Manchester United Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of February 10
With the 2013-14 campaign still not producing the kind of fruit we've grown used to seeing at Old Trafford, the hunt is on for squad improvements this summer.
It may be months away, but the wheels of speculation never cease turning, and Manchester United boast just as many transfer links as ever.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the focus for David Moyes' side right now revolves mostly around targets that the Red Devils are alleged to be missing out on, but stayed tuned for updates throughout the week to see how that pattern changes.
Red Devils Chasing Up Croatian Wonderkid
Manchester United are among three Premier League teams competing to land the signature of Croatian youth wonder Robert Muric, who is out of contract at the end of this season.
Wright quotes Godenzonen technical director Marc Overmars as saying:
"Muric is wanted by many clubs - everybody wants him. He really is a great talent and will be a free agent in the summer. But he is not yet ours."
Martin Caceres Drawing Attention as Nemanja Vidic Replacement
Thursday, Feb. 13
With Nemanja Vidic on the outbound list once his contract expires in the summer, Manchester United's search for a successor is alleged to have taken them to Turin.
An excerpt from the report reads:
"The versatile Cáceres has come into his thinking as the Uruguay international can play across the back four and that appeals to the Scot."
Caceres may not quite be that superstar name that United could require in their back line, but the South American has been jostling with stiff competition at the Old Lady, and could get a new lease of life in fresh surroundings.
Manchester City Set to Pip United to Fernando Free Transfer
Update: Thursday, Feb. 13
Fernando's agent Antonio Araujo has revealed that it will be a Premier League club that his client joins this summer, leaving out the specifics as to whom.
The Daily Star's Colin Harvey quotes Araujo as saying:
God willing, Fernando will play in the Premier League. Manchester City were a strong candidate, but were not alone in the race. He had a good contract from Monaco, but Porto found out that proposal was inconsistent with his claims.
Given how candid the midfielder's representative is being of late, Fernando would appear to be keen on an Estadio Dragao departure in the summer, with the only complication left to work out being where his next destination will be.
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Monday, Feb. 10
Reports are suggesting that Manuel Pellegrini has won the race to bring Porto anchor Fernando to the Etihad Stadium this summer.
United's local rivals are expected seal the deal, with Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star suggesting the Brazilian will arrive as a free transfer, too.
An excerpt from the report reads:
And while Fernando, 26, has a complicated contract and ownership agreement, City have been told he will be a free agent in the summer.
Porto have been trying to persuade the defensive midﬁelder to sign a new £50k-a-week deal with them but he has refused to do so.
It could be a blow for United. The midfielder is of the tough-tackling mould that the Premier League champions desire.
Paul Pogba Ready to Rule out Red Devils Return
Tuesday, Feb. 11
Any hopes of Paul Pogba returning to Old Trafford are set to be dashed after it emerged that the Frenchman has a new deal in the works with Juventus.
According to The Mirror's Ed Malyon, super-agent Mino Raiola is jetting into Turin in order to thrash out a new four-year contract for his client.
And the France international - who left United in 2012 - is expected to TREBLE his €1million-a-year wage at Juve as the club chases it’s third consecutive Scudetto.
David Moyes and Chief Scout Jim Lawlor have both recently been to watch the Old Lady with a view to signing midfield pair Pogba and Arturo Vidal this summer.
There's no doubt that a box-to-box force rests among David Moyes' biggest requirements this summer, but Pogba doesn't look like he'll be on any sort of realistic radar for much longer.
United Target Alen Halilovic Subject to Barcelona Bid
Monday, Feb. 10
Dinamo Zagreb vice-president Zdravko Mamic has revealed that the club have turned down an offer from Barcelona for the services of prodigal playmaker Alen Halilovic.
Speaking to Sportski (h/t Sky Sports), the club official said:
We have received an offer from Barcelona for Halilovic, but it was not accepted because we, the player and his family were not entirely satisfied with the terms.
The story does not stop there. Barcelona still want the transfer to happen so we will see how everything will continue. We would like to see Halilovic at our club for at least three years.
Manchester United have been linked with the Croatian youngster for a number of years now, but it appears Halilovic is entering that part of his development where the interest of Europe's giants is set to become slightly more tangible.