There’s nothing like a good rumour to get the transfer market moving. One thing sure to add pace to proceedings is throwing in the name of a big club or two. After a failed bid in the summer, it seems Tottenham Hotspur are still interested in Saido Berahino.
Unfortunately for them they don’t just have the problem of negotiating with West Bromwich Albion, the big guns have joined the party. Manchester United and Chelsea are also interested, and suddenly Berahino’s value has increased.
It’s not unsurprising that both Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have identified the need for a new striker. Wayne Rooney has been highly criticised whilst playing for the Red Devils this season and the stats do not make comfortable viewing for the Liverpool native. Anthony Martial has caught the eye but Van Gaal understands that to mount a serious title challenge they need more options.
Jose Mourinho has also been lacking the services of an effective striker this year. Whether reports are true or not that he’s clashed with Diego Costa, he has every reason to be upset with the man that scored 20 league goals last season. All he’s provided this year is controversy and a low return. In this regard at least manager and player have something in common.
When the likely bidding war ensues there are a few possible outcomes, depending on who is most desperate. Based on past activity in the transfer market, it’s safe to assume Spurs won’t match the higher bids of United and Chelsea.
One club’s problem could become the other’s unlikely solution. Should United win the face-off, and Berahino moves to Trafford Borough from London, Wayne Rooney could be tempted to head in the opposite direction.
Sven-Goran Eriksson, now manager of Shanghai SIPG in China, wants him. He’s used to making high profile signings and sees an aging Rooney as a perfect fit for a growing league. The way this interest has been heavily reported shows the door is half-open for a Rooney exit.
It was only two weeks ago Metro were reporting Chelsea as 7/1 favourites to finally capture Rooney. If he still prides himself on being able to prove his doubters wrong, a move to London will be more enticing then a trip to Asia to top-up his retirement fund.
Jose Mourinho is a long-time public admirer of the England striker. After failing in the attempt to revive Radamel Falcao’s career after his unsuccessful period at Old Trafford, he may be thinking it’ll be a case of second time lucky. Jose also knows there’d be considerably less resistance from the Manchester United hierarchy this time around.
Rooney’s performance against France proved there is gas left in the tank. His ability is still apparent, albeit in fleeting showings. Perhaps a positive change of scenery – without the weight of the captain’s armband – will bring it to the fore once again.
During this period of uncertainty as we head toward the next transfer window, one thing seems inevitable: Manchester United and Chelsea will be fielding new strikers before the end of the season.