Never mind Ronaldo – who’s coming in!

Since the end of the Champions League final all talk regarding United in the media has been about where Ronaldo will be in August. Well, other than the first line of the blog, this post will be a Ronaldo free zone! Euro 2008 has supplied us with some really good games and some sublime individual performances. This post has a look at some of the best players in the tournament so far and whether or not a transfer bid is possible for the player. You may wish to vote in our online poll on who you would most like to sign for next season.

Sneijder (Holland) 

The scorer of two wonderful goals against the 2006 World Cup winners and finalists, caught the eye of many football fans that have been impressed with his performances towards the end of last season. Comfortable with either foot, he plays his best football as an attacking midfielder in the final third of the pitch. Signed by Real Madrid last summer for £21Million the former Ajax man scored nine goals in his first La Liga season. Deadly from set pieces and versatile in attack, Sneijder would be a very decent acquisition for United, adding to attacking options. He would not come cheap though, and United would be looking at paying over £25Million for his services.

Philipp Lahm (Germany)

Lahm has become one of the most sought out after full backs over the past few years. Contracted to Bayern Munich of Germany, Lahm has constantly impressed with his lung bursting dribbles up the right or left flank and also his determination to get back and defend for his side. Lahm lined up against United for Stuttgart in the 2003/04 season when the Germany side beat United 2-1 in the Gottlieb-Daimler Stadium. Lahm scored a memorable goal against Costa Rica in the 2006 World Cup and has put in some great performances in Euro 2008. He has recently signed a contract with the German Champions to keep him at the club until 2012, so a transfer bid in the region of £20Million will be needed in order to require his services. Lahm can sit in as left or right full back but Sir Alex Ferguson will, if bought, use the German as a right full back. This will have both Evra and Lahm bombing down either flank and joining up with the attack. This transfer would have seemed more probable had it not been for the superb performances of Wes Brown this season, who appeared 52 times for the reds this season – the most appearances by any player for United.

Andrei Arshavin (Russia)

Russia were humiliated by Spain in their first group game and only just manged to overcome a poor Greece side at the start of the tournament. Both games were played without Arshavin, who was suspended due to being sent off in the last qualifier against Andorra. By the end of the Sweden game it was clear to see how important the player is to Russia and why the missed the playmaker in the first two games. Arshavin setup the first goal and scored the second in a 2-0 win off the Swedes, which guided the Russians into a quarter final tie against the impressive Dutch. Holland were most people’s favourites having beaten Italy, France and Romania (a side they failed to beat in qualifying) and looked good value before the game to reach the semi finals. Russia completely outplayed Holland in every area, restricting their one touch passing game in the final third and also playing a deep back line that stopped the effective counter attack that Holland had shown against all three previous opponents. Arshavin was at the heart of the Russian attack, providing an assist for the second Russian goal and scoring the third. In both games Arshavin was given the UEFA man of the match award. His best position is as a second striker that can pick the ball up deep and commit defenders with is dribbling ability. Arshavin has announced that he wishes to leave Zenit St Petersburg and would command a £15Million transfer fee, expect this to rise if he can play a pivotal part in a semi final victory over Spain or Italy.

Other Noticeable Performers

David Villa – The solution to most clubs transfer problems, with all of the big four linked to the Spaniard. Villa is currently top goal scorer in the finals having bagged a hat trick against Russia and a winning goal against Sweden, Villa will be a top priority for any top club that wants a quick, skillful striker that has had a season to forget at struggling Valencia. Can command anything up to £30Million, depending on who’s buying and whether he wishes to leave. Wouldn’t leave United with much height up top for crosses.

Sergio Ramos – The golden boy of Spanish football had a tough first season at Madrid after a string of poor performances at the center of defence. Shifted to right back after the decline of Salgado and has put in some very effective performances for both club and country. Bought from Seville in 2005 for a record £21Million making his transfer a record domestic transfer. Would play at right back for United but would command, again, over £25 Million. Has already quashed claims that he will be part of a transfer exchange involving United and some Portuguese player.

