With less than two months to go before the January transfer window opens, the second instalment of the silly season is about to get underway and considering the farce that unfolded during the summer, United can be expected to be at the centre of attention yet again – although hopefully not for the wrong reason this time.
Despite a rather unimpressive start to the season, the Reds are only three points adrift of second placed Chelsea and two points behind free-spending and free-scoring Manchester City, but while David Moyes seems to have moved a lot closer to developing an established XI, it’s undeniable that the United manager could do with some quality signings.
One such player, according to the Daily Mirror, could be Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira, for whom United made a late and unsuccessful offer on deadline day, when they then decided to splash £27m on Marouane Fellaini’s wig – a decision yet to pay its dividends.
The Mirror believes United are weighing up a £35m offer for the Germany international in January and sent Phil Neville to watch the 26-year-old in action against Sevilla last week – one can only hope Neville was also instructed to keep an eye on Sevilla’s Ivan Rakitic – but, truth be told, there seems to be little evidence to back the story up.
Granted, as the Mirror correctly points out, David Moyes is desperate to strengthen his midfield options – just as he was, or should have been in the summer – and with Fellaini facing a wrist operation that could rule him out for up to two months, things look even bleaker for the United manager.
However, while Khedira is obviously a superb player, one the best in Europe in his role, he’s neither the sort of goalscoring midfielder United have been missing for a while nor the tough-tackling enforcer the club has craved since Roy Keane’s departure. In fact the German is a player very similar to Michael Carrick, a footballer that makes of his sense positioning and precise passing his greatest assets but he’d offer completely different options to what other United targets such as Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera would bring to the table.
On the other hand, United are so desperate for an injection of quality that Khedira would be a welcome addition, but would the German be prepared to leave the Bernabeu for, harsh as it might sound, what is a largely inferior squad? The German faces stiff competition from the likes of Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric and Asier Illarramendi at Madrid and he’s obviously determined to secure regular football in a World Cup year, but there are few teams in Europe likely to offer him the same chances of success.
For now, however, Moyes must shelf his transfer targets and focus on coming up with a midfield combination strong enough to prevent the likes of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey from running riot on Sunday and that could prove to be an even more complicated task than signing a world class midfielder.
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