a long term successor to Rio Ferdinand. Sir Alex Ferguson has long been an admirer of the talent youngster and though Rodwell had only recently agreed a 5 year contract with Everton in the summer. It is believed United will test the waters to bring him to Old Trafford. Not only is Rodwell quick, strong and good in the air, his technique of the ball for a defensive minded player is rare, hence his comparisons to Rio Ferdinand. Expect Everton to show strong resistance to any bid made by Manchester United or any other club for that matter. A fee of around £20 million plus would be all Everton would wish to negotiate.
The transfer of the Argentine trickster to Old Trafford looks more likely if Sir Alex Ferguson does not decide to make a move for Karim Benzema. The striker is seen as one of the hottest young properties in Europe after successfully taking the mantle from Fernando Torres at Atletico Madrid following the formers move to Liverpool. The Argentine international is lightening quick, has sensational technique and can score goals out of nothing. He has made it clear he is angling for a move to the Premier League this summer with Chelsea also monitoring his situation. Aguero would offer Manchester United much more energy upfront than Berbatov or Owen provides and this could tempt Sir Alex Ferguson to make Aguero his keynote signing of the summer. A striking partnership of Rooney and Aguero would send fear into any team in the world. With a price tag of around £40 million, Aguero would be expensive, yet at only 21 yrs of age he has much time ahead of him and could improve further under Sir Alex Ferguson’s stewardship.
So should David Gill be as good as his word and make £100m available, who would you like to see Sir Alex bring to Old Trafford?