Luka Modric – The destroyer of England and making Gerrard and Lampard chase shadows for ninety minutes. Sounds like a player who United fans could take to in an instant, but unfortunately has signed for Spurs for £16Million prior to the finals. Excellent player, with superb vision and passing ranged. Once used to the physical side of the game, expect the player to dictate matches.

So there are Stretford-end.com’s transfer targets from the Euro 2008. What do you think? Are any of these players possible transfer targets? Would you want to sign these players? And have we overlooked any players that you feel have had a good tournament and should be considered by Fergie? Lastly, are there any players that aren’t playing in the tournament that you would like to sign? For instance there has been a number of sources linking United with Eto’o of Barcelona.

Have your say in the transfer forum also.

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17 Responses to “Never mind Ronaldo – who’s coming in!”

  1. ManU says:

    Arshavin and Lahm are the best choice for Man United. Forget about Ronaldo the greedy lad of low education as mentioned by Mourino previously.MU must make sure Real pay good money for the Euro flop player who thinks he is great but forgot the master who had develop him to what he is today.

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  2. Tommy says:

    The education-remark was unnecessary. What about Pavlyuchenko? 24yrs great pace, technique, strength. And we need a target-man. Plus great attitude on the pitch. Van der Vaart has never been in my books, not good enough. Sneijder would be excellent, also Santa Cruz or Berbatov

    Out: Ronaldo (think it is inevitable)

    In: Sneijder (part of Ronaldo-deal), Pavlyuchenko and Berbatov/Santa Cruz/Arshavin. Maybe Lahm or Ramos.

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  3. ChateThailand says:

    It’s true that Ronaldo ‘s leaving will not effect Man.United, and with the money available from selling him, the red Devils will be stronger next season. However, all the name mentioned above seem not to be a great answer for the loss of Ronaldo. In my opinion, if we sell Ronaldo, we should bring in at least 3 new world class players.

    The first one must be a world class striker who can scored at least 20+ goals – a season. In this position, the alternatives are Berbatov, Adebayor, Huuntelar, etc. However, this striker must have a great height (Rooney and Tevez are too short) skillful and very good at finishing. Therefore, Berbatov should be the best answer.

    The second signing should be a skillful and pacey winger and in this position Arshawin, Ben Arfa, Robinho, and Turan (Turkey) are all the best possible answer.

    The Third signing sjould be a great tall central defender (as we already sell Pique, and are going to sell Silvestre). In my opinion, if we sell Ronaldo, we should sign at least these 3 positions.

    Sneijder, Lahm, and Ramos are good players, but if we can only sign 3 players, they are not amongst the urgent requirements. In addition, I so sorry to inform that Luka Modric has already signed for Spurs.

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  4. Tommy – I agree Pavlyuchenko looks a class act and did well to get in front of the defender last night for his goal. Was unlucky not to score when he smashed Van Der Sar’s crossbar. I’m not too sure about Berbatov due to the price he will command. When you compare his work ethic to Tevez or Rooney you realise how much those two work for the side. Of course work ethic isn’t always everything due to the shift Cantona used to put in.

    ChateThailand – Good points and I agree United will come out stronger as Arsenal showed this season without Henry. I think Huuntelar will move from Ajax this season as it will be another year without Champions League Football, I just don’t know where he will end up.

    I would love to sign Benzema as highlighted in a previous blog. I think the lad is class and will be the next big thing in Europe.

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  5. Yolkie says:

    Lahm recently signed a contract extension so sadly I can’t see that one materialising – this is a bit out of left field, but I’m surprised Ashley Young hasn’t been mentioned more. Tricky, English winger with bags of pace, skill, and magnificent dead ball delivery. Would probably cost between £15-20m due to the excessive prices on English players but I would consider it a good signing.

