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10 of the best Silly Season transfer targets

MoyesThe grass is green, the sun is out and the beaches are jammed to capacity.  Summer has taken over and, of course, that also means the “Silly Season” is in full bloom.  As we head into August and the beginning of the season without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm of the Red Devils, Manchester United fans eagerly await and anticipate David Moyes’ signing of at least two to three dynamic players who should, in theory at least, upgrade the Premier League Champions into favourites to repeat the feat again for 2013/14.

Strange events are going on this off-season with some of the Premier League’s stars.  Chelsea and Manchester City seem to be going full bore when it comes to retooling their clubs.  City look certain to spend more than £100m on buying new players and Chelsea seem intent on doing something similar, while trying to poach Wayne Rooney from United in the process.

United and Arsenal, on the other hand, seem to be stuck in rut while their wheels are rotating but not getting any traction.  Both clubs seem to be failing to capture any of their deemed top targets this summer.  Arsenal look to lose out to Napoli for Gonzalo Higuain and the supposed rumour of them reaching agreement with Brazilian midfield maestro Bernard seems to be just that, a rumour.  Like United, they seem no closer to filling the gaps in quality that their club needs to fill if they are to challenge for the title, or even stay up with the top four.

Thiago & FabregasUnited, like Arsenal have gone about things slowly and they have already lost out on their number one transfer target, Thiago, to Bayern.  Now they look almost certain to lose a second echelon attack on Barcelona’s midfield by bidding for Cesc Fabregas.  I, for one, feel this is a pipe dream by David Moyes and his colleagues.  Why would Barcelona allow Fabregas to go after already having erred contractually and thus losing Thiago?  Barcelona is not a selling club and if there was even a slight chance United could get Fabregas, the resignation of Tito Vilanova all but eliminated it.  But United feel undaunted and they are still pursuing the impossible dream.

It’s no secret by now that I don’t feel Moyes has two coins to rub together, let alone the cash it would take to really turn United into the guaranteed champions of England and a major contender in Europe.  The Glazer family had never really ever offered up the kind of money to Fergie for the kind of purchases Moyes is rumoured to be going for.  First there is Fabregas, then it seems Ezequiel Garay is next on the agenda and then there is talk of either Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale.  I say it is madness and delusions of grandeur, but is there a chance I could be wrong and there is more to all this than meets the eye?

David Moyes was quoted recently as having said the following; “Isn’t it great that the club says, ‘There’s no budget here, you go get who you want to get, just go and do it’.

“We are looking at the best players. I do think it’s important that we show people we are carrying on the traditions and trying to take the club forward.”

WTF????  Is he serious or am I just losing it?  Since when have United had a limitless budget?  Since when have the Glazers ever sanctioned the usage of more than 30 million pounds on any player?  Does good ole Dave Moyes mean to tell us all that he has the monetary backing of the Glazer Cancer Society to go out and spend whatever it takes to get Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo……or both?  Yeah right, and Dawn French will win the Miss Universe Pageant while Sir Alex Ferguson is going to work for the BBC.  Yes and pigs will fly.  When did we all of a sudden become PSG and why have we yet to actually resemble PSG in our buying of players?  Talk is cheap Dave, but eventually you will have to back up these grandiose claims with good old-fashioned spending of the British pound.

Yes I am a hard-core cynic, but United under the Glazers have made me that way.  As I also support Bayern Munich I have nowhere the same negative feelings or signs of cynicism regarding their attempts over the past ten years to field a winner.  It’s Manchester United that I have issues with.  I don’t like being lied to, or above all, lied to or conned.

And now for something completely different.  No, this article is not being taken over by the troupe from Monty Python.  Although I have suspected for years that David Gill, and all the United front office hierarchy all belong as members of the Ministry of Silly Walks.  Funny seeing as they often talk the talk but rarely walk the walk.  And sometimes the Canadian in me just wants to cry out to United that “I’m a lumberjack and I don’t care”.  But the problem is I do.  So below I will indulge myself by offering up to David Moyes a wish list of players I would most love to be signed by United within the next two seasons.  WARNING!!!  This is only a wish list and I already know the chances of most of these players is slim, not just financially, but because United and I do not share the same taste in players like Bayern and I do.  Still, I’ll offer it up and see what kind of feedback I get (be kind).

Before we buy players though with this “unlimited budget”, we need to rid ourselves of players to make room for the new talent.  The following are the players I absolutely want to see gone from this club.  And sorry to all Nani lovers out there, the little man is on the list.  I have a soft spot in my heart for him but he needs a new challenge and new surroundings.  The list of players who must go are Wayne Rooney, Anderson, Luis Nani, Patrice Evra, Ashley Young and Anders “Can’t Stop a Beach Ball” Lindegaard.  Other players on the bubble I am willing to hold on to for a season so that they can prove themselves worthy are Fabio, Jonny Evans, Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck.  So without further delay, here is my wish list.


