Saturday, May 10, 2008

Top striker deals likely...

It's very nearly that time of the year again folks, the summer transfer window is set to open and with it will come the usual plethora of players who will be linked to Manchester United.But before we get into some of the names in the frame, how much will Ferguson have to spend this summer?

According to one recent report Fergie has up to £50m to spend on new signings, but let us not forget that the future of Carlos Tevez needs to be resolved, that deal could account for up to £20m.

The good news for United fans is that the player known as the "Apache" says he wants to stay, and he's in no hurry to sign - but with only one year left on his current loan deal, it seems likely that the Reds will have earmarked a substantial amount of this summer's transfer kitty to secure the Argentine's long term future.

There has also been no official news on what is likely to be happening in the transfer market from within Old Trafford - and that is how it should be - we don't want a repeat of our chief executive announcing to the world that the club are cash rich and ready to spend, as did Peter Kenyon prior to capturing Rio Ferdinand from Leeds United. At that time the West Yorkshire club were on their financial uppers, but it didn't stop United from shelling out silly money for a defender, over £3om to be precise.

The Ferdinand transfer was an abject lesson on how not to conduct a transfer, it is to be hoped that lessons were learnt, because down the years, United really have been their own worst enemies where inflated transfer fees are concerned.

Whenever the Red Devils come knocking enquiring about the availability of potential transfer targets the selling club almost always adds on a few noughts' - it is entirely our own fault, if you act daft, expect to be treated accordingly.

Another case in point being Jaap Stam's move to Lazio - we paid them £30m cash for Veron - in return the Italian club didn't stump up the £14m for "the big Dutchman" for about three years... I could go on and on...

So who are the names that Ferguson's most wanted list? As ever we can only speculate. Spurs Bulgarian striker Berbatov reportedly wants Champions League football next season, should United's interest be firmed up with a bid, there's no doubting the North London club will take the greatest of pleasure in pulling down our collective trousers on the transfer fee as they did with Michael Carrick - once he had signed for £18m, sources close to the club let it be known they'd have accepted a lot less - suffice to say Spurs could be about to double their money for a player they signed for £10.9m ...

However, there's has been suggestions that Berbatov sulks when not selected (another Saha?), added to which he doesn't track back in the manner of our very own "White Pele" aka Wayne Rooney. The Bulgarian star is also more than a bit lazy, but the boy can play and there's no doubt about that. My gut feeling is that Fergie would love to have him at Old Trafford, he's a big player for the big occasion, for this reason I can see United making Spurs an offer which they cannot refuse.

Samuel Eto'o name is being linked to all of Europe's top clubs - no surprise there given that Barcelona have parted company with manager Frank Rijkaard, but like the rest of the Barcelona players including Thierry Henry, he will want to see what the new coach has to say before making any decisions on his future. Another potential stumbling block stems from the fact that the Catalan club would want Ronaldo in part exchange - a request that would surely bring to an end any prospect of a deal? There's also talk that Samuel Eto'o is another complex character and is quite hard to manage. My own view is that both Samuel Eto'o and Henry are unlikely to arrive at United this summer.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's name has been constantly linked to United over the last few seasons, the Dutch striker would appear to fit the bill, he's the right age and he can score goals - 33 from the current campaign.

A recent report claimed that Huntelaar was keen to stay at Ajax under the guidance of Dutch legend Marco van Basten, but Huntelaar is 26 this year and given his age he can no longer be classed as "Europe's hottest young striker" added to which the Ajax star must have surely contemplated moving to a bigger stage. My own verdict is that this deal is possible - given it's likely to be the one that offers the best value for money.

Kenwyne Jones has risen to prominence since his move to Sunderland where he is currently top-scorer, but surprisingly he has only bagged seven goals this season in what is a struggling side.

Ironically, his move to Sunderland could potentially scupper any prospect of a dream move for Jones to a big club of because of the Black Cats likely sky-high transfer valuation.

Sunderland manager Roy Keane has not spent wisely in the transfer market and Jones is the club's most valuable asset. The Trinidad and Tabago star has been described as the next Didier Drogba - he's not quite that good and due to Sunderland's valuation, my view is unlikely.


  1. The 'gifted Bulgarian' would certainly be Fergie's top priority. The lazy fellow loves European football. And regarding Eto' Fergie would certainly not want unmanageable people again in his club, as you opined.

  2. Huntelaar's agent recently said that Huntaar 'would love to play for United', so there is a good chance we pick him up as well. However, it is unfortunate that Bosingwa got picked up by Chelski, the poor youngster will hardly find a game there, and even if he does, he would not be in the best of environments.

    It is interesting to note, that none of Ferguson's summer targets are English. Does that mean United has enough English talent? Or that there are not that many more English players that can fit into the United agenda for the coming years?

  3. Uday, thanks again for some good comments.

    I can tell you that I have a Dutch contact with connections (sports journalist). He was telling me yesterday that Huntelaar is wanted by Real Madrid.

    But here's the thing. IF Huntelaar scores a lot of goals at the Euro 2008 his price tag will rocket. Every top club in Europe will want him.

    United might decide to make their move early...

    You are right about the lack of young English strikers being a worry. United have this Frazier Campbell who looks like a decent prospect, he's been out at Hull City on loan and I've spoken to some Tigers fans who think he's great, he's their top goal scorer with 15.


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