Another day another barrage of clickbait articles posted from around the World regurgitating all the rumours surrounding the endless list of names reported to be targets for Manchester United’s summer spending spree.
The last 24hrs have been especially so with the rumour mill doing overtime on the Arturo Vidal case, but has respected Italian agent, Andrea D’Amico, thrown us the biggest clue yet that perhaps, just perhaps, Vidal really is on his way out of Juventus and into the welcoming arms of Manchester United or can Vidal’s name be added to the illustrious list of those that never happened?
Speculation over Vidal’s future has intensified today with D’Amico, who represents Vidal’s current teammate Sebastian Giovinco, suggesting the Bianconeri are prepared to sell one from either Paul Pogba or Arturo Vidal this summer while also making Vidal the more likely of the two.
“Vidal and Pogba? One of the two will leave,” D’Amico told Sky Sport Italia. “I’ll go a step further, I’m convinced Vidal will certainly leave.”
According to La Tercera, the midfielder’s agent, Fernando Felicevich, met Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta to present an offer he has received from United, one that will see his client earn £200,000 a week at Old Trafford.
Well, will he leave or won’t he? Even if he does that doesn’t mean he’ll end up at United.
Our transfer activity over the last few years has, if you believe everything you read, been a tale of chasing the best available players across Europe and the Globe with the serious intention of bringing them to Old Trafford. The worrying truth is however, none of them ever sign and it’s getting worse by the summer. So much for City being the noisy neighbours, we’re beginning to embarrass ourselves.
Last year it was Cesc Fabregas, the year before it was Wesley Sneijder and the year before that it was Samir Nasri. All those previous years, reports have suggested United have an almost bottomless pit of cash just waiting to be spunked out for the best players in the World. Do any of those names play or have ever played for Manchester United? No.
Don’t get me wrong, regular readers on here will know I’m ever the optimist regarding everything United and I still, even now while I write this, believe Vidal to be on his way to United but it’s getting harder and harder to be optimistic.
Take a look at this starting XI made up of expensive, world class transfer targets that never happened despite a miriad of reports suggesting United were close to a deal or otherwise.
GK: 2011; Manuel Neuer (Shalke)
Edwin van der Sar was retiring, United were desperate for the best goalkeeper in the world to replace him, money was no object and Neuer wasn’t signing a new deal with Schalke. What happened? Neuer signed for Bayern Munich.
LB: Summers 2012 & 2013; Leighton Baines (Everton)
Baines was, apparently, as good as a done deal, especially last season once the ill-fated transfer of David Moyes took place it was widely rumoured Baines would immediately follow. Instead Moyes failed to bring Baines but acquired the services of one Marounne Fellaini who, just twelve long, torturous months later, looks set to leave for Napoli at a loss to United in the region of £10m. In hindsight though, on Baines’ woeful performances in this summers World Cup, we actually got away with one in this case.
RB: 2012; Mathieu Debuchy (Lille)
Alex Ferguson failed to address the problem right back area before or after Gary Neville’s retirement instead opting to utilise central defenders there to give them games. In doing this, in my view, Ferguson hindered the progress of both Smalling and Jones in their favoured position of centre back and the club is now paying the price for that mistake. The paper that’s become the biggest football motormouth, The Metro, however, reported in 2012, that Ferguson was chasing Mathieu Debuchy from Lille but would face stiff opposition from Bayern Munich for his signature…..Debuchy signed for Newcastle United later that year but has now made the move to Arsenal after a hugely impressive World Cup campaign with France.
CB: 2013; Ezequiel Garay (Benfica)
Garay was coming off the back of a great season woth Portuguese champions Benfica both domestically and in Europe. Rio and Vidic were coming to the end of their United careers and Garay’s arrival was imminent according, to you know, The Metro, who even went as far as saying Garay was house hunting in the North West. Garay is currently still with Benfica although reports still surround his future after also impressing during this summers World Cup.
CB: 2012/13/14; Mats Hummels (B Dortmund)
This one’s ongoing and could still happen I guess, but history suggests otherwise despite United’s obvious need of new recruits in central defence now more than ever with LvG’s 3-at-the-back system. I’m not convinced by Hummels personally but many are and this therefore fuels the lust for articles suggesting he could be on his way to Old Trafford.
CM: Every summer since I can remember; Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)
This chase has become synonymous with United’s transfer activity of recent years. United talk a good game but ultimately fail to deliver. Sneijder has been coming more times than Ben Dover. Even this summer the rumours (thus the articles) has reared its ugly head again, thankfully, other targets soon quashed those rumours. Ironically though, it would be more likely to happen this summer than during any other previous summer due to the fact Sneijders fellow countryman and international manager, van Gaal, is now pulling the transfer strings at United.
CM: 2011, Daniele de Rossi (Roma)
The Daily Mail announced de Rossi was to exit Roma and join United in 2011 but ultimately it never happened *insert shocked face here*. Nowadays De Rossi plays his football at, you guessed it, Roma.
AM: Summer 2012; Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica)
This is the best yet and it’s not even thanks to The Metro! The Telegraph reported that a deal had been done between the two clubs which included £20m and both Macheda and Fabio going the other way either on loan or permanently. Gaitan was, in their account, a Manchester United player. Needless to say it didn’t happen despite other networks and reports heavily suggesting the deal was imminent. Where does Gaitan currently ply his trade? I’ll give you one guess….Benfica.
AM: Summer 2012; Lucas Moura (Sao Paulo)
Who could forget our tracking of Lucas Moura before losing out to another emerging football super-power and their bulging ‘war chest’? Yet again The Mail were, on the face of it, convinced Moura was bound for Old Trafford. The report goes as far as saying “(Jim) Lawlor flew to Brazil on Wednesday evening and club secretary John Alexander is also believed to be on standby to complete the transfer”. Moura went on to sign for PSG that summer but The Metro haven’t let that stop them linking him with a move THIS YEAR too!
AM: 2011; Luka Modric
What a fucking fuss this one was! Daniel Levy was never going to let this happen and to be fair I think most Reds knew it. The Berbatov deal a few years previous left a bitter taste in both clubs mouths that still remains today. However, this time it was The Manchester Evening News who went as far as telling us the player was a good as signed.
CF: 2003; Ronaldinho (PSG)
Remember this one? United were apparently ‘hours away’ from securing the services of Brazilian, Ronaldinho, who was, at the time, considered to be the best player in the World, but United were to be dealt a huge blow when Barcelona beat them to their man. Ronaldinho himself recently confessed that a conversation with a close friend was to blame for the decision not to sign for United rather than any disputes over fees or wages from United.
Not a bad XI, that and I’m sure you could throw 100’s more names at it.
What other transfer saga’s can you remember?
Will Vidal’s name be added to the list or will the arrival of LvG bring a change in fortunes for United’s transfer targets?
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