Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fergie must not panic buy as signs of desperation set in at Old Trafford...

With big name signings looking unlikely following reports that Ribery is too old ("Glazers' won't sanction moves for anyone over 27", Guardian) and quite probably too expensive, David Villa only wants to move Real Madrid and Benzema isn't interested in playing in England, the United manager is going to have to make some big decisions soon.

In truth, the manager doesn't appear to have a lot of options where established top quality goal-scoring targets’ are concerned, but make no mistake this is an area that will give United fans something to worry about next season if worst case the club fails to find a goal-scorer.

The very latest news suggests that Fergie could be trying to tempt Robin Van Persie with a move to Old Trafford, if there's any grain of truth behind this latest speculation then it has all the hallmarks of a club who are becoming increasingly desperate in their attempts to fill the gaping chasm in United's forward-line following Ronaldo's expected move to Real Madrid.

It is very doubtful that Wenger would sell to Fergie, but as we have seen recently the Gunners' have been unable to retain some of their players', mainly due to excessive wage demands.

Technically, Van Persie is very good indeed, but again it comes back to the question of selling to one of your biggest domestic rivals - the words "over my dead body" will likely be heard in the corridor outside Wenger's office.

The other day United were somewhat embarrassingly linked to Liverpool's Fernando Torres, we will never know if there's any substance behind these rumours, they are more than likely the figment of an equally desperate news generating media.

One thing is certain, the transfer clock waits for no manager and with Fergie set to return from holiday and looking no closer to filling the Ronaldo void, fans will be wondering what will happen next.

Some supporters have been asking why on earth did United make public their decision to sell Ronaldo, the answer to that question is simple, because with each passing day since the announcement, it is becoming clear that the club may well have taken the view that the player was going to be sold this summer come what may - nothing was going to get in the way of this transfer, not even failure to sign a top quality replacement. If Fergie had such a player and a plan in place then why hasn't it happened?

It looks like the club were resigned to losing Ronaldo and we can all understand that, but the fans will be more concerned at United's failure to put a contingency plan in place, at least it is looking that way at present.

We also have to accept that there's not many players available who are capable of scoring twenty goals a season, so it is going to be a very difficult task, which again might well explain why the club made the Ronaldo announcement without addressing the replacement issue first.

Fergie could soon be facing up to the very real possibility that he might well have to utilise Macheda and Welbeck next season as part of his first-choice top four strikers, my own view is the Italian could cut it, but I have my doubts about Welbeck. Tevez will more than likely join rivals Manchester City and if that happens, it will be very hard to take, and worse still it will give Fergie an even bigger headache.

Above all else and despite the growing desperation, now is not the time to panic buy. United need to find someone who will compliment the manager's attacking options, the champions have arguably one of the world's best second-strikers' in Rooney, but what they don't really have apart from the developing Macheda, is a tall strong pacey striker with two good feet.


  1. Im a little disappointed that we have not got anyone in particular lined up to replace ronaldo considering fergie and the world new it was coming.

    Van Persie is a fantastic player, with great arrogance that is appealing in football. He is a big game player, technical ability is arguably the best in the prem and he fits the bill of what you need to be a united player. I wouldn't say the chances of him joining utd would be a 100% no no. From what i understand, might be wrong, he is in his last year of his contract. Surely wenger would not want to lose him for free like flamini.

    With benzema don't completely rule that out. how many times have we read articles of players stating this and that then the do another.

  2. The Ronaldo transfer isn't signed and sealed yet, so any news of a contingency plan/concrete transfer news will only emerge post completion of his transfer. I'm guessing a lot depends on Tevez's decision too. So while Fergie might have (hoping here) his targets lined up, we won't hear anything about it till Ronaldo's gone for sure.
    Do agree with you on avoiding panic buying though. Van Persie could be interesting, though he keeps getting injured too often.

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  4. Nik,

    Van Persie does seem to get injured a lot. I don't know how the Tevez situation will pan out but I'd happy if he stays. The media claim Fergie has £50m but some of that is supposed to be for a "rainy day" - well now could be the time, if only the target in question was obvious, Tevez aside.

    I can see it being a rocky ride but you have to hope Fergie has something up his sleave and that something is not another Diego Forlan.

  5. Tony,

    The interesting thing abouT Lyon is their president went on record the other day saying "where are all these bids that we keep on hearing about...", it was as if he was inviting interested clubs to call him, so you never know...

    The worry is the player doesn't apparently fancy England.

    Regarding Van Persie, I'd be amazed if it came off, but stranger things have happened I suppose. Whenever Arsenal have sold a big name player on recently and with the exception of Ashley Cole it has been to an overseas club.

    I actually fear for United this season because I don't see us signing any big names that will make a difference, but now isn't the time judge Fergie and Gill there will be plenty of time for that.

    Regarding lack of planning, it reflects badly on Fergie and Gill. Sometimes you cannot plan, but everyone could surely see this one coming.

    In the past Fergie has managed to replace big name players, but it can take time - time that he doesn't have - which is another reason I've been suggesting he might actually quit himself - but if he did he would be made out to be a quitter. Interesting times ahead.

  6. How about Manucho? does anyone remember him? In my opinion, John Carew certainly is a good choose. And I have a great expectation to Danny Welbeck.

  7. Manucho, not sure what is happening with him. I've heard some fairly negative reports about him from those who watch our reserve team and he was on loan at Hull, I thought they were trying to sign him.

    I personally think Danny Welbeck won't make it at United his first touch and close control let's him down too often from what I've seen.

    I'm sure United will find another top striker, but it might take time.

  8. Hmmm, I agreee things don't look good. I personably believe that Macheda has all the attributes for being a top class striker for United. I have thought for a few months now that he could definitely become a first team regular. Trouble is we might now have to rely on him too much & too early in his career.

    The jury is still out on Welbeck but I think he could do a reasonable job as a winger. Obviously no Ronaldo replacement but who is.

    I would rather see Nani given one final chance rather than selling him for a £10m loss & paying £10m over the odds for Valencia. He has plenty of skill so maybe a consistent run is what he needs. I'm far from convinced he has what it takes but these are desperate times.

    If Benzema doesn't want to come then let's not waste time & money convincing him. We'll only end up with a Ronaldo situation where he wants to leave & there'll be endless speculation.

    RVP is a great player & would be an asset to the squad though I can't see it happening.

    At the moment the only wingers we have are Park, Nani & Tosic with Berbatov/Rooney as the only recognised strikers. So not looking great from an attacking & goal threat point of view.

    Trying to remain optimistic -
    there's still plenty of time for quality signings. Though like you say Fergie must not panic buy.

  9. Vaud,

    Good poimt about Benzema wanting to follow Ronaldo, it will happen won't it...

    As I suggested yesterday their president seems willing to sell, but it is going to be very expensive because he will be auctioned and there's no one better than the Lyon president at that game. Ironically, I can see Benzema ending up at Chelsea because they too can blitz us in the money stakes - but Fergie can promise the player a regular starting place and I'm not sure Chelsea can do that with Drogba et al.

    To be honest with you of all the players I've heard about I'm not certain any of them are what I'd be looking for and that includes Benzema - though he is probably the best of the bunch.


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