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Hargreaves Alternatives for Manchester United?

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The chase for Owen Hargreaves reminds me a bit of the way Ferguson went after Ruud van Nistelrooy – identify a top player, make sure he wants to come to Manchester United and then move heaven and hell to get him to Old Trafford.

Ruud van Nistelrooy is arguably one of Manchester United’s top signings this decade. I have a strong feeling that Hargreaves, when/if he comes, will be on that list as well.

The question here is though – what about other midfielders in Europe? Surely there is another player in Europe that is as good as Hargreaves (if not better) and will come to Old Trafford as well?

Here’s a list of players and their chances of coming to Manchester United.


No, he’s not too old to play, no, he won’t mind coming to United after playing for Arsenal and yes, Ferguson would be interested in signing him.

Problem is, he’s still old, and won’t come for cheap. He also has high wage demands that United could balk at (although we’re paying Larsson 100k/week, so maybe that’s not an issue), and it could also be that Vieira prefers the slower-paced game in Serie A to the hustle-bustle of the Premiership?

Would be a quality buy if we get him, but I doubt he’d come.


If Milan don’t win the CL, and if they don’t qualify for Europe, there is a slight chance that some of their players will leave. I’d expect one of Gattuso and Pirlo to move, but will they come to Old Trafford?

A lot has been said in the press, and a lot has been attributed to Gattuso but the fact remains that he likes to play for Milan and he will probably stay there. Would be a good buy, but won’t be coming.


Same as Gattuso, except that I always saw Pirlo to be in the Cannavaro/Zambrotta mould – more professional than passionate. So he’s still a possibility for jumping ship, but I wouldn’t bet on him doing as well in the Prem.


Yes, he likes Arsenal. Yes, Madrid are probably willing to sell him. But if there are complications with the Reyes deal, or if Madrid ask for a lot of money for Baptista (this isn’t Chelsea, they’ll bargain to their deaths and beyond if they need to), there will be an opening for any opportunistic club to pounce.

Ok, seriously? Not a chance 🙂


We missed out on him last season, and it’s a fair bet to say that he won’t be interested in leaving Real Madrid just yet.


His name has been floated by fans for a while now – it’s more like the Mascherano situation last season where everyone said we should sign Mascherano. The current situation at Barcelona is pretty interesting, but Xavi is a loyal player and him swapping Barcelona for Man Utd doesn’t make much sense.


The type of player we could use, along with Hargreaves, to add real quality to our midfield (and shore it up after Scholes packs it in). Will probably jump at the chance to come to United, but is not as young as we’d like him to be.

I’d put Nolan in the same category as well, because he’s a player who enjoys the big stage and along with Cahill is one of the best midfielders in the Premiership outside the top four.

Soo….what do you guys think?

Who else could sign for Manchester United instead of Hargreaves?

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.