It’s incredibly easy to lose sight of what’s important when money gets involved in football, particularly in the midst of an important transfer window.
Take for example the media attention surrounding the possibly imminent switch of Juan Mata from Chelsea to Manchester United. Though the Spaniard is a player of immeasurable quality and one who would undoubtedly improve David Moyes’ squad, is he the man that United really need?
It’s ridiculous to suggest that he’d be surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, or for that matter not needed at all, but one gets the sneaky suspicion that amongst all the hype and hollywood excitement that have been synonymous since the Mata to United rumour was first suggested, what the club really need could be forgotten.
Let us remember that United’s shortcomings this season in the eyes of many can be put down to a defensive unit that has looked far more vulnerable than anyone's become accustomed to, and as such it has become a point of relative urgency that Moyes needs to address.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that the Red Devils are now being tipped to sign Bayern Munich star Dante. And unless you for some reason hold a lasting grudge against the Brazilian you’ll concur with me when I say that it is he who should be the priority for Moyes, not Mata.
For starters the 30-year-old would address the prevalent issues within the United squad, which mainly revolve around not having a solid figurehead whom they can rely on at the back.
Rio Ferdinand has become a shadow of the beacon that he once was, Nemanja Vidic looks unable to lead in the manner of seasons past and the likes of Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are either not yet at the required standard or never will be.
Dante not only comes with an extraordinary amount of pedigree- he won the treble with Bayern Munich last season and is now a regular starter for Brazil- but he also brings in that marque factor that has so far proven elusive to Moyes. By that I simply mean a player who can come in with a reputation and lift spirits both on and off the pitch.
Experience wise there is no other viable option who can contend with the Bayern man, and despite the fact that he does have the benefit of plying his trade amongst a host of world-class performers at the moment the fact that he has not been shipped off evidences the fact that he is rated by at least both Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola as one of the best there is.
Is Dante the ideal man to solidify United’s defence? It’s an unequivocal yes. Will they be able to lure him away from Guardiola’s rampant Bayern side? You get the feeling that due to the stark lack of announcement from the German champions they may be happy to allow him to depart. Will Moyes secure the deal by February 1?
That’s where the lines become just a little blurred. Whilst they’ve established their clear intent to acquire Dante, following through until he arrives at Carrington to complete his medical will be the only way to convince United fans that they’re completely serious.
As for Moyes, he isn’t going to come much closer to bringing in a dream signing given his side’s current circumstance.