The Biggest Storylines from Man United's Preseason Tour

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentAugust 6, 2013

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 19:  Manchester United manager David Moyes speaks to the media during a Manchester United press conference at Museum of Contemporary Art on July 19, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Matt King/Getty Images

Manchester United's summer tour has been dominated by one man who wasn't there and one they hoped might have been.

Games in Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong have almost been an irrelevance next to transfer stories involving Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fàbregas.

For the record, United have played five preseason games so far, winning two, losing two and drawing one.

We learnt that Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard, aged only 18 and 20 respectively, are very good players, if not quite ready to be considered full members of the first-team squad.

We have learnt that the money spent on Wilfried Zaha in January looks to be a safe investment. So much so, in fact, that stories about the 20-year-old spending more time out on loan next season have subsided.

We also have learnt that David Moyes has inherited a very good squad – a squad of champions no less - one that needs at least one seasoned central midfielder added to it.

Moyes is facing the most testing season of his career, one where every word, every action and even every facial expression will be analysed and debated.

United and Everton were separated by five places and 26 points in the Premier League last season. But the 50-year-old Scot is steadily finding out that the step up is much greater than that.

The hoards of fans waiting at whichever airport they land is a visual reminder to Moyes of just how big a club United is.

But it is the protracted transfer sagas involving Rooney and Fàbregas which will have prepared him best for the season ahead.

After the niceties have been observed at press conferences with questions about the last game or the next opposition, the attention immediately turns to Rooney and Fàbregas. And it's easy to see why.

These players aren't just at the centre of the latest soap opera. You could argue that United's season hinges on how the two situations are resolved.

Would United look like title challengers if Rooney goes to Chelsea and Fàbregas stays where he is?

Would they be immediately installed as favourites, ahead of Chelsea and City, if Rooney was convinced to stay and Fàbregas to join him?

With 27 days of the summer transfer window still to go, there is time yet for more twist and turns, "come and get me" pleas and denials.

A month into his new job, Moyes has had a taste of the pressure of managing United. But there's a feeling that the first defining moment of his early Old Trafford career is still to come.