When David Moyes took over from Sir Alex on July 1st, most Manchester United fans believed that the squad which they would have at the beginning of the next season would be one with a personal touch from Moyes. Players were being linked from the onset, and from all indications, a very busy transfer window was to come.
It is August 25th, one week until transfer deadline. Old Trafford is buzzing, and fans are excited about the week ahead.
Big matches against Chelsea and Liverpool are on the horizon, and the United faithful wait with anticipation. Chelsea, under the guidance of returning coach Jose Mourinho, have strengthened their already talented squad, with the likes of German international Andre Schurrle, and Dutch U21 starlet Marco Van Ginkel. A deal has also been agreed for the signing of Brazilian playmaker Willian.
Liverpool have also been quite busy this summer, acquiring the services of players like Iago Aspas, Cissokho, Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto and Simon Mignolet. Our bitter rivals Manchester City have spent over 100 million pounds in acquiring the services of marquee players like Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo.
Tottenham have also made their title ambitions clear with the signings of Etienne Capoue, Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli and Paulinho, with more signings on the horizon.
With our title rivals busy strengthening their already vast squads, one would think that Moyes would be keen to do the same, to keep hold of the Premier League Trophy.
It is clear that among the top five sides, United possess the weakest midfield, an area which Moyes is keen to improve, according to reports.
With transfer deadline day looming however, Manchester United can only boast the signing of Uruguay U21 right back Guillermo Varela. Of course, United supporters are becoming increasing frustrated with what seems to be the lack of serious intent to strengthen by Moyes and CEO Ed Woodward.
Where other teams have announced the signings of key players, Manchester United announce the signings of sponsors. Between the end of last season, and the start of this one, Woodward has negotiated the signing of several sponsorships deals, with the intention of widening United’s global outreach. Of course, United fans joke that they expect these new sponsors to perform on the pitch as well.
Despite the lack of activity, United have been linked to several players across Europe, most famously, Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas, and now-Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara.
Moyes spent most of the transfer window attempting to sign Fabregas, a player who showed no interest in leaving Spain or Barcelona. He has since confirmed these reports. Moyes went as far as confirming that United had tabled a bid for Cesc. This of course, from the same man who said that he will not speak publicly about players who are under contract at other clubs.
Alas, the Farbegas deal did not materialise, with Moyes the only one left wondering what went wrong. Before that, was the now infamous chase of Thiago. Widespread reports across Europe claimed that United had agreed a deal to sign the player. How did it end you ask?
Thiago now plays for Bayern Munich, and has claimed that her never spoke to United about a transfer. Interesting indeed.
Failure to land these two players have led Moyes to focus his attention on other targets such as Real Madrid pair Luka Modric and Mesut Ozil, as well as Everton pair Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines.
Modric seems unlikely to leave Real Madrid, with coach Ancelotti saying that he is a key part of his plans. Ozil does not seem to be the type of player which is needed at United, so fans will have to wait to see how this materializes. Baines has made public his interest in the Everton pair, with Everton manager Martinez branding United’s approach as ‘disrespectful’.
A deal for Fellaini seems to be imminent, but Baines is becoming unlikely. Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay has also been linked with United this summer, but he too has denied speaking to the club. It is difficult to imagine how United will keep up with title rivals if they don’t strengthen in key areas before the window closes.
With no players coming in, key players are not expected to leave the cub. Nani seemed the most likely to leave at the start of the window due to a break down in contract negotiations, but this has apparently been smoothed over.
Chelsea’s interest in Wayne Rooney has dominated the headlines, with United holding firm to the stance that Rooney is not for sale. Chelsea have twice bid for the services of the Englishman, both times unsuccessful.
Mourinho is quoted as saying that a Rooney transfer is his main priority this summer. The idea of United selling to a rival has been laughed off my most fans, and with good reason. Chelsea are expected to return with a final bid, which is also expected to be knocked back swiftly.
Manchester United do possess a formidable squad capable of competing with the best, but one would be naïve to believe that the road to the title will be as smooth as it was last term.
Whatever happens between now and transfer deadline is sure to have a serious impact on how United approach this new season. If the results don’t come, Moyes and Edwood would be the obvious scapegoats. David Moyes has one week to make something happen, and Manchester United fans wait eagerly in anticipation.
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