Manchester United made their first signing in the David Moyes era on Tuesday, inking Guillermo Varela to a five-year contract after agreeing with Penarol the week before the move became official.
Dion Dassanayake of the Express helped report that the Uruguayan youngster was confirmed as the first move to Old Trafford since Sir Alex Ferguson opted for retirement rather than returning to help the Red Devils maintain their level of excellence domestically and in Europe.
With rumours about player exits (Wayne Rooney, Nani) taking up just as much space as rumours about possible player additions, it's been a hectic first offseason for Moyes as he tries to keep the club current in the Premier League and abroad.
United have some of the deepest pockets in the English league, and that leaves management as a potential link to some of the biggest stars in the world when it comes to looking at options to upgrade the roster moving forward.
According to Paul Clennam of goal.com, Moyes was set to lay out his transfer plan to management over the next few days, meaning that things are likely to start picking up for the English side as we get to the meat of the transfer window over the next few weeks.
Two players that plan should not include are Cesc Fabregas and Karim Benzema, two La Liga stars who play for Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively, and both of whom squashed interest in a move to Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Former Arsenal star Fabregas has spent the last two seasons with his current Spanish side, playing alongside Lionel Messi in a team that totaled 100 points in La Liga play this season. Although he didn't exactly have a stellar season for Barca, Fabregas is a noted contributor capable of carrying the attack when he needs to.
With 34 goals over those two seasons in all competitions, Fabregas might not have the numbers to compare to Messi's impressive feats, but he's a stellar option at midfield and is only 26 years old despite several seasons of high-level club experience in the EPL and La Liga.
It's no wonder the English sides interested in his services (United and former club Arsenal) are keen to pry him from the clutches of the best Spanish side in the world right now.
There is only one problem—Fabregas doesn't seem keen on a move away from Barca.
According to Sam Lee of Goal.com, Fabregas spoke to Onda Cero about his long-term future with his current side, and there's nothing but good graces and positive vibes to be passed around about what a lineup with Messi and Neymar might look like next season.
The only negative? The speculation he's been a part of when it comes to a United move:
It's fascinating how some people can invent these things, I've never opened my mouth about this...The truth is that if I didn't feel that I was wanted it would be different, but I haven't been told anything. I'm very happy, the truth is that I want to triumph with Barcelona. I'm living a dream, it was my dream since I was a child and I would like to fulfil that by working hard.
Sounding like a confident player ready to tackle a new challenge next season, Fabregas doesn't seem interested in a move back to a Champions League competitor, given that he's going to get that with Barca next year anyway.
Another United target is Benzema, another player who has a strong scoring presence with his club but has fallen victim to both the public eye and the possibility that there will be fewer balls to go around at Madrid next year.
With two EPL stars (Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez) reportedly in Real Madrid's sights during this transfer window, according to The Independent, the Madrid lineup might not have enough options to go around when you include Cristiano Ronaldo.
It might not matter—Benzema is keen on staying.
Speaking to Marca (as noted by Peter Sharland of Goal.com via Yahoo Sports), Benzema, too, is more interested in getting better and improving upon his 11 goals in 30 La Liga contests during the 2012-13 season than he is in a move to the English side.
Saying that he's "not worried at all" about competition at his position when the new season opens up later this year, Benzema is confident that his ability to score goals and create chances for others (58 goals, 38 assists in all competitions the last two seasons) will be appreciated with his current side.
It's time that United moved elsewhere for help.
Although there's little doubt both would help United in their own way next year, there's also little doubt coaxing the two stars out of their current "Robin" (as in, Batman and Robin) roles wouldn't be a smart move if money was the only motivation.
United can offer the same things that both Barca and Madrid can—perennial contender status in the league, a spot in the Champions League and prestige that comes with that kind of opportunity in club play.
Moyes would do well to tend his search elsewhere—things could always change should either La Liga club load up with talent in the transfer window and these two guys lose favor.
But the last thing the Red Devils want is to be stuck with a lower-tier crop of talent in the transfer window and be forced to overpay to fill out the roster. With problems at Old Trafford already to tend to and other players out there for the taking, United should adjust their transfer plan given the news of Tuesday's interviews with these two La Liga stars.