People are sometimes just complete bloody tools, who have no idea what they’re talking about and even less idea how stupid they look when they have no idea what they’re talking about. The reaction to the news that Owen Hargreaves is likely to join Manchester City today is a perfect example of that mentality.
Vital Football are reporting that Blackpool have made a bid for our seventh-choice striker Mame Diouf, and that we have accepted their offer. This comes as no surprise after the Senegalese failed to hold down a first-team place on loan at Blackburn, and it looks increasingly unlikely that he will be given the chance to add to his one United Premiership goal.
Diouf was prolific for Norwegian club Molde before Sir Alex Ferguson decided to take a chance, but his solitary strike against Burnley is all that he has to show for his time at the club and, like fellow under-the-radar signing Bebe, time appears to be up.
Today it has emerged that Wes Brown and John O’Shea are both finalising moves to Sunderland. We’ve known about the possibility for a good while now but, terms seemingly agreed, the reality of losing these two loyal servants is sinking in.
Wes and John will never be remembered for being top-class star players, but each have, much like Gary Neville before them, given their whole careers to the club and been happy to play a role in a squad rather than demand the guaranteed first-team footbal which their talents only debatably deserved.
David De Gea has now officialy signed for Manchester United from Atletico Madrid for a reported fee of £18.9 million. He has signed a five-year contract with the club.
A top young goalkeeper who will become one of the best in the world for the next ten years. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Yesterday I was moved to write about our midfield balance, given the way that names were being indiscriminately tossed around by our fans in the hope of somehow piecing together an all-star midfield jigsaw featuring none of our current central midfielders.
Not only that, the signings we have made have been dismissed out of hand by the most spoiled section of our support, plebs who are gutted that we haven’t brought Ronaldo back from Real Madrid and will hold it against Ashely Young.
This summer, it was widely agreed that Manchester United needed to strengthen in two areas in principal, central midfield and in goal. The need for a dominant goalkeeper was obvious, with the great Edwin van der Sar hanging up his gloves and the relatively limited range of variables that must be considered when selecting a goalkeeper. However, the midfield puzzle has been a little more difficult to solve.
Some argued that we needed some true defensive steel, pointing the finger to the games where we were overrun in midfield by the likes of Blackpool and Wolves. Others demanded a creative genius be added, instead choosing to focus on the games where we struggled to break down stubborn defences, most notably in our away games in the first half of the season.
Given the noises being made by Luka Modric, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, it’s time to write off any hope of signing the little Croatian, no matter how perfect a fit he would be for our midfied.
Firstly, Tottenham do not want to sell one of their two prized assets. Spurs are going to be going after Champions League qualification once more, and you’d think Gareth Bale and Modric would be absolutely integral to that. They’re not struggling for cash, or lacking of ambition, so why would they willingly sell? We’d have to absolutely break the bank to bring him in, and that leads us to the next problem.
The Premier League has today published the list of players who are available on free transfers having been released from their clubs at the end of the season just gone. Manchester United don’t have a tradition of bringing in loads of free transfer signings, but those we do make tend to make an impact to some degree. Michael Owen, Laurent Bland and, most notable, Edwin van der Sar have all arrived at Old Trafford for free.
However, it’s slim picking this year, at least on a domestic front. There are some familiar ghosts from our past on there in the shapes of Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira, both of whom will be looking for new clubs having made minimal impact last season. Former Chelsea stars Eidur Gudjohnsen and Bolo Zenden are also available for nowt, should you be Swansea City.
It seems more and more likely that Darron Gibson will move to Sunderland in the next few days in a deal reputed to be worth about £5m. Sunderland are getting closer and closer to being able to field an all-United XI, having also offered to take Wes Brown and John O’Shea off our hands, although the Gibson deal is the only one on the cusp of completion.
When Manchester United signed Bebe last summer, I really wanted it to turn out to be some sort of left-field masterstroke, the sort of transfer that only ever happened on Football Manager when you use the cheat scouting programs to find the world-class youngsters in the Tibetan Second Division.
However, turns out that the grinning idiots that support other clubs were right. Bebe isn’t up to scratch and looks likely to be shipped out to Turkey in the next week or so. £7.4 million down the drain, minus whatever we can recoup from Besiktas.