It has been a quiet summer on the transfer front for new man David Moyes at Manchester United. He has often been seen flirting with the possibility of a big name capture for the Premier League club, but as yet nothing appears to have materialised. By contrast, reports have been rife linking star forward Wayne Rooney with a potential move away from Old Trafford.
Is Moyes’ reluctance to sell borne out of a fear of an inevitable PR storm?
The Scot is definitely learning things the hard way on the transfer front. Used to a shoe-string budget under Bill Kenright at Everton, the abundance of riches at United must now have come as something as a shock.
He has been stung by a series of transfer snubs and poorly handled approaches that have undermined his managerial credibility already. Yes it is incredibly early to start criticising his regime, but the reality is time doesn’t stop for Moyes here and this summer has already been fraught with disappointment.
His suggestions that he would let Baines and Fellaini go if he was still Everton manager shows that the Scot has a lot to learn:
“I definitely do but I also know that if I’d been Everton manager and Sir Alex had come asking for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini, I’d have found it very difficult to keep them because I always felt the right thing to do was what was right for the players.”
This was coupled with a derisory offer that was quickly laughed off by the ‘toffees’, a bid that was unlikely to secure one of their stars and clearly not two of them.
United fans have been showered by sponsorship announcements this summer, but left totally bereft of news regarding player acquisitions.
So was Moyes’ insistence on holding onto Wayne Rooney simply a means to retaining some of his credibility this summer?
The loss of Wayne Rooney to a Premier League rival would have been a fans worst nightmare. Whatever you think about Rooney, his goal scoring record at United speaks for itself and a few more years at the club and he is fast on the way to achieving something close to legendary status.
Mourinho has already blamed Moyes for the spiralling transfer debacle saying:
“We are trying to get a player that the manager told ‘you will be a second option’. We are not going for (Robin) van Persie.”
Clearly the blame for the loss of Rooney would fall most heavily on Moyes, something that he just cannot afford to bear at this current moment.
Gary Neville shared a similar view reflecting on Monday Night’s performance, having the following to say to Sky:
“Clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United have got to be strong. If they don’t stand strong then we’re done, finished and we might as well all pack in. I don’t think they’re going to sell Wayne Rooney in this next week because it will make them look weak – and they’re not weak.”
In what has been a summer of intense transfer frustration for United, surely losing Rooney to a divisional rival would have not only made Moyes look weak but the club as a whole as well. This is something that an institution like Manchester United just will not let happen.
It may not seem desperate yet, but the coming weak could prove to be crucial for the success of Moyes’ tenure at United. The club have the same squad that won them the title last year, but for someone carving out a new era at the club this simply isn’t enough.
The need for a marquee signing is more a political statement now than it is a footballing one for Moyes. Whilst retaining Wayne Rooney saved his dignity in the short-term, the capture of a world-class name is paramount for Moyes’ reputation going forward.
Mesut Ozil was already a name touted, but today he has reasserted his desire to stay at Madrid. Who is next on the agenda for Moyes and United now? Whoever it is, Moyes definitely needs to firmly stamp his mark on playing personnel before the window shuts or the pressure on him will only ramp up.
Who should United make their marquee summer signing this week?