  1. CRISTIANO RONALDO:  No secrets here.  Those who are familiar with the Grogster know he goes to bed every night and prays to his god Ronaldo.  With all due respect to the great Lionel Messi, for me, Ronaldo is the greatest player of the past twenty years, but  it would take a bid of £80 million to get him, I believe.  The Glazers however, probably wouldn’t sanction a deal for more than £8 million as it would cut into their yacht purchases, sun-tanning tables and Nuru massages.
  2. GARETH BALE:  If all attempts to lure Ronaldo fail, Gareth would be my number two choice.  A player who in the past year has elevated his game up to near Ronaldo and Messi levels, he is perfectly suited for United, idolized Ryan Giggs and I believe that, despite Daniel Levy’s hate for United, he could be had for around £60 million.  Sure, Real Madrid might offer more but, in the end, the player gets to choose where he wants to go and I believe that Gareth Bale is on of the few true superstars out there that would choose us over either of the Spanish giants.  On that alone he is a must
  3. MAROUANE FELLAINI:  I really don’t care if he played for Moyes, I want the big fella anyway.  Unlike many, I am not a fan of his clownish hairstyle but I do love this player’s skill, determination, grit and aerial ability.  He has been the missing link in our midfield for years.
  4. FABIO COENTRAO:  While everyone seems to be obsessing about the 29 year old Leighton Baines, I am looking to Madrid for one of their two left backs, Marcelo or Coentrao.  From the looks of things, Marcelo has the edge over Coentrao at Madrid, which for me makes Fabio available for transfer.  He is a significant upgrade to Evra and very good on overlaps.  Technically gifted for a defender.
  5. LARS BENDER:  Just once I would like United to buy a German player.  How I had hoped for Manuel Neuer or Michel Ballack before him.  Bender is a very good box-to-box midfielder who can also play RB when called upon.  I like his ability to win the ball without getting too many yellow or red cards.  Gritty but not dirty.  He also can run all day as he has quite the engine.
  6. MATS HUMMELS:  I really do not see the immediate need for a central defender and although Ezequiel Garay is good, if I had my choice the man for me would be Dortmund’s and Germany’s number one CB Mats Hummels.  The lad reminds me of Franz Beckenbauer on the ball.  Calm, cool and collected.  When he makes a mistake it gets magnified because it’s so rare.  Great in the air, can take free kicks, penalties, dribbles and passes like a midfielder and above all, he can defend like it’s nobody’s business.  He currently ranks as my third favourite player after Manuel Neuer and Ronaldo.
  7. TONI KROOS:  While I am on a German run here, I might as well get aggressive and make a play for Toni Kroos.  Before he got injured a month before the Champions League final, he was arguably Bayern’s best player for the season.  There is nothing he can’t do.  Shoot, shoot for power, bend the ball. Defend and tackle, silky passes, long passes, cross, set piece specialist, etc. His only weakness is a lack of pace.  I think that now that Pep Guardiola is running things and Thiago is at Bayern, then there may be a crowd forming in midfield and some players may be moved.  Luis Guztavo looks to be a certain victim and Kroos may be the second on that list.  As good as he is, he cannot supplant Schweinsteiger, Goetze, Thiago. Martinez, Ribery and Muller.  If United want to be audacious, this is the player I would waste time and energy on, not the hopeless cause that will be Cesc Fabregas.
  8. JACK WILSHERE:  Why not?  Arsenal are a selling team when push comes to shove.  Wilshere deserves to play for a better lot than the Gooners anyway.  If he could stay healthy, I’d fancy him over Fabregas too.  Hell I’d offer Wenger Rooney for Wilshere and £10 million.
  9. JUAN MATA or DAVID LUIZ:  Either one in a trade and cash deal for Wayne Rooney.  Mata is all class and can command the attacking zone with his passing, shooting and link-up play.  He has the imagination we lack in the attacking area.  Luiz has become a revelation as a defensive midfielder and he could become the reincarnation of Roy Keane.  A gritty player who is not afraid to tackle hard and get stuck in and he loves physical confrontations.  I hate it when we play against him but I’d love him on my team.  He’s also a very good free kick taker.
  10. XHERDAN SHAQIRI:  Another top Bayern player who may struggle to find playing time due to the gluttony of riches that the club have in Ribery, Muller, Goetze and Robben.  Shaqiri wowed me a few years back in the Under 20 EUROS for Switzerland.  Small but powerful, fast with great quickness and tremendous dribbling and passing skills all topped off with a cannon for a shot.  I personally would sit either Robben or Ribery to watch this kid play, and that’s saying a lot.  If Liverpool feel he can be had, then why aren’t we trying to get him too?  I seriously doubt Brendan Rodgers has more pull than David Moyes.

Well that’s my wish list.  Personally, I feel the only one on that list who has a chance to become a United player is the obvious choice, Fellaini.  The rest are just fantasies.  All of them are great players and individuals who would improve our club immeasurably.  The Glazers and Moyes are making a lot of noise about intent but as of yet, they have nothing to show for their boasting.  Talk is cheap and it’s time they backed up their talk with sincere bids for sign able talent.  Stop making artificial bids for players they can’t sign and make substantial ones for players who would play for us.  As expensive as Ronaldo and Bale are, I do believe these players would play for us if all the conditions were met.  Only time will tell of course.  Nevertheless, I sit back and wait for what I feel will be nothing more than a long dry summer with very little substantial improvement for our team on the field.  I won’t bore all of you with the reasons as I have discussed it all many times before.  I’m just waiting and eagerly anticipating that moment when Team Glazer and David Moyes rock my world and prove me wrong.  Come on boys, make my day, I dare you.