    Arshavin has been excellent for Russia, and was sensational for Zenit last season, but I don’t think he’s the kind of established name that would appease fans if he was to be Ronaldo’s replacement. Nor is Ashley Young for that matter, but either of them would be a good addition.

    We certainly need a striker and a defender. I don’t expect more than one striker as we have got Manucho in and I believe the staff at the club have huge ambition for this bloke – they wouldn’t have taken a chance on him at 25 if they thought he needed too long a development spell.

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  6. Barrington says:

    Huntelaar – Arshevin and Sneijder and United are unstoppable.

    We don’t need Lahm. Let’s start to give some credit to Wes Brown. He was great this past season. He works hard, plays hard and is a loyal soldier. Yes we would need a defensive back up to him … Simpson?

    Let’s get rid of Ego Ron ASAP and end all this drama! This is football not a soap opera!

    Has anyone ever taken notice of what happens to players who go to Madrid as great players … I for one will shed no tears for Ego Ron … and I do appreciate all he has done for United. He’s kinda like an ex … yeah I loved you once … I just don’t now!

    All the best!

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  7. jack says:

    nice picks and all would be on my list with villa right at the top his a goal machine in la liga and is a very smart player.
    but from the euros

    zhirkov – can play at lb or lm, has a cracking left peg, good vision and is calm under pressure

    rakitic – his only 20 and looked great down the wing for croatia

    moutinho – has looked class for portugal and has a touch of the scholes about him

    ribery – not for his displays at the euros, but if ron leaves he would be the most direct replacement about

    de rossi – again not for his displays here, but due to his drive and skill at roma, a keane like player

    others

    lennon – priced at £6m in todays papers, he has potential to become a ronaldo type and with sir alex incharge of him, he could become great

    aguero – a small but classy forward

    benzema & ben arfa – young and skillful but pricey

    darren bent – i know this seems out there but his still young
    and has a great eye for goal, a new andy cole. as he works the wings well,
    his good in the air and has pace too

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  8. NAD says:

    Robinho – The next Number 7

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  9. GONZO says:

    kaka has said his dream is to play for manchester united, so then why dont we go and get him straight away, when we sell ronaldo.

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  10. United310 says:

    Well….you got a good selection, but you haven’t taken into consideration the following:

    1) I really like Seijner, but he has said many times how much he loves madrid and he has no plans to leave.

    2) Arschavin has been the MOST impressive footballer at the EURO’s. I really havent seen a player manage the ball so well in a while. So, I would put my money on him, as he could be Scholes’ permanent replacement. HOWEVER, reports state that he has been already approached by ARSENAL.

    3) Ramos = FORGET ABOUT HIM. He is a great player, but just as Raul….he will NEVER leave that club.

    4) Ronihno – He’s ok…..i wouldnt mind seeing him at Old Trafford. I think that he is one of the players that will be most likely being included in the Ronaldo deal.

    MY CHOICE OF PLAYERS FOR THIS SEASON:
    – Hunstleelar, Arschavin, Lahm, Robihno, and what about RONALDIHNO? I know, some may say he is not the player he use to, but I do believe he still has it in him….He just needs a little motivation. Maybe a change of scenery….a new challenge. I think United can give him that and get a couple of good years out of him. What do you think?

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  11. United310 – You make some great points, but I was merely commenting on the performance of these players within the European Championships. I agree that I can’t see Ramos leaving Madrid but I can see Sneijder moving, especially on who they sign this summer.

    Would love to see Arshavin play at Old Trafford. He was immense in the UEFA cup and has been superb in the tournament so far. I don’t know about Ronaldinho….apparently Citeh have signed him (along with Maradona, Pele…) :-)

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  12. Tom says:

    Well i think you all have some good comments but you seem to be missing the point to Fergie’s previous signings. With the sale of Ronaldo we will see other people shine, Anderson, Nani, Rooney.

    Anderson – Seems to me that he is the long term replacement for the Ginger Master we call Scholes. Anderson hasn’t seen mcuh football this season and has been switched and swapped about. However when he has played he has shown great class with his ability.

