Adriano going to: West Ham, Manchester City, Lazio or Manchester United?

Inter Milan’s Adriano has had a tough time of late – injuries, disciplinary problems and a falling out with his manager means that he’s fast on the exit list for Inter and they are calling anyone and everyone (including Arsenal) with a view of selling their striker.

The idea is for Adriano to go out on loan, but reportedly the Brazilian has rejected the option and challenged Inter Milan to either stick by him or to sell him off. That raises a tough question for the sides chasing Adriano, as both West Ham and Manchester City have been aiming for a loan deal.

Speaking of West Ham, I don’t know if Curbishley is actually out of the loop or just being coy when he says that he doesn’t know much about it while the club is releasing an official statement saying that they are investigating the possibility of a loan deal.

Should Adriano come to West Ham? He could be the player who could kickstart West Ham’s push towards European football, and in my view if West Ham have to shell out 10m on anyone they should spend it on Adriano, despite the fact that taking him on would be a bit of a gamble. The Adriano-Bellamy-Ashton trio of strikers could easily propel West Ham into the top-10, and with more assured defending they could be serious contenders for a European spot.

However, would Adriano favor a move to West Ham? I doubt it, not a long-term deal at least, and once again it has to do with the player’s desire for going to ‘big’ clubs and playing Champions League football. Adriano is still young and he wouldn’t want to move outside the CL zone, yet.

Manchester City are also reported to be seeking Adriano on a loan deal, especially since Nicolas Anelka will cost 9m and a hefty wage package (not that Adriano will play for peanuts, but still). Manchester City have the added advantage of having Eriksson as manager whose history and network of contacts in Italy could prove to be a deciding factor for Adriano and his agent. Still, if Adriano is only willing to go if he’s sold, will Thaksin finance a 10m purchase?

Simply put, Adriano’s addition to Manchester City will greatly improve the squad, however City need a midfielder as well and if they have to choose between a striker and a midfielder I’d vote for a midfielder (but that’s just me – the chance of signing Adriano could make Thaksin flip and shell out more money). There are also rumours that Pompey may come after Samaras, which should give Manchester City more funds to bring in players.

Lazio have been after Adriano for a long time and they may be his first pick for a transfer considering that they are in the Champions League and he’ll be staying in Italy. I doubt that Inter would sell Adriano to Lazio though, and because of that Adriano is almost certain to move abroad.

That leaves Manchester United – and I admit that this is pure speculation, so feel free to disagree here. Manchester United, if they have their three main strikers (Tevez, Rooney, Saha) and key attacking players (Ronaldo, Anderson, Nani) fit, don’t need another striker. Manchester United also have talented youngsters Dong and Campbell in the squad, who will get a good run out in the cup games this season.

Having said that, if there’s any club that would be suited to a loan deal for Adriano at the moment, it’s Manchester United. A loan deal has no strings attached for United, who can then go on next year to bring in Berbatov or whoever the new flavour of the summer is. Adriano, if fit, will also feature ahead of Louis Saha and it gives Ferguson the luxury of keeping his strikers fit as well as easing Anderson and Tevez into the squad as Manchester United gradually phase out their older players.

I don’t believe that Ferguson will move for a striker in the next 2-3 days – he’s stubborn as hell and at the heart, Manchester United are strong enough to not need a striker at the moment. However, a lot of this faith rests on the ability of Louis Saha to get his act together, and I think the whole ‘he needs more time to get it just right’ game has gone on too long now.

If Manchester United are to go for a striker, Adriano on a loan deal would be a better option than shelling out 25m+ for Berbatov right now, who will most likely leave Tottenham if they don’t qualify for the Champions League next summer, and perhaps better than Anelka, as he’d come on similar wages but with a 9m price tag.

At any rate, we’ll find out soon enough 🙂

Also Read: The Premier League 2007 Summer Transfers Page and our transfer news section.

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