Monday, 22 June 2009

Transfer targets Mk 43634

The summer of activity so far: Sober Reflections on Rome, Thoughts on Ronaldo (pre-transfer), The End of Fergie's Third Era and The Anatomy of Team Four

I promised myself I wouldn't do it - I promised I wouldn't give in to temptation. But even the best of us have our weak moments, and so here is my runthrough of the latest batch of transfer rumours.

Valencia - good winger (something we're short of at the moment), seems keen and looks to be available for around £17m. Although Dave Whelan now wants his piece of the Ronaldo cash, of course - come on Dave, £17m is more than enough for a Wigan winger.

Ribery - excellent winger, although not going to fill the goalscoring hole left by Ronaldo. And you can absolutely guarantee that Fergie is never going to pay Real money for him, so if the asking price is over £40m you can absolutely forget it. With so many clubs chasing him, and with the hard-nosed Bayern running the auction, I'd be astonished to see him at United next season. Dreamer's choice.

Young - Scott at RoM may have declared himself on the Ribery bandwagon, but if there's a Young bandwagon then I'm driving it. I want this player. A lot. He is making noises about leaving Villa, but at the moment Spurs are reported to be at the head of the pack. Spurs? I mean, I know they're our feeder club, but still, why would he leave a club to go, at best, sideways? I'm really hoping Fergie is working behind the scenes at this one, but I'm not convinced.

Benzema - clearly has promise, but is unproven outside the French league and his chairman is, as Red Rants correctly analyses, very good at getting cash out of big teams. I will remain unconvinced on this one until someone can satisfactorily explain to me how Rooney, Berbatov and Benzema can play in the same team without either a) Rooney playing wide left or b) our formation becoming unacceptably narrow.

Huntelaar, Casillas, Robben, Diarra - if we wanted a Real player, we would have arranged to receive them as part of the Ronaldo deal. Notwithstanding the fact that I don't particularly want at our club a player who has ever thought Real Madrid to be appealing, that commercial reason alone is enough to make me discount all of these.

Hulk - bandied around a bit last week, and seems on the plausible side to me due to his physicality and his great performance against United in the CL last season. Watch this space.

Eto'o - I don't think someone like Eto'o would come to a club where he'd clearly be used in limited circumstances only. Nor do I particularly think Fergie will want a player who doesn't contribute except to score goals - but then, at current count we need 40-odd goals from somewhere next season. I'd be happy if he arrived, but I don't think we'll be first choice.

I will stick by what I said before and state that if we got Valencia, Hulk and a decent cheapish reserve striker then we'd be in reasonable shape for next season. Obviously, Valencia, Young and Eto'o would be very good business. Anything more than that is dreamland for my money.

Any rumours I've missed? Shout and I'll be happy to give my views in the comments box.


Anonymous said...

Why're you being so frugal in your wants? :) When we lost to AC Milan 2 seasons back, SAF responded with 4 meaningful signings. And we got the Da Silva twins, Tosic, Ljajaic and Berbatov last season.
Now, after the Rome disaster and departures of Ronaldo and Tevez (plus the decline of Scholes, Giggs, Neville and Saar), I think we can realistically expect atleast 4 fresh signings this season, some bigger than the others. And I'd expect ATLEAST two of them to slot into the first team straight away, and the other two to give strong competition.
United have young strikers, young central mids and even a few young defenders. So, I'd go for one young winger, one proven winger, one proven striker and a quality centre mid or right back. Anything less, and I'll be surprised..... What say? :)

RedJack said...

I'd like to see diarra (although agree that it won't happen actually essien would be better) basically as cover for hargreaves if he never comes back.

Also Ashley Young would be a great signing as i think he would develop into a greater goal scoring threat if he played for us.

I wouldn't sign a new striker unless its torres (whatever), i think with young in the side it would allow rooney to play in the middle.

Right back would be micah richards in my opinion but i think this is the season to introduce rafeal.

Foster needs to keep injury free

Anonymous said...

we need another forward even if Rooney can play in the middle, both Berbatov and Rooney will spend some time injured and I dont understand why man utd fans arent excited about Benzema, he is class...clearly a better option than Hulk (just because you are big doesnt make you a good striker)

Dan said...

Young please!

Penguinissimo said...

RedJack - not sure about Micah Richards, he fell off badly last season and Rafael came on leaps and bounds. Be really surprised if we bought someone else there, especially when JOS can do a good job there.

Penguinissimo said...

I would be excited about Benzema if I had any idea where he might play - it's not just about signing good players, it's about signing players who would fit into and enhance our current squad and team.

Hulk, in my opinion, isn't so much a striker as an attacking midfielder.

Penguinissimo said...

Anon - well, our squad isn't exactly threadbare, although I would like to see a defensive midfielder arrive too.

I'm not saying I wouldn't want us to go and splash £80m around the place - just that I really don't think that is what will happen.

Anonymous said...

penguin, dont you think that with the amount of fixtures in a season we can make Benzema, Berbatov, and Rooney all happy? also I would love to see Rooney play primarily through the middle but could occasionaly play out wide as well, all three of them would get plenty of shouldnt be an issue.

MoYa said...

Get Ashley Young and get Ribery (it is going to be tough to hold onto a player who doesn't want to be at Bayern).

Sergio Asenjo seems a great goalkeeping prospect.

I feel our midfield lacks a bit of something. Either a solid Yaya Toure or a box to box De Rossi.

I would be more than satisfied with just Young and Ribery. Throw in a couple of exciting youngsters and we would have pulled off a fantastic summer!

Anonymous said...

Not technically related to the above threads but watching Tosic playing for Serbia in the U21 Championships gives me no hope he is ready to step-up any time soon. Has some nice touches and a good set piece but is very light. An ageing Giggs (who does not play wide much anymore anyway), Tosic, Park and Nani are not wide men to build team four around. We need genuine quality on the wings. Hope Fergie has something up his sleave.


MoYa said...

We lost both ronaldo and tevez so I would think we should see atleast two substantial signings...

Not to mention a few ageing players and the lack of a midfield enforcer.

Also we got a crap load of cash if we need.

All in all it all points to a busy transfer window, just hope we aren't disappointed.

RedJack said...

I think Richards gives us more flexibility at the back as he can fill in for rio/vidic - we played neville there on occasion. i think he would step up to the plate if he came to us

MoYa - the "crap load of cash" has meant teams are adding on 20mill to values

RedJack said...

How about Owen on a pay as you play contract?

Anonymous said...

hey, wens ur next post coming, penguin?

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