Big Decisions for David Moyes Before the Premier League Season Starts
David Moyes' reign at Manchester United has gotten off to a difficult start.
The Scottish manager has failed to land a top target in the transfer window, while overseeing some rather indifferent displays in the club's preseason tour.
With the start of the Premier League season only two weeks away, Moyes still has plenty of issues lingering on his plate.
Here are the five biggest decisions he must make before August 17.
The Future of Wayne Rooney
There have been so many conflicting transfer reports regarding the Wayne Rooney situation that it has become impossible to separate fact from fiction.
The latest in a line of convoluted stories creating unease around Old Trafford would have you believe that the forward's fate actually lies in the hands of fans of the Red Devils.
Per ESPN, "Wayne Rooney will reportedly decide his future at Manchester United based on what kind of reception he receives in the next two matches he features in."
The story rather casually overlooks the fact that, in any eventual scenario, it will be United who will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to sell Rooney.
David Moyes will not want this cloud lingering over the club's head come the start of the season.
Finding a Midfield Partner for Michael Carrick
There were too many occasions last season when the Red Devils were overrun in the middle of the park.
This was not the fault of the typically consistent Michael Carrick, but rather the England midfielder's lack of a domineering partner.
United are in need of a versatile box-to-box player to roam where the more static Carrick cannot. Tom Cleverley remains a fine prospect, but he is not yet reliable enough on the biggest stage.
Moyes may look to dip into the transfer market to resolve this issue. His former soldier Marouane Fellaini is a possible option.
Or he may stick with what he has got and try to push the likes of Cleverley, Anderson and Darren Fletcher to the front of the queue.
Who to Loan Out?
Undoubtedly, the biggest positive from Manchester United's preseason tour of Australia and the Far East was the emergence of several prodigious youngsters.
Adnan Januzaj, Jesse Lingard and Wilfried Zaha shrugged off their standing as the most inexperienced players on tour to play some of the best football.
With several regular first team names left at home through injury, the trio took the opportunity to stake a place in the team next season.
However, as terrific as it would be to see the likes of Lingard and Januzaj playing regularly next term, it is difficult to see Moyes placing so much trust in them so early in their careers.
The Scotsman will soon have to decide which youth team players need to go out on loan in search of regular first team football.
Finding a Creative Midfielder
Manchester United's summer-long pursuit of Barcelona attacking midfielder Cesc Fabregas seems set to end in failure.
Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino recently told reporters: "If it depends on me, he'll stay, and I believe he will, so I haven't thought about who I'd sign to replace him yet" (via Yahoo).
If not Cesc then, who?
It is clear David Moyes feels the Red Devils are in need of another creative midfielder to play behind Robin van Persie next term. Never mind that Shinji Kagawa was born to play the trequartista role at Old Trafford.
The Futures of Nani and Anderson
If there are two Manchester United players currently on the periphery at Old Trafford, they are Nani and Anderson.
Inconsistent form has rendered both expendable. It is a shame in the case of the former, but the Portuguese winger has not gone without opportunities during his time at the club.
Per a report in the Daily Mail last week:
United have offered under-performing winger Nani to Monaco, according to the French club’s sporting director.
Nani, 26, has been an inconsistent figure at United since being signed by Sir Alex Ferguson six years ago, and still veers between the infuriating and the majestic all too often.
If David Moyes has plans to sell both, it would be business better done before the season kicks off.