Manchester United Transfer News: Failed Midfield Bids Make Winter Moves a Must
Following several months of desperately slow business, this summer’s deadline-day drama saw Manchester United tie up a big-money deal for Marouane Fellaini, as confirmed by the club’s official website.
However, in the hours following the transfer, it has gradually become more evident just how many midfielders David Moyes made an attempt at signing during the final days.
On top of failed bids for Thiago Alcantara and Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas earlier in the summer period, the Scotsman reportedly saw pursuits of Wesley Sneijder, Sami Khedira and Ander Herrera come to nothing also.
According to the Daily Mail’s Adam Crafton, there still exists some controversy around the three figures who turned up at Athletic Bilbao during negotiations for Herrera on deadline day, now alleged to be solicitors from a law firm called Laffer Abogados.
However, what is apparent is that a deal between Manchester United and the Lions’ central star may still happen in the future, a transfer Herrera is open to, per the Daily Mail's Simon Jones.
Speaking ahead of Germany's World Cup qualifiers this week, Khedira said:
The club turned down the offer and that was it. We didn’t really have the chance to discuss it.
I had a longer chat with Carlo Ancelotti a few weeks ago and it was relatively clear to me that I’d stay at Real. We (players) don't have any influence in the high transfer fees. Real refused the offer of Manchester United and I'm happy with that.
While Fellaini is undoubtedly a fine signing for the club, it’s clear the Belgian wasn’t exactly priority No. 1 on the Red Devils’ shopping list this summer, perhaps looked at as something of a backup, given Moyes’ relationship with the player.
For years now, it’s the centre of midfield that has looked like United’s problem area, summed up by the fact even Wayne Rooney has had to drop back and prove one of their more impressive options in the position.
What’s more, Sir Alex Ferguson’s yanking of Paul Scholes out of retirement last year is also testament to the issues the team has had in that area of the pitch.
Fellaini’s arrival adds much-needed steel to the side’s core, but looking at the sheer mass of faces allegedly linked with the Red Devils so late in the window, one can bet another face will arrive in January.
Squawka shows just how big (literally) a presence the Belgian adds to United's squad:
Marouane Fellaini won 151 headers last season, more than the 11 midfield players that featured in Manchester United’s whole squad (93).— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 3, 2013
With four more months of scouting and the opportunity to get to grips with the squad currently at his disposal, Moyes will have a much better idea of whom to go after.
It’s for the best, too, as there is simply not enough central-midfield competition for a club that should actually have five or six players competing for a place at the heart of United.
Out of Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher, Fellaini, Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick, only the latter three are genuine options for an entire Manchester United campaign and actually look up to the standard in a long, arduous campaign.
If a club of their pedigree are to once again reclaim their tag as Europe’s biggest, it’s vital that the winter period brings at least one more talented name to that crop of Moyes' midfield options.
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