(Updated on 19th June)
The search for for United’s summer recruits continues, with news now linking Javier Macherano (Corinthians), Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid) and Dida (AC Milan) to the Red Devils.
I highly doubt that Dida will be bought, considering that he is 30-31 and while that’s not a bad age for a keeper, his age plus the impending ‘competition’ with van der Sar (who himself has done an awsome job in goal in the previous season) makes it unlikely.
At best, United will go for a smaller keeper, but I figure Ben Foster is good enough to be the second keeper and if worse comes to worse, Howard can always be recalled.
Torres was bound to be in the news after scoring against Ukraine, but he’ll need to be more clinical than Nistelrooy to merit the current price tag (20 mil plus). That is not likely, so either we get him for 10-15 mil or we don’t get him at all.
The midfield is the area that is of the most concern, with two midfielders needed. Carrick looks to be a done deal for 15 mil, while Mascherano, if bought, would represent somewhat of a coup. Corinthians don’t need to sell, but money talks and if United are willing to invest, they might get their player.
So what will United actually do?
Sell Nistelrooy and get two midfielders – one of them being Carrick. Diarra is also an option, in case anyone’s forgotten, and so is Zokora. Riquelme might not suit United’s style of play – would Ferguson really gamble on building a team around the moody Riquelme? I think players like Rooney, Richardson, Saha and Ronaldo would really benefit from Riquelme’s presence in the midfield, but still…
More Transfer News and Rumours:
Steven Reid finally put pen to paper and signed a new deal at Blackburn that sees him at Ewood Park till 2010. Reid was touted to be both Carrick’s replacement at Tottenham and a holding midfielder at United (although the later connection was probably a ploy to increase his wages at Blackburn.
Barcelona have signed Eidur Gudjohnsen, as predicted earlier, for 8 mil. The move is still subject to a medical today but that is a mere formality and G. will be a Barcelona player on a four year deal by this evening. Good move for the guy, and while a few Premiership clubs will be disappointed it really was only Liverpool and United who might have gone for him, and in all honestly any striker would choose Barca over Liverpool, while United have strangely been quiet.
Liverpool have been after Daniel Alves for quite some time, and Sevilla have been quite successful in holding out for as much money as possible. Sevilla have rejected two big bids from Liverpool already, and with Alves happy to wait it out, Liverpool have a fight on their hands.
News out of England is that Sol Campbell might be moving to Portsmouth – reportedly Arsene Wenger is willing to let Sol go to any club who can agree to Campbell’s terms and buy out the remaining two years of his contract. Harry Redknapp has talked about wanting to help Portsmouth move up the footballing ladder and his move to bring in Tony Adams as number 2 at Portsmouth plus his interest in Campbell will be seen as a solid sign of Campbell moving on.
I think that Campbell may well move, but to a club slightly higher in stature than Portsmouth. Wigan and West Ham would be a good bet, even Blackburn. Assuming that they want Campbell, that is.
Tottenham have been reported to be interested in Damien Duff, but really, Duff has already been linked with Newcastle and Liverpool before, and nothing has come out of it so far. Duff’s days at Chelsea are numbered, but interest from Spurs looks to be mere speculation based on the expected sale of Carrick to United.
And we revisit an old rumour – Steven Reid of Blackburn, who the media had speculated could be moving to United is now under the spotlight again after news that he has stalled on a new contract. Last month there were reports from Blackburn that Reid was ‘close to signing a new deal’ and there was no chance of him going away from Blackburn. There was no explicit interest from United, but it looks like Reid is willing to turn down a new contract with the Rovers for a chance at the Champions League with a bigger club. Both United and Arsenal could use a strong midfielder, and it will be interesting to watch how this one turns out.
Earlier Transfer News and Rumours:
The media reports that Bayern Munich are interested in signing Ruud van Nistelrooy. Their chairman has said that Nistelrooy wanted to come to Bayern before United made a move for him. Everyone is reporting the news and it looks like Bayern are putting themselves in the market alongside Milan in case Ferguson and Nistelrooy don’t patch up. That patch up looks highly unlikely now as more than a month has passed after Nistelrooy was asked to leave the Charlton ground and there has been no statement from United or Ferguson.
In other transfer news, Liverpool have told Hamann he is free to go – the man who has anchored the Liverpool midfield is now possibly headed to Bolton, who have let Okocha go and need a midfielder with the passing and positioning skills of Hamann.
Arsenal have signed 17 year old Vincent van den Berg from Heerenveen. I’m hoping that Dixon has more to say on this, as he’s the resident Arsenal expert / fanatic. It matches Arsenal’s policy of signing talented youngsters for ridiculously low prices – their scouting policy is unmatcheable and if United can be half as good in the transfer market as Arsenal, we can whoop Chelsea out of sight in the Premiership.
More United news – after having a 10 mil bid rejected for Carrick, United are reputed to have gone back with an offer close to or around 15 mil. And this time Tottenham may have little choice but to sell him, considering that Carrick has yet to sign a contract and despite Jol’s exhortations that Carrick should show some loyalty, the chance to play in Champions League (and perhaps make a place for himself in the England squad) will be too much to turn down.[tags]Football Transfer News, Football Transfer Rumours, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea[/tags]