“We have money to spend” – A phrase said often enough by the men who matter most at Manchester United, but the spending for the past two seasons suggests otherwise. No matter how much David Gill and Sir Alex Ferguson deny it, but the club’s purchasing power is certainly limited by the huge debt upon them. While Sir Alex continues to say that there is no value in the market, it might very well be in the defence of the Glazers who themselves are under great pressure from the fans to sell the club.
Confirmed Player Transfers:
We have already made two signings – both of which were confirmed during the last season only. With every Tom, Dick and Harry linked to Old Trafford, it would be interesting to see if Sir Alex makes any more signings contrary to the widespread feeling of having no money to spend.
1) Javier Hernandez: United fans are expecting great things from ‘Chicharito’ after his eye catching performances in the World Cup. The young Mexican scored two goals in South Africa including a stunner against Argentina. The six million pound price-tag is being looked upon as a bargain considering the high prices prevailing in the market.
2) Chris Smalling: The young defender was signed from Fulham in January and is considered to be a replacement for the aging and injury-prone Rio Ferdinand. His English nationality might also have been a factor in his signing with the new home-grown players rule.
Several players have made their move away from Old Trafford this summer. Sir Alex has released six of his players from the academy this season suggesting a wage-cut to meet the increasing expenses.
1) Zoran Tosic: The Serbian was sold to CSKA Moscow after an indifferent one and a half years at Old Trafford. He was sent on loan to German side Koln in January ’10 and after he expressed his desire to play for another club, he was sold as and when the best deal arrived.
2) Ben Foster: The goalkeeper was sold to Birmingham City for six million pounds. Foster made some excellent saves but his regular mistakes in games often proved costly for United. Despite Sir Alex’s continuous backing for him in front of the media, Foster did not make most of his chances in absence of Edwin Van Der Sar and was hence sold in the summer.
3) Daniel Drinkwater: The 20 year old midfielder is sent on a season-long loan to Cardiff City.
Released: Tom Heaton, David Gray, Ron-Robert Zieler, Febian Brandy, Sam Hewson and Scott Moffatt were released from their contracts.
Sir Alex Ferguson is planning to send Danny Welback and midfielder Tom Cleverly on loan to premier league clubs, while some of the other younger players from the academy might also be loaned out as well. The club has been linked with loads of players for every position, but the fans would be keen on seeing some of them in a Red shirt.
Wesley Sneijder: The Dutchman had a wonderful last season with Inter Milan and was instrumental in the club achieving the treble. Although his twenty-nine million pounds price tag is said to be huge by Sir Alex, given the midfielder’s immense talent and United’s previous spendings in the range of 18m for the likes of Nani, Anderson, Hargreaves and Carrick might make it seem to be a bargain. Also, with Paul Scholes coming to the end of his career and no ready-made replacement around, Sneijder might just be the player for the Red Devils.
Mesut Özil: The talented winger is linked to Old Trafford after his brilliant performance for Germany in the World Cup. The rumours were fuelled after the player refused to renew his contract with his current club Werder Bremen. Özil was contacted by Manchester United to sign for them as a teenager, but he refused to accept the offer and instead signed for Werder Bremen. The player’s versatility to play across the midfield and his current form makes him a lucrative signing.
Mario Balotelli: The 19 year old Italian has been linked to both Manchester clubs this summer. Although, he has not yet set the Italian league on fire for Inter Milan, he is considered to be one of the most exciting talents coming up. With Manchester City ever ready to break the bank, Balotelli might just be heading to the blue half of Manchester.
While experienced managers like Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger see no value in the market, there are proverbial bank-breakers like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City. Several United players are linked away to these clubs which cause jitters in the mind of the United faithful.
Patrice Evra: The left back has been linked to join Mourinho at Real Madrid. Although Jose’s first choice is Ashley Cole, but the Frenchman is also under the ‘Special One’s ‘ radar given Chelsea’s unwillingness to sell their superstar. This move is highly unlikely though as Evra has regularly committed his future at Old Trafford in front of the media.
Wayne Rooney: The PFA player of the year of last season is in demand by the top Spanish Clubs. Although Rooney had a poor World Cup, yet his last season’s exploits have made him one of the hottest properties around. But all the speculations can be put to an end shortly with Rooney on the verge of signing a new deal with the club.
Nemanja Vidic: One player who has ended the speculation is Nemanja Vidic. The club has announced that he will sign a new four year deal when he returns from holiday.