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.
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.