We’re all sat waiting in anticipation to see how United are going to start the promised rebuilding for next season. It’s a bit like “Who shot JR?” – plenty of suspects, but a long and drawn out conclusion which may come down to a dash to the fax machine at 11.58pm on the final day of the window.
Rumours abound, with United linked to the likes of Lloris, Carlos Bacca and, of course, Sergio Ramos with an outrageous reported bid of £42.5m and a salary close to Falcao’s last season. A Vidic? No. A Ferdinand? Nope. A Pallister or Bruce? Certainly not. A thug, cheat and mercenary? Absolutely. Even so, can you see him lining up with Smalling, Jones or Evans?! It all looks like a lot of game playing, with United reluctant to let De Gea go without a fight, and Ramos looking for leverage in his contract talks. Rio himself reckons Ramos isn’t really keen on a move to Man Utd at all.
Meanwhile Liverpool seem to be snatching our prospective signings from right in front of us, having just signed Firmino and now bid for Clyne! We could have signed both for virtually the same price as Ramos! I’m not worried about Liverpool though. They made so many signings last season yet still ended up sixth, which to me shows an inept manager rather than poor acquisitions. To me, Woodward and Van Gaal’s silence is deafening. The only reason we bought Depay so early is because, once again, Liverpool were on the verge of usurping us.
Names such as Otamendi, Griezmann, Hummels, Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger still permeate the rumour mill, but as yet, we have not seen or heard anything with just days before the stampede begins. With teams like Real, Barcelona, Bayern and Juventus also circling, I have little faith in Woodward’s ability to swim in these shark-infested waters.
I realize that City and Chelsea have not yet dipped into the market as such, daft bids for Sterling and Falcao aside, but Arsenal’s purchase of Čech is a smart move, and how did we miss a player like Sanchez whilst ending up with Falcao? What are our scouts doing these days? It was Ferguson all those years ago that changed the whole scouting system at Old Trafford. Where are they now? Did anyone go to the Copa America to scout any talent that may be lurking undiscovered there?
I also wonder, with SAF being on the board of directors, whether he is comfortable with what is currently going on, and if he isn’t, what will he do about it?
So, how will we line up against Tottenham on 8th August? I doubt even Woodward knows, let alone the faithful half a billion fans around the world expecting a better season than the last two. It will be a big season for Van Gaal; he could seriously dent his reputation if he fails to win at least an FA cup, as I can’t see us winning the Premier League or Champions League next year.
Manchester United are in danger of becoming a laughing stock from CEO downwards if they don’t get this transfer window right. There’s still time for us to get the players we need, but with our pre-season fixtures just around the corner, we need to be decisive and avoid the panicky, rushed business we’ve seen in the last couple of summers.