Manchester United Transfer Rumors: Latest News and Notes for Red Devils
After losing the Premier League title to rival Manchester City on the last day of the season, Manchester United is set to play the transfer market this summer and come up with some big names to add to the roster.
Hazard, Kagawa, Lewandowski in?
Eden Hazard headlines the group of possibly inbound players, but the two-time Ligue 1 Player of the Year for Lille could be headed for the other side of Manchester.
United already has Nani and Antonio Valencia playing Hazard’s wing positions, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson could be thinking of moving him into the middle, a precedent he set by doing the same with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowski are both Borussia Dortmund players for now, but Kagawa’s deal is basically done. At the very least, he won’t be renewing his contract with Dortmund—which still has a year remaining—and since he flew to Manchester on Monday to meet with United officials, it looks like the Japanese midfielder will be wearing red next season.
His teammate at Dortmund, Lewandowski, is also refusing to sign a new contract in Germany. With Dimitar Berbatov’s future with United in limbo, the Red Devils need more attacking options.
However, Ferguson insists that Berbatov will be in a United shirt next year “unless someone makes an offer we want.” He didn’t elaborate on what kind of offer that would be.
Lewandowski has two seasons remaining on his contract at Dortmund, and although Managing Director Hand-Joachim Watzke conceded that Kagawa will leave, he was adamant that neither Lewandowski nor any other player would be sold:
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We expect Kagawa to go, but no amount of money will persuade us to sell the others.
Ferguson saw both players play Saturday, as Borussia Dortmund dismantled Champions League finalist Bayern Munich 5-2 in the DFB-Pokal final. Ferguson went primarily to watch Kagawa, but Lewandowski also caught his eye.
Berbatov, Pogba, Fabio, Keane out?
Despite Ferguson’s assurances to the contrary, there is no shortage of rumors linking Berbatov with a move out of Manchester. Lazio is one club that has targeted the Bulgarian, with its president reportedly meeting with Berbatov’s agent to get a deal started.
Midfielder Paul Pogba is also set to leave the Red Devils, a deal with Juventus set to be signed July 1. Ferguson couldn’t persuade Pogba to stay despite public assurances of a first-team future. The deal isn’t done yet, but Pogba’s agent is calling the move “likely,” despite Sir Alex’s best efforts to keep a player who has been called United’s best prospect for the future.
Others linked with moves away from Old Trafford are just for loan deals.
Fabio will be going somewhere to get some first-team experience, with Benfica looking like the likely option. Reserve-team striker Will Keane, who made his first-team debut in December, could be headed to Middlesbrough for next season.
Big clubs have a habit of opening their wallets after disappointing season endings. Anything less than a championship is seen as a failure, and the way to achieving that goal the next season is supposedly by bringing in new, more expensive players.
Ironically, it’s that kind of behavior that Ferguson said won City the title this season:
We know that City are going to spend fortunes on players and pay silly salaries. We can’t do anything about that. We’ll look at what we can do in terms of attracting players for the right reasons. Obviously, we’ll benefit them financially too, we’re not missing that aspect of it. But we do what we do well and we’re going to stay that way.
Chief Executive David Gill has told Ferguson that money will be available to spend this summer. He won’t fork over as much cash as the Abu Dhabi Group will give City, but money will be available.
What remains to be seen is whom Ferguson can convince to join the Red Devils.
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