Monday, July 13, 2009

United 'rule out' Eto'o: Fergie set to gamble on kids plus Owen?

According to The Times, senior sources within Old Trafford are claiming the club has no interest in signing Samuel Eto'o, it could of course be a smokescreen and only time will tell as far as the Cameroon star is concerned. Eto'o has been strongly linked to Manchester City, but talk of that move fell through at the back end of last week.

The champions have until the end of August to make a move for a new striker, but fans will be beginning to wonder if the manager is now looking set to go with what he's got given the lack of top quality availability. Many pundits are claiming Karim Benzema was the manager's number one summer transfer target, that was until the young French striker opted to join Real Madrid.

Fergie might be contemplating starting the season with no new striker onboard apart from Michael Owen, the champions first two league fixtures are against newly promoted clubs in Birmingham (h) and Burnley (a), followed by Wigan (a) and then Arsenal (h) before the window slams shut. If United are struggling in front of goal at that point the manager might then be forced into a panic buy, but in truth there are few obvious quality transfer targets.


  1. "It is the end of our business, so all these stories about who we are supposed to be getting - forget it,"

    "Everywhere in England and in Europe the players' values have shot sky high. I don't think any of the transfers that you see happening are realistic but for some reason it seems to have caught fire this summer."

    "It is a very unusual summer and difficult to get value because of that."

    said by Fergie

    the summer signing seems over by far. If it's true, that's not a gamble but suicide. the weakness of attacking and midfield probably will destroy our dreame of the 4th consecutive tittle. I just hope we can get another FA Cup or League Cup winner and finished in top 4 next season.

    But in Fergie, I trust that we'll be okay to get better after next season.

  2. Its hard to not feel underwhelmed by the signings we have made, and I am gutted that Owen is the new number 7.

    Also makes you believe that Fergie sees Owen as an important player in the squad. It wouldnt surpise me to see Rooney used on the left with Owen/Berba upfront when choosing his strongest squad and that sucks for Rooney, one of the positives for Ronaldo leaving was that Rooney would be allowed to play in his favoured position. I hope I am wrong on that.

    I could see him blowing money on Eto'o before the transfer window is up. When Berba does sod all for the first few games of the season and Owen gets some sort of injury (its gonna happen) then he may be forced to panic buy.

  3. Fortunately or unfortunately, it's been confirmed - no new signings this summer. I admit I was a little shocked and disappointed to hear that. I sure don't have the kind of confidence Sir Alex does in the current team to win titles, but like you said, there are no obvious targets. Let's hope for the best.

  4. I must say that I am not convinced by SAF. Currently, if we have any interest in any players, the best thing to do is wait. Let Madrid, City, and even to some extent Chelsea finish their shopping. Once that happens the inflationary forces in the market have left. While their big spending will in some way drive up the price of a player, their possible interest will not be able to drive up the price. United will be in a position to play hardball and not be undermined.

    With that being said, I think a serious question needs to be asked, who is really on the market that would add the necessary quality to our team? I believe there are very few. At striker only really Eto is available, but his price tag and wages may be a big problem.

    As to the wing, only really David Silva springs to mind, but if we go in who knows what Madrid would currently do. Ribery is out of the question. Beyond those two, there are a very few who you think can come in and absolutely do a job. Some may argue for Ashley Young, but that would be at least a 15 million purchase, probably more likely to be 25. That is a lot of money to pay for potential.

    The only other real position where I think we are lacking is the center of the park. However, no one springs to mind that we could bring in. Maybe Yaya Toure, but that would only be a possibility if Barca sign Mascherano probably. And then the question would be price. Maybe people can think of others, but I am of the belief that if we are going to buy for the center of the park it should be an established name and their are few, if any, established players available in this position.

    Thus, I am not convinced we are done, but still question if even if we wanted to purchase someone is anyone really available.

  5. Its official. Ferguson gave an interview to the Telegraph where he said United will 'be sensible' this summer and waste no more transfer money, as prices are inflated beyond belief. So we can expect no more high-profile signings.

  6. A stance against the crazy prices of the over-inflated market is admirable but if you sell someone for £80million you partly create some of the problem. Some of the prices being paid or being asked for players are obscene.

    I find it hard to believe all of Fergie's comments. This coming from a man who kept telling everyone Ronaldo would stay and that he wouldn't sell Madrid a virus.

    You have to wonder if Fergie is having his hands tied on this one and if some of the money is going to fund the Glazers' debt. I for one won't be surprised if Utd sign someone else in the next 6 weeks. One thing to remember, last seaon in the league Utd didn't score that many goals. Perhaps this will lead to a tactical reshuffle instead.

  7. Gavin,

    You're not the first to question the Glazers' and their interest bills and yes you do wonder if the main reason Fergie hasn't splashed the cash is due to the purse strings being tightened.

    However, one of the great ironies following the debt driven takeveover is the Glazers' cannot afford to see the team failing, so they really have no alternative but to allow the manager to spend, even if its heavily and yes even questionable at times.

    As I mentioned on the blog, I can see a panic buy late on in August.

    I'm hoping Macheda saves United millions by coming good, because I'm sure he's going to get his chances this season - that could turn out to be one of the few positive points to come out of what I predict will be a disappointing season.

    The other big talking point that is easy to predict centres on the future of Fergie; I remain convinced he will go sooner rather than later - the only question is how his exit strategy will unfold.

  8. Uday,

    Did Fergie actually use those words "waste any more money"? But yes he has confirmed what I'd posted earlier in the day....

  9. Dave,

    I agree Rooney on the left does suck and as I've saying for a week or so you will continue to see that happening until Fergie finally replaces Giggs on the left flank.

    With the risk of repeating myself Royston Drenthe is the man to do that job.

  10. Nik,

    You know Fergie could be deployig smoke and mirrors it wouldn't be the first time; didn't he sign Rooney sooner than he wanted after initially saying "no more signings"?

  11. Ruud, I actually agree it does look like a case of suicide, but who would you have signed if you were manager?

  12. 619,

    Here's another scenario: Benzema flops next season, then United snap him up for £15m the following summer...

    I don't see David Villa signing for anyone but Real Madrid.

    Central midfield is a concern if Hargreaves fails to recover, and here again there are few obvious targets.

    I think the fans are going to have to be really patient for a few seasons following the events of this summer. United might not win another major trophy until we have a change of manager - I can honestly see that happening.

  13. That's a good question, James.

    I don't think I can be a manager because I am not able to and there're too many inside stories we don't know.

    But if I'm the manager, I would like to sign Lee Cattermole to fix the midfield weakness. He dazzled me with him performance which he showed at the under 21 european championship. I believe he will be the English Keano.

  14. As to my remarks and the lack of obvious targets, in the fantasy world I live in, I would not be completely surprised to see us have another dealing with Madrid again.

    SAF says there will be no more transfers and that is all fine and dandy, but sometimes what he says and what he does are two different things.

    I think the value of Madrid's players will drop as the transfer window opens, especially as it comes to a close. Consider for example, if they want to sell Robben, Drenthe, Snjeider, or any others, it will likely be because they know that they are going to play next to none. A half or whole season of not playing does nothing to improve the value of the players or the wage bill and might also hurt team morale.

    Thus, Madrid may become willing to let players go at more realistic prices as time passes to eliminate the drop in value or having to pay the wage bill. While who knows how true my conjecture is, I believe Madrid will offer value for money in terms of players as the windows winds to a close.

    Thus, I could see us going in for a Madrid player when


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