Manchester United: Would Victor Wanyama Be the Perfect Summer Signing?
The burly Kenyan scotched such rumours almost immediately, though, telling the Daily Record (h/t Daily Mail):
I can confirm to you that I will be at Celtic.
A lot has been said about my intended move but I have not given it much thought and even my manager feels I should play until the end of the season for Celtic. Then, from that point, the doors can be open for a move.
This article will weigh up whether or not United should revitalise their interest come the summer.
Is There a Need?
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Whatever happens this season—should United win it all or fall at the final hurdle—the club's focus should primarily be on reinforcing in central midfield.
Too often this term the Red Devils have been overrun in the middle of the park—sometimes by teams they would have steamrolled over in the past.
The defence has borne the primary blame for the ton of goals shipped so far—31 in 25 games, 10 more than rivals Manchester City—but the midfield has to accept an equal responsibility for this poor record.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has rotated personnel in this area of the pitch around mainstay Michael Carrick, cycling the likes of Tom Cleverley, Anderson and Paul Scholes in and out of the first team.
All are quality players, and the former two will continue to improve, but none strike genuine fear into opposition hearts.
Would He Fit?
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In many ways, Wanyama perfectly fits the bill in terms of what's missing from this current squad.
He possesses phenomenal strength and defensive awareness on the back foot, while being a driving force going forward.
His strike rate this term has been terrific and the second most for Celtic—six goals in 23 appearances in the Scottish Premier League.
The Kenyan would add an imposing physicality to the Red Devils lineup, providing a much needed barrier in front of the back line.
Either Michael Carrick or Tom Cleverley would be the ideal partner, though it would be difficult to envision him alongside Anderson in a two-man central midfield.
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As he has hinted by the man himself, it seems Wanyama would be open to a summer move.
While Celtic would certainly wish to hold on to him, if Manchester United were to offer a fair amount and the player himself expressed a desire to move, it would be difficult to prevent a transfer taking place.
A report in The Sun last month claimed that Sir Alex was preparing an initial £10 million bid in January, though naturally such a tabloid report must be taken with a grain of salt.
If the Scotsman wanted to get his man, an offer between £15-20 million would probably have to be made to tempt Celtic into selling.
After all, once the Red Devils express an interest in a player, his valuation usually rises as a result.
Are There Better Options?
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There have been several names, not just Wanyama's, thrown around by both fans and the media alike in regards to potential summer signings for United.
PSV's Kevin Strootman certainly fits the bill and is an excellent prospect, plus his agent has previously revealed that there is truth in the reports of the Red Devils' interest.
In an interview with talkSPORT, Chiel Dekker claimed: “all the top clubs in Europe know about Kevin, but a move to England next summer is his first priority and, yes, Manchester United and other big clubs in Europe have been in touch with me” (h/t Goal.com).
But their respective German clubs may be a tad more stubborn than either Celtic or PSV in sanctioning a move.
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Opinion seems to be split over which of Victor Wanyama and Kevin Strootman fans would most like to see one day line up in Manchester red.
Both are steely, technically adept, box-to-box midfielders who would no doubt excel in the high-pressure environment of Old Trafford.
They would add a true grit to the middle of the park that has been lacking at times this season.
But when push comes to shove, Sir Alex and perhaps a few club officials will be the only men who truly know what the club's transfer activity is likely to be this summer.
All we can do is hope the right players arrive for the right price.
What do you think of Victor Wanyama as a potential summer signing?