They call summer the “silly season” and, considering how United’s business in the transfer window has developed, it is a perfectly deserved adjective. However, if today’s back pages are to be believed, Ed Woodward and David Moyes seem determined to upgrade “silly” to “pantomime”.
United are apparently lining up one final bid for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, thought to be worth in the region of £40m as Moyes and Woodward simply refuse to accept that the former Arsenal has no intentions to leave the Camp Nou and Barcelona are not willing to let him go.
For those who lived in a cave over the last couple of months, United had two offers turned down by Barcelona, before the 26-year-old issued a statement in which he declared that he had never considered leaving Catalonia has an option and that he had absolutely no intention to do so in the foreseeable future.
Fabregas’ words were met by a statement from United in which the club claimed they “completely respect everything Cesc has said”.
However, today’s Telegraph has a different view on the matter and claims that David Moyes still hasn’t given up in his pursuit for the Spanish playmaker as he remains convinced that Fabregas might harbour doubts over his future at Barcelona, where he faces stern competition to secure a spot in the starting XI.
Further reports suggest that Barcelona have made United aware that a bid much higher than the two they have already received might convince them to sell Fabregas, but that would force United to break the club’s record fee but at least £10m.
The Telegraph is normally a reputable source as is Mark Ogden, the journalist who penned the article, but a couple of issues are quick to emerge from the report. First and foremost, United have adopted a resolute stance against Chelsea’s pursuit of Wayne Rooney, turning down two bids, before issuing a “not for sale” statement on Tuesday night, meaning their refusal to give up on Fabregas smacks of double standards, unless the story has been completely manufactured.
If the story is indeed true, though, then United’s summer has just plunged to even more embarrassing depths for it’s clear that they have absolutely no chance of signing Fabregas and, with just over two weeks left in the transfer window, United should have had their transfers done and dusted a long time ago.
Were United and Moyes to wait until the end of August to monitor Fabregas’ involvement with Barcelona before submitting a third bid as the report suggests, they would run the risk of running out of time and would risk missing out not only on Fabregas but also on alternative targets – if there are any, that is.
Mercifully, in just over two weeks, it’ll all be over.
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