Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Ashley Young in, Nani or Berbatov out? United plotting big money moves....

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The one thing Manchester United do not need right now is another winger and yet if we believe the latest transfer rumours Ashley Young could be heading to Old Trafford. The Villa winger has been strongly linked to several clubs including Liverpool, but reports claim United are the favourites to capture the England player in a reported £16m move.

Young is by no means the finished article and so it's worth asking if he is any better, or come to that as good as Park, Nani, or Valencia? Ryan Giggs will retire in the not too distant future and of course he can also play on the left.

Fergie might well reason that in signing Young he is bolstering his options, but with Scholes retiring there is an obvious void to fill in central midfield. United have just won a record 19th league title, but if they are to continue to dominate the Premier League and do well in Europe it is vital that Fergie spends his transfer war chest wisely; top of the transfer short-list should be a central midfield general.

United need someone like Wesley Sneijder or else Luka Modric, but Manchester City are said to be in the running to sign the Dutch midfield play-maker and they can out-bid anyone including Chelsea who are also said to be keen to capture the Inter Milan star.

According to Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, they will not sell Luka Modric - but we can safely ingore this assertion based on events of the recent past. In time honoured fashion, Spurs will hang United out to dry over any transfer fee for Modric, as they did when selling Carrick and Berbatov to the champions. Blackpool's Charlie Adam could be Fergie's 'plan B' for the central midfield slot. In an ideal world Fergie would sign two of the three midfield players mentioned, but will the manager have sufficient transfer funds?

As ever, the fans and media alike have no idea how much money the United manager has at his disposal, but given how little has been spent on transfers since the Glazer family takeover in 2005, it's a fair bet that Ferguson's cash will not stretch that far.

We know that Fergie is very confident about signing Spanish stopper David Gea - but if that deal doesn't come off the United manager will have a serious dollop of egg on his face after he publicly announced his intentions before the deal was cut and's fair to ask, why on earth did Fergie take such a risk?

Whatever happens with Gea, United will more than likely sign three new players this summer, but we could see as many as two big name exits. Ashley Young looks like a racing certainty to join United, as will David Gea hopefully along with either Sneijder, Modric or Adam.

As for likely exists, given that United do not really need to sign Ashley Young, (25), you have to wonder if Nani,(24), will be sacrificed, however, if that scenario actually comes to being then it doesn't really look like a sensible decision given that both players are a similar age and have a similar goals to game ratios (0.20 and 0.21 respectively). Fergie could argue that Young might perform better on the left than the Portuguese winger who was voted the player of the season by his team-mates in 2010-2011. Nani has taken time to settle, but he has proved his worth since Ronaldo moved on. There are no guarantees that Young will do as well as Nani.

Signing Young might make sense if Fergie had pots of money to spend this summer, but his transfer dealing under the Glazer regime suggests that will not be the case and so there must be a serious prospect of a least one big name player exit and if it isn't Nani then maybe Berbatov will be that man.

Berbatov was axed from United's Champions League squad and despite finishing top goal-scorer last season in the Premier League it looks as though his time at United could be coming to an end, thanks largely to the emergence of Javier Hernandez.

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  1. Transfers are supposed to bolster the strength of the squad not weaken it. Getting rid of Nani will definitely weaken the squad even if Young does sign with United. Young is a good player, but definitely not a straight replacement for Nani

  2. Clyde,

    But the question is, do United really need Young when there's much bigger issues to address and think about the money angle too???....

  3. young would be a better player than Nani in years to come! but has to wait for his chance when he joins MAN UTD.

  4. nani will not be going any where, but hopefully berba is off so macheda gets a proper chance this season

  5. Anon,

    I'm not entirely convinced we need him at all...

    And put it this way, I'd rather see the money spent on a creative midfield player - if it came down to a choice - we can do without Young.

    We cannot continue without a play-maker... it is as simple as that.

  6. I love the way United players and bloggers refer to Berbatov as the leading goal score in the Premier League,it should read "joint top goal scorer" with Senior Carlos Tevez.

  7. Anon,
    It did originally read like that, but then I decided to delete the Tevez reference....Not because it was wrong, but because I'm the editor... :0)

  8. I think the idea is to convert Rooney into a central midfielder, so that young will partner Chicharito

  9. Young can also play down the middle, this would offer greater options and fluidity in the squad. I do think the addition of young is merely squad strengthening due to the loss of Valencia and Park for periods in the season passed. We need to have strength in depth in every position. I also believe the addition of Jones will offer a DMF as well as cover for CB and hope this goes through.

  10. I have been promoting the idea of Rooney dropping back into midfield for a while, that makes perfect sense. Personally, I wouldn't touch Young with a bargepole... If I was going to sign a striker I'd have gone for Drogba, he could make a big difference in the short-term especially in the CL where he would give us the option of playing 5 across the midfield. Signing Young is an expense we cannot really afford, not when there's glaring issues to be resolved in central midfield. I not sure Young will cut it at United as a central striker. He's not what we need in terms of top priorities.

  11. To be honest James I think we do need another winger. We need someone decent for the left wing.

    We still play Giggs there on occasion. We always use Park there in big games and whilst he works hard Park isn't a great player. He is also very defensive for a winger. Nani can play there but rarely plays well out on the left. Dunno if its because he sulks when he is on that side or what but he plays nowhere near as well as he does on the right.

  12. Dave,

    I suspect Fergie thinks the same, but I can see a big name leaving. The question is, who will it be?

  13. Berbatov im sure.
    I think giving Owen the new contract pretty much sealed Berbatov's fate. Up front we will have Rooney, Hernandez, Berbatov, Owen, Welbeck, Macheda, Diouf and Young as it seems very likely to happen now. Far to many players. I would expect to see 3 or even 4 leave. Diouf will vanish without a trace. Another one of those "undisclosed fee" deals. I could just see Berba flogged off.

  14. if we dont manage to get attacking midfielder/playmaker we could change the system to 4-2-3-1 were we could have park and fletcher or carrick in the defensive midfield nani and young on the wings in the attacking midfielder position rooney because that is were he kind of played all season and chichirito in striker and in defence evra jones vidic and fabio

  15. we can do without Young skillful as he may be Nani has been greatly impressing since Ronaldo's departure let the game be in his hands the next 3-5 years he'll do what Ronaldo did

    don't also forget that in Lisbon Nani was rated better than Ronaldo quite makes history and history doesn't make man


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