Being one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world, Manchester United is usually very active in the summer transfer window. With several holes in this current Manchester United squad and their need to make improvements to improve in the Champions League, this summer is going to be no exception.
World class players are expected to arrive at the Theatre of Dreams, while fringe players are expected to be sold. I’ve gone ahead rated the latest transfer rumors associated with Manchester United over the past week. Ratings are not based on the possibility of the transfer, but on how the transfer could affect the reigning champions.
1. Clint Dempsey
Premier League American import Clint Dempsey has been in thunderous form for Fulham this season. The 29 year old has scored 22 times this season in all competitions and only two other Premier League players have scored more than him — Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Arsenal captain Robin van Persie. Even more impressive, most of the goals have come from the midfield and for a mid-table club.
According to several media reports in England, Manchester United is eyeing the impressive midfielder for a summer swoop.
‘’Fulham face a fight to hold on to goal ace Clint Dempsey, a £10m target for Arsenal and Tottenham. Manchester United, who already have a couple of popular Americans in the boardroom, are also interested.’’
Dempsey is an excellent player and a prolific goal-scorer for Fulham. However, there are questions if he’ll be able to make that step up to the highest level and establish himself as a first team player at Manchester United. In addition, Dempsey’s age, which is 29, will contradict Alex Ferguson’s youth policy.
2. Nemanja Vidic
According to The Daily Mirror, Serie A giants Juventus are planning an audacious bid for Nemanja Vidic, who is currently injured and will return to fitness team action the next term.
Via The Daily Mirror:
“Italian giants Juventus are preparing for their return to Champions League football and are eyeing a double summer swoop for Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic, 30, and Chelsea’s Fernando Torres, 28.”
Vidic’s departure could be a huge disaster for the Red Devils. United’s defence has often struggled without the Serb this season and the fans are eagerly waiting for his return.
When fit, Vidic is one of the best defenders in the world and arguably the first name on Alex Ferguson’s team sheet. In addition, his purpose on the pitch extends beyond his defensive abilities; he’s a charismatic leader and an excellent mentor for youngsters.
3. Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s impressive performances for Sporting CP this season have made him a hot property in the transfer market. Tottenham Hotspurs, Liverpool and Manchester United are all, apparently, keeping a close eye on the 23-year-old Dutch striker.
Via Inside Futbol:
‘’Tottenham are the latest club to be linked with Sporting Lisbon striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel. The 23-year-old, who is believed to have a buy-out clause of £18m, has already caught the eye of Manchester United and Liverpool.’’
Wolfswinkel has the talent and potential to be a world-class striker. However, 19 goals in 40 appearances in a relatively easier league than the Premier League doesn’t make him worth £18 million. Also, Manchester United doesn’t really need to invest in a new striker as Rooney, Welbeck, Hernandez and Macheda will provide the team with sufficient attacking impetus and depth the next term.
4. Jack Butland
England U-21 goalkeeper is a shocking name to have been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer.
Via The Daily Mirror:
“Sir Alex Ferguson has reportedly targeted Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland as he looks for back-up to No 1 stopper David de Gea.
The 19-year-old is currently on loan at League Two side Cheltenham but has been watched regularly by Arsenal this season.’’
Butland is an exciting young prospect and has all the attributes to be a success in the Premier League. However, with De Gea, Lindegaard and youngster Ben Amos already in the books, Butland could be deemed as a surplus requirement at Old Trafford. His minutes on the pitch would be significantly limited in what he could receive at Birmingham and his career could end up like that of Tomasz Kuszczak, who has never able to earn enough confidence from Alex Ferguson to become the first choice goalie despite being at the club since 2006 and currently on loan to Championship club Watford.
6. Eden Hazard
Highly rated Lille winger Eden Hazard is reportedly the Red Devil’s number one target for the summer transfer window. According to the Metro, United manager, Alex Ferguson, himself made a personal trip to France to watch the 22 year old in action last month and the team’s coach Rene Meulensteen confirmed the gaffer’s visit and the club’s interest in signing the wing wizard.
‘’Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen has confirmed the club are hot on the trail of Lille winger Eden Hazard, who he admits is an ‘interesting player.’’’
Hazard is a high quality option for Manchester United and can fit into their system perfectly. He’s a lethal dribbler of the ball, possesses a devastating pace and is highly adaptable, having played both as a winger and as a second striker for Rudi Garcia’s team this season. Manchester United have often been criticized for lack of creativity and action in the midfield. If Eden Hazard is bought in the summer window, the mercurial Belgium can be sure to address these problem avenues for the club.