Football

The rumour mill has worked very well for these players

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Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward has been a busy man this summer for Manchester United. He has already signed Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian, Sergio Romero and Memphis Depay in this transfer window, whilst still having a few days left for a marquee signing.

Despite getting these deals over the line, along with 12 other players since taking the helm, Woodward has helped secure deals for more players who are yet to wear the red of Manchester. He has inadvertently allowed players from other clubs, to agree bumper pay packets with their current employers.  

It is almost certain these days that the only way to get a world class player to sign for Manchester United, is to pay them astronomical wages...or they will go elsewhere. Proof is in the pudding. Pedro to Chelsea, Nicholas Otamendi to Manchester City and Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, to name but a few.

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However we have seen Di Maria and Falcao earning in excess of £565,000-per-week between them and lets face it, they were both flops! Agents across the globe, are using this to their advantage by 'leaking' stories to the media, suggesting that "Manchester United are keen to sign {enter name here} before the window closes".

Unfortunately, it's getting boring now for the fans, not just of United, but of football. To see one team being linked with a mass of players, enough to build a second squad, every transfer window, it's tedious. So let's take a look at the players which have abused the Red Devil's spending power (or are in that process right now), in order to line their own pockets.

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Cristiano Ronaldo

The one that got away for most United fans. He is still adored around Old Trafford and has been reported to say that the only club he would leave the Bernabeu for, is United. It all seemed like it could happen in 2013, as Ed Woodward, desperate for a marquee signing, was willing to smash the world transfer record to bring Ronaldo home.

This didn't happen and in fact, it has set a trend. In 2013, he signed a new deal to keep him with Real Madrid until 2018.  "Manchester United is the past. Real Madrid is now my home," Ronaldo said. "I hope that I'm here until I retire. This is a great club."

Heartbreak for the fans. Lovely jubbly for Cristiano and super agent Jorge Mendes. The three time Ballon D'Or winner's salary went from €11 million to €17 million per year. Lucky for some!

Sergio Ramos

The high profile target for summer 2015. Ramos was "unhappy" at the Bernabeu for the majority of the summer and "wanted to move to Manchester United". A great chance for Woodward to show intent and the ability to attract one of the best defenders in the World.

David De Gea was also used as bait, to try and convince Real Madrid President, Perez, to part with the Spaniard, who has Madrid running through his veins.

Then the deal takes a turn for the worse...off of a cliff. “My idea was to always be here [Real Madrid] and I always wanted to retire here if the president would allow it, and I’m thankful I have a new challenge to be the captain of this team. The priority is always Real Madrid, keeping our fans happy and winning titles." Ramos revealed on the day he signed a new deal.

Once again, the player walk out with more money too. Ramos' annual pay packet went from €7.3 million to a reported €9 million. Thanks Ed!

Neymar Jr

The latest drivel to come out of the newspapers, is that Manchester United are willing to put a £240 million deal together to sign Neymar. I'm not sure a single soul on the planet will believe this story. That's the equivalent of Bale (£100 million), Cristiano Ronaldo (£90 million) and Stones (£40 million), plus some change for penny sweets, but all three are proven Premier League players.  

The agile and highly talented Brazilian would be quite a mouthwatering signing for any club, but the money just doesn't add up. Is anyone worth that much?  

However the latest news is that Catalan President, Bartomeu, is due to sit down with Neymar's representatives to discuss a new contract before the end of the year, which will include a £182 million buyout clause. Of course there will be a tasty pay rise to go with that huge benefit to the Catalan Giants, but the deal is not done yet!

Lionel Messi

Once every so often, the highly gifted Argentinian makes his way to the back pages of our newspapers, with a story suggesting he 'wants out', of the Camp Nou. The eye watering figures to persuade Barcelona's prized possession away, was reported around £200 million. That leaves only two teams who can pull the deal off, without breaking FFP laws.

Real Madrid, but lets face it, he's not switching the Camp Nou for the Bernabeu in this life time. That leaves the only option of Messi becoming a Red Devil. United's commercial power has left them in a position of financial strength, where other clubs such as the 'Sky-Blue' side of Manchester, get lumped with hefty fines and various other FFP restrictions. 

Once again, just like we begin to expect, Messi signs a new deal in 2014 which makes him considerably richer than he was previously. From €13 million to €20 million per year makes him much wealthier, indeed. If you happen to work for the sports section of a top newspaper, Messi will never leave Barcelona. You heard it here first!

Thomas Muller

Another potential signing for United this summer according to the papers. This signing would make me more excited, than Gareth Bale making a return to the Premier League. A prolific goal scorer, team player and World Cup Winner joining the best league in the World. Who wouldn't want to see that?

With former teammate Schweinsteiger, sporting the new Manchester United kit, it seemed like there could be a real chance of Muller joining his fellow countryman. Once again, Ed Woodward with his bottomless pit of money, has fallen into the trap and is allegedly preparing to make a bid worth around £71.9 million.

Now I'll admit, I expected to write Schweinsteiger on this list, as did Rio Ferdinand, but we were both proven wrong. A deal for Muller could be on, with Paddy Power slashing the odds to 4/6 of United becoming the German's next destination, when he decides to move on.

As optimistic as I would like to be about this deal, I can only see it ending up like all of the others.  The Express agree, with the World Cup Winner expecting to see a hike in his wages, from its current level of £110,000 per week.

Do you think Thomas Muller will join Manchester United? Is it just a tactic to hike wages? Or is Ed Woodward failing to get these deals over the line?  Have your say below

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Topics:
Cristiano Ronaldo
Football
Neymar
Lionel Messi
Manchester United

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