    Nani – Again its the same scenario as with Anderson but this time Nani would love to replace Ronaldo on the right wing. Nani is at a more progressed stage now than Ronaldo was at this stage. Nani is strong clever and has a temper which is good. He wont take any rubbish off anyone.

    Rooney – Hasn’t had the best season because he has been shaddowed by Ronaldo’s extraordinary season. This year with been the ‘Bread Winner’ I think that Rooney’s time at United will start to prove he is an Amazing striker.

    There are a few players that i would like to see at United with Ronaldinho in the eyeline. I think Fergie has what it takes to calm the player down and show him the disapline that he needs. If Ronaldinho does join United i think that you will not have seen the best of him until then. Fergie seems to have the power to pull the best out of some of the players you would not expect.

    Sorry its very long winded and I hope you enjoyed the read.

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  13. Tom – I totally agree. The departure of an important player can do wonders to the rest of the side as players need to increase their performances even further. I think Rooney is, along with Ronaldo, our most important player. When he has been on the pitch in the league we haven’t lost and I really think that is such a vital statistic.

    However, along with your point, I still feel it is important to strengthen the side even further. After 1999 we signed the following players that summer/autumn:

    Jun Mark Bosnich (G) Aston Villa (Free Transfer)
    Aug John O’Shea (D) Trainee
    Aug Quentin Fortune (U) Atletico Madrid (1.5M)
    Aug Massimo Taibi (G) Venezia (4.5M)
    Sep Mickael Silvestre (D) Internazionale (4M)

    Bosnich/Taibi were failures and Fortune was a mere fringe player at the club. Silvestre, could have a superb game and then in a moment of madness lose concentration and thus stopping him from ever becoming a top class center half/full back.

    I think that in order to retain the Champions League/Premiership (a task that is near on impossible to do) we need to strengthen the side even further and combine this with the added responsibility of Anderson/Rooney/Nani then we can challenge.

    Good points though and what a signing that would be if he rediscovered his form.

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  14. StevIe P says:

    If Ronnie goes we need to spend big but you can only play 11 players and no-one can replace him or his goals.

    I’m gutted, I didn’t think we were a selling club!!!? I guess we’ve got to accept that there are bigger clubs out there. At least we can still sing that he “makes England look sh*t”!…..can’t we??

    I’ve just bought my lad a Ronaldo shirt and I see they’re going cheap on ebay.

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  15. Craig Mc says:

    StevieP, don’t you just hate it when that happens?. You buy something like your CR7 shirt, and then you find it going cheaper on ebay due to present circumstances. What a bummer!.

    Tom, your post was a good read. I so agree about Nani, Anderson, and Rooney. We have to see better things from them after CR7’s departure, and I think we will. I also agree with the poster who said Wes Brown didn’t do a half bad job at RB as stand in for us. His passing into the box as he goes forward will improve too, if his pass in to Ronaldo that brought the goal in the CL game is anything to go by.

    I do really like Berbatov, his touch is exquisite. He was very down last season when Spurs refused to sell him to United. So he sulked I know, but his heart was with us. I feel this would be the situation if CR7 is forced to stay against his will. I am torn, because I am also respecting that Fergie does not want to concede anything to Real Madrid. Fergie doesn’t like losing a battle, as we all know!.

    Do any of you think Nani is better playing on the left wing/side of MF?. I noticed that he doesn’t seem to get the same accuracy of pass into the box from the right. From what I saw in the Euro’s anyway. Maybe it’s just my imagination though!!!!!!

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  16. Lokey says:

    Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko will be good addition to the team. Their style of play suits Man Utd. Berbatov is too big headed for the good of the team. We should keep the remaining squad for the momentum of the team.

    What they need is to have back up players for the 2 full back positions.

    And just sell CR7 to cash in while his stocks are high!

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  17. Well Lahm was awful tonight defensively – scored a cracking goal but looked out of sorts at the back. That is not a strong German back line of old.

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