Across the city at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City’s building is well under way, having already completed the signings of three major players this summer and with more to come.
The club’s new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, also offered some words that would be fitting for Manchester United: “We have the whole month and we’ll try to find the best players we need.” There is an obvious need for additions, but no one is panicking quite yet.
Manchester United have seemingly lost out on two top midfield targets, though the reported lack of bids for either Thiago Alcantara or Kevin Strootman is a little perplexing. What is an undeniable fact of football today is that Manchester United cannot be relegated to “benchwarmers” in the transfer market, as if to say the club has little hope of drawing top talents. David Moyes doesn’t have the same pull as Alex Ferguson, there’s no doubt about that. But even with the old boss out and something fresh in the managerial department, it would be wrong to assume United are without direction this summer.
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It’s obvious that the Wayne Rooney situation is at the fore of most people’s minds. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what Moyes wants, even though Rooney is hinting at a desire for an exit. The new manager would surely like to keep his options as wide and as varied as possible, and it’s a little difficult to understand how the club can throw all its focus into the matter of a player already on board and neglect the need for reinforcements.
So you’d have to assume that the pass on both Thiago and Strootman means that the club have other targets in mind – hopefully a collection that stretches further than just Cesc Fabregas. Yet even if United fail to land the Spaniard, it’s not really a snub to them as a club. The surrounding factors point to a stay in Catalonia this summer, while the addition of Arsenal makes the matter a little more complicated.
What would be even better to signal United’s unwavering strength in drawing top talents is if they had a host of deals chugging away well in the background and out of earshot. It’s the way Bayern swooped in for both Mario Goetze and Thiago, stunning the whole of Europe with the deal for the former and continuing to surprise with the announcement of the latter’s arrival.
Though would that be giving United too much credit? Bayern currently are a club who can do no wrong, right across the board. A new manager at the Allianz Arena doesn’t force as much trepidation as Moyes at Old Trafford, and not just because he’s Pep Guardiola.
If United are losing out to transfers it’s because the whole of the Premier League is. Europe is throwing major players back and forth, with the very top tier of talents yet to land in England. Though Moyes could be looking to take advantage of what he knows, using the option to look to Everton as a means of strengthening.
As Pellegrini said of his club, there is a whole month and change left for further activity. The bonus will be in keeping Rooney if Moyes can offer him a clear and favourable position in the first XI. And who’s to say Moyes can’t get the best out of this team without a natural creative player in the midfield two? Doesn’t Kagawa offer that further up the pitch, as well as Rooney and Robin van Persie? What is clear, however, is that the Rooney deal with have a knock-on effect for United. But counting out United at this stage is a little premature.
Are Manchester United in danger of losing out in this summer’s transfer window?
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