This summer will be one of unprecedented change if you’re a Manchester United fan. There can be no doubt about it.
With the ever growing list of fringe-players and under performing first-team stars seemingly destined for the Old Trafford exit door, it’s no wonder that the reigning Premier League champions are being linked with virtually every foreign import going.
Take a look at the most in-form players not tied down to ridiculously lucrative contract, and they’ll have been named in connection with United at some point over the last six months.
They’re all there. The showboaters, the free-scoring strikers, the upcoming talents. David Moyes’ rumoured transfer wish list reads like a who’s who of the best around.
But as pleasant-a-reading that may make for United fans, in my mind it’s a much more simple attribute the Scot should be basing his searches around; experience. In the current climate his team need stabilising, and the old and trusted heads will do far more to steady the ship than the introduction of a rising ego desperate to make his way in the game.
Coincidentally reports have emerged that Barcelona may be open to the idea of letting right-back Dani Alves leave this summer. You can see where I’m going with this.
The Brazilian full-back’s resume reads far and above the required level of pedigree Moyes should be seeking to bring in, and he just happens to ply his trade in a position that United may be looking to reinforce come the summer.
That’s right, Rafael finds himself firmly on the rumour mill, which has repeatedly churned out speculation that he could be set to depart after this season. If that is the case then surely there can be no better alternative than Alves?
Having been a key part of the Barcelona side since 2008, he has time and time again proven that he can handle the pressure of playing at the highest level, and his all-round abilities would help to sure up United’s defence, as well as give them an extra element going forward.
As for Barcelona’s interest in a sale, they would surely be tempted to cash in on the 30-year-old whilst he still retains some sort of reasonable market value. It’s fair to say that the Spanish giants wouldn’t have to search too far and wide to find his replacement, and could see a summer sale as the most profitable option, all things considered.
Then there’s Alves’ opinion to take into account.
Whilst the Brazilian has so far only really been linked with Fiorentina, one has to assume that he would still be of the belief that he has the ability to crack the Premier League if given the chance. United may not be able to offer him Champions League football next season, but they can tempt him with the promise of a lucrative contract with which to see out his career, and the chance to be involved in a squad which is looking to invest heavily in order to push for major honours next year.
He may not possess the years, showmanship or promise of many of the more generic United targets, but a move for Alves, or someone else of his ilk, could be one of the most sensible Moyes makes this year.