Who Should Manchester United Sign – Diarra or Vieira?

Rumours are abound that Manchester United will be poaching Patrick Vieira from Juventus.

According to the Guardian, sources close to Vieira said on Saturday that talks between Manchester United and the player were under way. Regardless of his Gunner roots and his arrogance, I admire Vieira as a footballer and strongly believe that no Premiership side in their right mind would refuse the chance to sign on a player of his calibre, even if he just turned 30 last month.

This actually is the first positive sign for United all summer – that is, if you don’t count the morale-boosting but ultimately pointless 4-0 win over Orlando Pirates on Saturday evening. And it also poses a question for Manchester United:

Given our financial situation, we know that we have to buy smart, especially since we’re looking for two midfielders. Leaving aside Owen Hargreaves for a minute (for whom I’ve been campaigning since June), which player would be a better buy for Manchester United – Mahamadou Diarra (18-20 mil, aged 25) or Patrick Vieira (less than 10 mil or on loan, aged 30)?

Mahamadou Diarra

Gifted Lyon and Mali midfielder who is itching for a chance to play at one of Europe’s top clubs. Suitors include Real Madrid and Manchester United, with both Diarra and United waiting for Madrid to make their big money offer. Manchester United do not want to get dragged into a bidding war with Madrid and will be hoping that Madrid go elsewhere.

Biggest Advantage: Age – At 25, he could be a rock in United’s midfield for the next 5 years.

Biggest Disadvantage: High transfer fee. There is little doubt that he would succeed, but with the money we would have to pay for him you would think twice and look around for cheaper options first.

Patrick Vieira

Biggest Advantage: Experience. Is still fit enough to play at the high pace the Premiership demands, and will come much cheaper than Diarra. Only good for 2 more years though.

Biggest Disadvantage: None. Sorry, folks can’t find a thing against this guy. He’s not too old, and he’s a footballer first and “former Arsenal player” second. Even if Ruud stayed I have no doubt they could have played together, and even the tunnel spat involving Gary Neville would not be a problem. Of course, for Vieira to play under Neville’s captaincy would be a diff issue.

Pick Your Man

I rate the two men similarly in terms of skill, with the difference coming in age and experience at the top level.

Time for you guys to tell me what you think. Who should United buy – Diarra or Vieira?

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