Manchester United had set a 16 million price tag on Ruud van Nistelrooy’s head but their desperation to sell him in order to secure transfer funds along with Ruud’s desire to leave as quickly as possible has meant that in a couple of days, one of Manchester United’s best strikers will be joining Real Madrid for a nothing price.
Ruud now lands a 80K a week, 3 year deal which will help Real Madrid replace Ronaldo, who is sidelined after a knee operation. A striker is due to be sold from Real Madrid because with Cassano, Robinho, Raul, Ronaldo and Ruud there’s bound to be one or two unhappy strikers.
My bet is on Ronaldo to leave, although Raul is not as ‘untouchable’ as before. Ruud and Robinho are guaranteed to stay though.
Real Madrid will now move their attention to Italy, where they will try to secure the services of Cannavaro, Zambrotta and Kaka. Cannavaro has already told Capello that he will go to Real Madrid while Kaka said yesterday that he would be more thant willing to head to Real Madrid provided that the transfer fee was right and that Milan were properly compensated.
And Zambrotta? Chelsea are rumoured to have launched a 10 mil bid for the versatile full-back / winger but the Capello / Real connection would be too strong, plus Real Madrid can easily match Chelsea for transfer fee and wages (Chelsea, if you remember, have already spent a fortune in the transfer market and would not want to keep throwing money away).
What now for Manchester United? It depends a lot on United’s transfer budget, which we frankly have no idea about. Hopefully it is enough to land Gattuso and Torres, two of the players who have been closely linked with Manchester United in the past week.
I’m still not convinced that Torres would be a good enough buy, but a team with Torres and Gattuso – plus Kevin Nolan thrown in for good measure – would be a formidable team in any competition. There’s an interesting discussion going on here about how we should wait for Torres and buy him next year when he only has one year left in his contract and the hype for his signature has died down a bit. There is always a threat that teams like Chelsea, Barca and Real Madrid could hijack the deal but they are full of strikers and it is doubtful that Torres would go anywhere else.
Back to our man Ruud van Nistelrooy. I’ve covered the Ruud – Ferguson saga since the beginning of Soccerlens, and if you’re interested in reading how this all started and why a man who has scored 150 goals in 5 years (including his first 100 in just 131 games) has been pushed out of Old Trafford, head over to our Ruud van Nistelrooy section.
Watch this space – when the move is confirmed I will be updating this page.[tags]Manchester United, Real Madrid, Ruud van Nistelrooy[/tags]