Manchester United Transfers: Predicting David Moyes' Next Summer Signings
Incoming Manchester United manager David Moyes does not officially take charge at Old Trafford until July 1, but the Scotsman has wasted no time in making himself active in the summer transfer window.
On Friday, Uruguayan right-back Guillermo Varela completed his move to the Barclay's Premier League champions and became Moyes' first signing at Old Trafford.
But surely the arrival of the largely-unknown 20-year-old will not be the last signing at the Theatre of Dreams this summer.
United fans have watched on this month as rivals Man City have strengthened ahead of the new campaign with the captures of Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, while new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will also likely open the chequebook again at Stamford Bridge.
The need for United to follow suit and rebuild then is apparent—particularly in this great period of transition following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
It is unknown if Moyes can step into his great shoes, but the procurement of one or two of the following players would certainly help matters.
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With veteran centre-back Rio Ferdinand turning 35 in November, coupled with the fact Nemanja Vidic is prone to lengthy spells on the sidelines through injury, it seems logical for David Moyes to target the heart of United's defence in this summer's transfer window as he begins his Old Trafford dynasty.
One option he has is Benfica's excellent Ezequiel Garay, who Ferguson had identified as a potential long-term replacement for Ferdinand earlier this year.
The Argentinian international helped marshal the Portuguese side to the final of last season's Europa League, where his side fell to Chelsea, while he has also played for Spanish giants Real Madrid, such is his pedigree.
Reports suggest a deal for the South American defender has even been agreed and that his move to Manchester is now down to a mere matter of the completion of formalities, with news that a £17 million move nears.
United were fragile at the back throughout the first half of last season, and Garay's presence could help Moyes shore up what has been at times a leaky back four.
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Veteran French left-back Patrice Evra celebrated his 32nd birthday last month and his seventh season at Old Trafford, and though the former Monaco man has enjoyed a sparkling career at United, there is a feeling that now would be a good time for him to move on.
A loyal servant to the club over the years, there is little questioning, but nor can be doubted the fact he has lost that crucial yard of pace every good wing-back needs.
There were times last season when he would be found wanting and out of position having bombed forward in attack, only for United to then be left short at the back when he failed to track back.
With news surfacing recently that he could be set for a return to Monaco, the need for Moyes to replace the veteran could be hastened—and so too could be Leighton Baines' switch from Merseyside to Manchester.
The 28-year-old is viewed as a more youthful version of Evra and possesses many of the same traits as the Frenchman. Good on the ball and known to provide the occasional assist or two, Baines would be the ideal replacement.
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Another area of the field in need of repair at Old Trafford is midfield.
Paul Scholes has retired for a second (and last) time while Ryan Giggs will likely join his fellow midfield colleague in retirement next summer.
Meanwhile, there are continued concerns over the long-term future of illness-stricken Darren Fletcher while Anderson looks certain to go this summer.
That all leaves one very obvious hole to be filled in the centre of United's midfield, and one individual who could help fill it is PSV Eindhoven star Kevin Strootman.
Moyes will make the central midfielder one of his first summer signings, writes the Daily Star, and in doing so would be addressing perhaps one of United's biggest weaknesses.
The champions have lacked a world-class creative playmaker for years, and previous efforts to sign the likes of Luka Modric and Wesley Sneijder show this is an area Ferguson was keen to build upon.
He failed to land the aforementioned stars, and if Moyes could sign Strootman, he at last would be succeeding where Ferguson failed.
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Alternatively, Moyes could "raid" former club Everton for their midfield star Marouane Fellaini this summer.
The in-demand star has also been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea in the past, and clearly Moyes faces something of a "battle" to land his signature, despite having been on close personal terms with the player throughout his tenure at Goodison Park.
But his capture would improve United's midfield beyond measure and help take some of the burden off PFA Player of the Year nominee Michael Carrick, who was at times overworked last season in United's engine room.
Fellaini is a strong and powerful box-to-box midfielder—the like of which United have badly lacked since the days of Roy Keane—and carries with him a very potent aerial threat, making him the perfect player to have lurking in the penalty area during set pieces.
Though it remains to be seen if Moyes can fend off interest from rival clubs and land his former midfield talisman.
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Toward the end of May, potentially one of the more sensational summer transfer rumours presented itself—Cesc Fabregas to Mancheser United.
The very thought of the former Arsenal captain moving to Old Trafford in the summer was instantly dubbed "ambitious" and is one that will surely put Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger's nose right out of joint.
The 26-year-old is reportedly unhappy with life at Barcelona, and with the Catalans plotting something of a summer clear-out following their demoralising Champions League exit to Bayern Munich, the silky Spaniard could find himself among those to make way for new signings at the Nou Camp.
That all seems to pave the way for a remarkable return to the Premier League, one though that is confused by the fact Arsenal have first refusal should Barca indeed decide to sell the player.
That could yet prove to be a tricky hurdle for Moyes to negotiate should he pursue the midfielder, and it remains to be seen if Fabregas' touted move to Manchester, like all the others presented here, is realistic or should instead be chalked down as yet another transfer window fable.