Football

Manchester United's midfield needs Modric and Fellaini

Modric is reportedly keen on a move to Manchester United (©GettyImages)
Modric is reportedly keen on a move to Manchester United (©GettyImages).

Manchester United entered the Barclays Premier League season on the back of a torrid time in the transfer window, with only one signing. Uruguayan right-back Guillerme Varela is all the Red Devils can show for all the hard work being done behind the scenes.

United's pulling power in the European transfer market seems to have diminished following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson as the club did not succeed in convincing either Kevin Strootman, Cesc Fabregas or Thiago Alcantara to join the club.

Moyes has remained steadfast in his attempts to strengthen his midfield, having been linked with the likes of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and his former player at Everton, Marouane Fellaini as well as the highly-coveted Brazilian midfielder Willian. 

Following United's excellent 4-1 victory over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on the opening day of the season, some fans might have questioned the need for reinforcements at Old Trafford as Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Ryan Giggs took United to victory quite comfortably.

Moyes was able to call on Anderson and Wayne Rooney and won his opening game in charge of United without requiring the services of the talented trio of Wilfried Zaha, Shinji Kagawa and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, all of whom are expected to play key roles in the first team over the course of the season.

United were solid defensively as the experienced duo of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic easily repelled every Swansea attempt on David de Gea's goal. Even Patrice Evra, touted by some as a fading star in urgent need of replacement (possibly by Leighton Baines of Everton), was excellent, and played a crucial role in United's second goal.

Overall, United were excellent and their performance bodes well for what could be their toughest title defence yet.

However the fact that United find themselves on top of the table following braces from Van Persie and Welbeck should not dissuade David Moyes from persisting in his search for reinforcements to the squad.

While United were rarely troubled by Michael Laudrup's Swansea side, they did concede a lot of possession in midfield and weren't as decisive when in possession as United teams of the past.

The likes of Welbeck and Antonio Valencia found so much space to work with on the counter-attack partly due to the fact that Swansea's style of play focused on possession and a high defensive line which left them vulnerable at the back.

Swansea were adventurous when in possession, and to their credit cannot be accused of "parking the bus" against United, a tactic that most teams will not hesitate to adopt when facing the league champions.

It is for this reason, and the fact that Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley were arguably equalled, if not outplayed at times in midfield by the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Jose Canas and Leon Britton, that United need to sign one, if not two, quality midfielders to really put them in the driver's seat in the race for the Premier League title.

In this writer's humble opinion, it is all too apparent that the two players United should move heaven and earth to sign are Modric and Fellaini.

Modric has reportedly expressed an inclination to leave Madrid for United rather than Spurs in the wake of rumours surrounding his possible inclusion in a player-plus-cash bid for Spurs' Gareth Bale.

The Croatian play maker had previously been on the radar of United before joining Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and as reported by The Mirror, he is waiting to see if Manchester United place an official bid for him.

Marouane Fellaini has been linked with a move to United for months now and Moyes has reportedly left no stone unturned in his attempts to coax the Belgian into following him to Manchester.

The Daily Mail only just released reports of United lodging a 28-million-pound joint bid for Fellaini and Baines. Everton rejected the bid which involved £16 million for Fellaini and £12 million for Baines.

'Everton can confirm that it has received bids from Manchester United for two players. Those bids were immediately rejected out of hand as derisory and insulting.'

Considering that Fellaini's £23.5 million buy-out clause expired two weeks ago it will be difficult for Moyes to convince Everton to part with their talismanic midfielder but the Scot would do well to return with a bid for the Belgian before time runs out.

If United were to acquire Modric and Fellaini, they would be able to strengthen every aspect of their midfield. Modric would provide the kind of creativity that nobody in United's current squad can and his incisive passing and ability to dictate the pace of a game would give United the upper hand against almost any team. 

Fellaini, on the other hand, is a destructive box-to-box midfielder equally capable of holding down the fort in a defensive role and breaking down attacks as he is of launching attacks of his own and causing problems in the opposition's penalty area.

United officials had made comments earlier in the summer regarding the club's financial position allowing it to spend up to 50 or £60 million on one marquee summer signing and if these claims are founded in truth Moyes would do well to use the money in the United purse to sign Modric and Fellaini.

United have been touted by many as inferior to free-spending Chelsea and Manchester City in terms of their chances of winning the league title but the acquisition of players of the quality of Modric and Fellaini would most certainly quash the pessimistic outlook of some fans and critics and establish United as the leading contender for the Premier League title.

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Topics:
Luka Modric
Football
Marouane Fellaini
Manchester United

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