For Manchester United, the summer transfer period is simple: Do whatever it takes to replenish the squad and stay ahead of teams like Manchester City and Chelsea in defense of this year's league title.
And seeing as those teams are going to be in the market for elite players like Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao and Robert Lewandowski, United will have to make a splash of their own to keep pace with the league's big spenders.
So it should come as no surprise that Sir Alex Ferguson hasn't eliminated the possibility of adding a big name this summer to bolster the squad, even if the cost is great, as he told Simon Mullock of the Mirror:
Everything is in place for a big signing. I think that the Glazers have been great. Whenever I have asked, they have delivered. If I ask to go for a certain player, I think they will do that.
When I spoke about value in the market a while back, I was talking about young, developing players. Maybe there has been a wind of change and I could go for a really top player now.
We have a nucleus of young players here, but we may spend something. When it's a top player, it doesn't matter what position they play in. I will bring them in if they add to the team. Last season we had [Javier] Hernandez, [Danny] Welbeck and [Wayne] Rooney and we still went out and bought Robin van Persie.
Per the Mirror, Ferguson will be in the market for a centre-back, a midfielder and a left-back, but the team has also been monitoring Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric, Tottenham's Gareth Bale and Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski.
The first three needs are logical enough. Patrice Evra isn't getting any younger and Anderson has never reached his full potential.
And if Nani departs as expected, it would make a lot of sense for United to add a player like Ronaldo or Bale on the wing. Sure, players like Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck have proven they can play out wide in spurts this year, and I'm pretty sure Ryan Giggs is some sort of non-aging alien lifeform.
However, none of these players are long-term answers at winger.
The arrival of Wilfried Zaha may naturally remedy any needs on the wing, but he'll need to prove he has the class to consistently break the starting lineup.
Besides, Manchester City and Chelsea are sure to be busy over the summer trying to improve the squad and gun for a title. Heck, Arsene Wenger might even break the bank for Arsenal. This would be a rarity in the Gunners' trophy-less era when top talents have been leaving the club, not joining it.
In other words, United can't rest on their laurels. They are going to have to make another Robin van Persie-esque splash.
And why not?
It excites the fanbase; it lets the players know they'll have to raise their game to crack United's starting squad; and it shows the rest of the league that the Red Devils won't be giving up the title without a fight.
The fact that Ferguson has already raised the possibility of a major signing means he's greasing the wheels of the Glazers, if you ask me. He's basically saying to the ownership, "Hey, if we want to repeat as champions, we're going to need to spend some money."
Plus, the fans love to hear it. There's a reason this man is the best at what he does, folks.
I think there will be a lot of really big names moving this summer, and I expect United to be at the center of that movement. If they aren't, don't be surprised if we're talking about another team earning the Premier League title next season.
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