Manchester United full-back Alexander Buttner has completed his medical at Dinamo Moscow, and is now virtually assured to depart Old Trafford this summer.
Reports coming from the Daily Mail appear to confirm the notion that the Dutch left-back has already played his last game for United, and will not hang around for Louis van Gaal to begin his reign. Yesterday comments from both the player himself and his agent made it clear that his position with the former Premier League champions was not a comfortable one, and a transfer has almost been finalised which will see him playing his football in the Ukraine next season.
At 25 Buttner can hardly be referred to as an up and coming talent, and the fact that United have been hotly tipped to sign a new left-back, as well as Patrice Evra now set to stay for at least another year, appears to have forced him into seeking pastures new. Van Gaal has been predicted to move for both Luke Shaw and Holland defender Daley Blind in recent days, and one would assume that either man would leap ahead of Buttner in the pecking order if they were to join.
It’s likely that the former Vitesse man, who only managed 13 Premier League appearances in two years for the Red Devils, will be the first of a few players flogged this summer by Van Gaal, as the new boss looks to revamp the squad which failed so spectacularly last season. Though the acquisition of a new left-back is said to be on his to-do list it is far from a priority, and the 62-year-old would do well to immediately set about shoring up both the middle of the park and the heart of the defence.
As for Buttner, a drop down in the level of expectation could be just what’s needed for him to resurrect his career. There were few who ever believed in his credentials as a United first-team player, and the opportunity to play week in week out will give him a platform upon which to show what he’s capable of.
PLAYERS FOR SALE
Buttner may be the first, but it will come as genuine shock if he’s the last as well. A host of first-team players failed to make the grade at Old Trafford last season, and David Moyes’ failings as a manager can only be recycled so many times before people begin to accept that most of the starting XI under-performed on a routine basis.
Nani, Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and Antonio Valencia all face uncertain futures, whilst the likes of Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez could both look to move in search of regular first team football.