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Manchester United and Nistelrooy Update

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Ruud’s off, and according to reports from the past couple of days has been seen in and around Madrid talking to Capello’s men. Manchester United (read Ferguson) will be happy to get rid of the Dutch striker, seeing how the manager and Ruud have been at odds since February.

The 10-12 million fee expected to be paid by Real Madrid (a steal really, considering that United’s evaluation of the player is 15-16 million), plus the money Manchester United will save on the wage bill is expected to be redirected towards the pursuit of a replacement striker.

Fernando Torres has been a long-term United target but his price tag will put Manchester United off of what they would see as a risky bet. Torres is good, really good, but why spend 30 million on a striker when you can get another one for 10-12 million from closer to home?

And that’s why there have been rumours that Manchester United are now after Jermaine Defoe, with news of a 15 million bid trickling in. Considering that Martin Jol’s valuation of the striker is about half that amount, it looks like United want to make a new signing fast. Could this also mean that United get Carrick as well? At 30 million, prising away two of Tottenham’s best players looks like a steal but we would be overpaying for both of them.

Nistelrooy is most likely to join Madrid, with Bayern being left out in the cold on this. How this will impact us if we move for Hargreaves? Ruud’s desire to join Real Madrid instead of Bayern is quite understandable – he’s going to the club with the richest history in European football (and considering his goalscoring record in Europe he is wanted there as well), he will reunite with old pal Beckham and best of all, he’ll be part of Capello’s new revolution.

Part of me feels that Ruud may yet be getting more out of this deal than United. Still, if we end up signing Defoe it would be a smart, smart buy. It leaves us a bit short in the aerial department up front though – not that Ruud was a great header of the ball, but height still matters.

United Rant has done a career profile for Ruud van Nistelrooy. Take a look.

Coming up…a look at Kevin Nolan and Owen Hargreaves – the two answers to United’s midfield problems.

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