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Talk is cheap – summer transfers

This silence appears constant but for a faint rattling of a newspaper as every man becomes an agent or football manager vying for his team to sign one of football’s megastars.

The last few years have seen a departure from every man and his dog being linked with United – it’s a much more readable story to put ridiculous figures on average players and link them with City. However, this year seems different. Barely a day goes by where a different name is not linked with the 19 time English Champions. The purpose of this article is to collate some of the popular rumours with the respective chance of success and pass opinion on whether this signing would be good. I hope to involve readers in this debate and hear who YOU would love to see in the new Red shirt next season – which, in my opinion, looks pretty good.

Right, so everyone knows we need a goalkeeper to replace the outgoing legend that is Edwin Van Der Sar. There have been a number of names thrown forward for the unenviable task of filling Edwin’s gloves.

I’ll start with David De Gea, Athletico Madrid’s 20 year old wonder kid. All indications point to him being one of the next big things in between the sticks, and it appears (or so it did on Tuesday night), he is all but a United player. However, it has since been revealed on Sky Sports, no such deal is in place. This is somewhat confusing and possibly worrying. All-in-all, De Gea seems like a ‘keeper who has it all speed, agility, presence – at a reported £17m, it would seem as though it would be money well spent.

Chance of signing – 8/10
Chance of success – 10/10

In the event that De Gea does not come forth, there have been others mooted:

Schalke and Germany no.1 Manuel Neuer who’s talent we saw firsthand, particularly in the first leg this year. It seems he is ready to join Bayern Munich, however, the 25 year old’s move is constantly “confirmed” then “doubted” so I would err on the side of caution in saying this is completed. Could Sir Alex upset any deal and bring the German to Old Trafford?

Chance of signing – 3/10
Chance of success – 9/10

Rui Patricio: Sporting Lisbon and Portugal’s 23 year old. This goalkeeper seems to be in demand but United’s unique relationship with Sporting should see them have first option. Patricio has also been highly recommended by Carlos Quieroz. I like what Carlos did at United but with his last two recommendations being Manucho and Bebe, I’d be a little reluctant to splash the cash on Rui Patricio.

Chance of signing – 5/10
Chance of success – 5/10

Maarten Stekelenburg: 28 years old – Ajax and Holland no.1 – standing at 6’6” and replacing Edwin in the Dutch national team, the transition to United would seem almost natural. Stekelenburg is more experienced than the others and would arguably come cheaper. From what I’ve seen, he looks a good player but would we want someone who dropped the Dutch Championship trophy?

Chance of signing 6/10
Chance of success – 7/10

Outside of goal, there are so many names being linked with United it is very difficult to keep track. There are some which keep reoccurring. Especially with Paul Scholes’ future unclear, Giggs’ time limited and the releasing of Owen Hargreaves – it seems United would be in the market for 2 midfielders this summer.

Let’s start with Wesley Sneijder: I don’t think it would be too crazy to say he’s the one that most people want. Instrumental in Inter’s treble win last year and Holland’s progression to the World Cup final, he is both experienced and some element of youth at just 26. Wesley’s ability to both pass and run with the ball would make him an almost automatic successor to Scholesy but with a price-tag exceeding £30-35m – would he be a worthy investment?

Chance of signing – 6/10
Chance of success – 9/10

Ashley Young is often linked with a move to United with Liverpool also reportedly interested. On the plus side, he is young and proven in the Premier League but with no European experience Fergie may think twice. The fee Aston Villa would want is also a potential stumbling block, reportedly ranging from £10m to £25m depending on whether he has a good game for England. In my opinion a fee in the region of £10-15m would be sufficient to go for Young who would surely do well in the Premier League.

Chance of signing – 8/10
Chance of succes – 8/10

Alexis Sanchez: Udinese and Chile’s almost carbon-copy of Cristiano Ronaldo. In that case, I needn’t say much more. He looks a talent and showed it at the World Cup last year. A potential problem is that City are interested. With the financial power to easily pay Sanchez’s £25m price tag and offer ridiculous wages, there is a high possibility United could be usurped. With interest from all round Europe, Udinese may be tempted to increase his value in which case I could see Sir Alex being deterred from signing a player only proven in Italy.

Chance of signing – 5/10
Chance of success – 7/10

Jack Rodwell: This has been mooted ever since he arrived on the scene a couple of years ago. The Everton midfielder has all the hallmarks of a star in the making and has a goal against United to his name. With a good passing range and a strong physique – reminiscent of a more talented Tom Huddlestone – Rodwell appears to fit the mould for the centre of United’s midfield. However, Jack is not one to throw his weight around which may prove a hindrance as we have a similar player in Carrick. Furthermore, the fee Everton want is expected to exceed £20m and at that price Sir Alex may be tempted to opt for a more combative midfielder such as Standard Liege’s Steven Defour who seems to be, basically, another Owen Hargreaves and available for around £7m.

Chance of signing – 7/10
Chance of success – 8/10

Finally, Douglas Costa: Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian attacking midfielder who had an excellent campaign in the Champions League last season. He has allegedly been spotted at Old Trafford for the Bolton game a few months back and has been said to be very interested in a move to United. Reports indicate a bid in the region of £13.5m would tempt Shakhtar, which, in this day and age, is a bit of a bargain. However, South American players don’t always take to the Premier League so I wouldn’t be surprised if Douglas Costa was not a United player next season.

Chance of signing – 5/10
Chance of success – 5/10

Other names often linked with United include – Jose Enrique – £6m (Newcastle United), Jordan Henderson – £15m (Sunderland), Eden Hazard – £20m (Lille), Sergio Aguero – £40m (Athletico Madrid), Javier Pastore – £34m (Palermo), Enzo Zidane – Undisc.

So then, amidst the quiet of the local pub, the talk of transfers is loud and clear. What is for sure is that SkySports paper talk is going to be full of people, pretending they’ve seen certain footballers at certain airports wearing certain colours asking the way to certain grounds.

Personally, I would like to see United sign De Gea, Sneijder, Young and a cut-price of less than £10m, Standard’s Steven Defour.

Please feel free to join the debate and add who you’d like to see playing for United in our bid to win our 20th league title.

Written by Paul Mills.

More Stories Ajax Alexis Sanchez Ashley Young Aston Villa Athletico Madrid Bayern Munich Bebe Chile City Cristiano Ronaldo David De Gea Douglas Costa Edwin van der Sar Europe Everton Fergie football goalkeeper Jack Rodwell Maarten Stekelenburg Manchester United Manucho Manuel Neuer Michael Carrick Newspapers Old Trafford Owen Hargreaves Paul Scholes Portugal Premier League Real Madrid Rui Patricio Ryan Giggs Schalke Sir Alex Ferguson Sky Sports Sporting Lisbon Steven Defour Tom Huddlestone Udinese United Wesley Sneijder