Filling the shoes of Sir Alex Ferguson was never going to be an easy task, and while Manchester United fans won’t be worried just yet, it is safe to say David Moyes hasn’t had the most comfortable start in his new job.
Pre-season at United has brought one win in four games and some indifferent performances, admittedly coming in amongst a fairly gruelling travel schedule.
This alone is no cause for concern but Moyes will be hoping some of the off-field issues he has been forced to deal with can be sorted out, sooner rather than later.
The Wayne Rooney transfer saga looks set to rumble on, with the club maintaining he is not for sale and Rooney’s silence on the matter a key indication that he is open to a move away from Old Trafford.
If the striker was keen to stay he would have put an end to the matter and stated so and with Chelsea reportedly ready to up their £20m offer United’s resolve could be tested further.
How Moyes deals with this situation could have a big impact on his first season at Old Trafford.
Rooney has shown in the past that if his head isn’t right performances can dip, any problems he has had away from the pitch have normally been accompanied by a loss of form on it.
If United dig their heels in and refuse the England star a transfer will Moyes be able to get the best out of him next season?
That proved to be challenge at times even for Sir Alex Ferguson and while this is a problem not of Moyes’ making, his handling of it may prove a yardstick with which to judge his credentials as Manchester United manager.
Meanwhile Moyes revealed today (Sunday) that United are contemplating making a third offer for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
The Old Trafford club have already had two bids for the former Arsenal man turned down, the latest of which is believed to have been for £30m.
Barcelona have maintained their stance that Fabregas is not for sale, something reiterated by new coach Gerardo Martino over the weekend when he stated that the Spanish midfielder would be part of his squad for next season.
Fabregas is the marquee signing United hoped would kick-start the David Moyes era and exactly the type of player the team has lacked for a few years.
However failure to secure the deal having pursued it so publicly could leave fans with a sense of disappointment, other reported targets are Everton’s Marouane Fellaini and Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye, excellent players but neither would represent as big a coup as Fabregas.
While Rooney and Fabregas have been occupying United related headlines, the club’s cooling of interest in Leighton Baines has gone under the radar.
Everton turned down an offer of £10m from the Old Trafford club back in June, an offer that seemed on the low side and it was assumed Moyes would go back in for his former player, a bid of between £15m and £20m could prove difficult for Everton to turn down.
No such offer has been forthcoming which is surprising given that Baines would certainly improve the Manchester United team, Patrice Evra will be 33 next year so left back is a position that will need strengthening at some stage.
While the transfer window is open until September 2, Moyes will want most of his transfer business done as soon as possible.
Good results in those games would put these pre-season issues on the distant horizon, poor results may bring them into focus.
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