I feel stupid. The wool was completely pulled over my eyes, and I hate myself for it. I’m usually pretty cynical of the clubs owners and our activity in the transfer market, but even I discussed the possibilities of signing Lucas Moura and, less so, Robin van Persie as if they were actual real deals that had some hope of happening.
Unfortunately I fear that our withdrawal from the New York Stock Exchange will kill both birds with one stone. That is, if the birds even existed to begin with. I’m starting to believe that our posturing in the transfer market was simply to drum up interest in our doomed IPO, much as Sir Alex’s heartfelt praise of the Glazers the other day was to the same ends.
What’s going to happen now that the IPO has been withdrawn? I’ll tell you what. Neither transfer. Lucas plays in a position in which we are absolutely stacked as it is which, considering the deficiencies in the team elsewhere, simply cannot have escaped the attention of Ferguson. If we’ve got £35m to spend on a very attacking winger, shouldn’t we be investing in a truly top-class left-back and bolstering our centre midfield? If we can get RvP for £15 million, then great but however outrageous his talent we’re fine for strikers.
These moves only make sense if you consider them as headline grabbers, moves that were never genuinely expected to lead to a transfer. Instead, they were expected to whip up fervour, a blind show of faith from the usually faithful. From what I can see, they had the opposite effect. Too many summers of too little meant that everything we did was viewed with scepticism by any supporter with two brain cells to rub together. There was no hype around the IPO, just confusion as to what it was, exactly, that the Glazers were selling (the short summary is that buying these shares would get you absolutely nothing except the share, an intangible asset with no intrinsic value – no dividend, no votes, no seat on the board, nothing). Now that the IPO is dead, expect any ambitious transfer activity to follow.
Far more interesting and realistic is our interest in Cirigliano from River. Like Mascherano, but a better passer of the football, he would fit our evolving midfield perfectly, and slot into a position in which we are desperately short. He’s not the kind of signing that would drive up share prices though, is he?