Double winning Manchester United have been the quietest of the big four in England in the transfer market this summer, spending most of the off and pre season with the Ronaldo/Madrid saga, and not bringing in any first team players as yet.
Arsenal have brought in talented, and potentially great, French midfielder Samir Nasri, one of a handful of “new Zidanes” in French football, Chelsea have added Bosigwa to their defence and Deco to their midfield, and Liverpool have managed to get Spurs to sell them Robbie Keane, forming a potentially devastating strike partnership with Torres.
United have been linked with many big names, as they usually are, with little solid information making it’s way to the public. The need for a striker is the main concern to United fans, with Tevez and Rooney having only the injury prone Saha, and young Campbell, as back up. While many United fans have been discontent with the seemingly slow, or lack of, activity in the transfer market, the season starts in two days and the transfer window is closing in, the reality is that the options are very limited to a team like United.
There are only two types of players that United would look at. The first is in the Arsenal mould, a young player with the potential to be a world beater. This is generally how Arsene Wenger does his transfer business, and what United did last season in bringing in Nani and Anderson. The second type is a player that will improve the squad. As winners of the League and Champions League the United squad is obviously very strong. Players brought in would have to be of a level that is par, to add debt and greater options, or better then those currently in the squad. This means that the pool of players that United would be looking at would be the best players in the world, a very small pool, and most clubs will not sell their best players. So doing business like this is tough, and often involves inflated prices.
United have said that they hope to have a new player in by Friday or Saturday, with the player available to feature in the season opener against Newcastle on Sunday. The two forwards who have been linked heavily this week are Berbatov and Henry.
Henry I think will be a no go. Barcelona have an important Champions League qualifier to night and, although they are playing a team they should beat, will not be taking any chances. Barcelona have spent heavily this pre season after a disappointing last campaign. They need to justify this spending by making sure they don’t miss out on Champions League money. Added to that the pressure of having a new manager and there can be little doubt that their best team will be on show tonight. With Messi at the Olympics Henry is sure to feature. This means he will be cup tied and with the price tag of 20 million pounds being branded about United are not likely to spend that amount on a player who won’t be available for Europe. Henry is also 31 years old and so would not be worth the type of money being talked about. He’s pace, his best weapon, isn’t as fearsome as it was at Arsenal, age does this to a player, and while the Henry that was an Arsenal legend would definitely be welcome at United, that isn’t the player they would be buying.
Which leaves Berbatov. There is no doubting his skill and talent and goal scoring ability. Berbatov the player is worth a lot of money, and a lot is what Spurs want for their hitman. Berbatov the person, at least the person the press is making him out to be, may not be. If it is true that he is sulky and disruptive when he doesn’t get his way, and his way in this case is a move to United, then is that really the type of player the United dressing room needs? Having said that Sir Alex has no doubt done his home work and will be of little doubt that any player he brings in will fit in with the rest of the group and will be mentally strong to compete at United.
After a lot of will he won’t he it seems likely that Berbatov will finally be a Manchester United player this weekend. Ironically, Berbatov says this will be a dream move for him, the forward had a chance to join United two years ago for a third of the price being suggested now, but turned them down for Spurs, thinking Spurs were a team on the up, and United on the decline.
While many United fans will be on the fence about Berbatov, a striker knows the best way to change fans opinion is with goals. If he has a good start to his United career he’ll have the fans behind him before too long.
(pic from teamtalk.com)