Tomorrow, July 1st, marks the official start of the transfer window.This time last year United fans were pinching themselves to hope that the moves for Anderson, Nani and Hargreaves were all completed and official after an early pre-season swoop.
This pre-season we’ve not had David Gill looking very pleased with himself walking through an airport, instead subjected to constant media speculation over a certain number 7’s future.
Indeed, even the most ardent United fan could be forgiven for forgetting that it was less than 6 weeks ago that we won the European Cup. The European Cup, for christ’s sake!
With the European Championships over (congrats to Spain, easily the best side in the competition), and Fergie due to start back at work today, you would expect some activity on the transfer front (at least on the arrivals side of things). Pique has left, 5 kids were officially released last week, while Saha and Silvestre look certain to have played their last game for the club – if we can find any takers, that is.
Speaking at the Great Scots Cup golf tournament for charity, Sir Alex said, “Managers are back at their clubs and you can get some dialogue now if they are interested, but I wouldn’t think (we would buy) any more than one player… We are looking at one or two things.” Worrying for fans such as myself who had concerns that our lack of depth in defence (full back areas, at least), a need for another striker, and surely a need for extra creativity given how we struggled when Rooney was absent last season, despite the heroics of Ronaldo.Fergie could of course be holding his cards close to his chest but when looking at his comments we should at least examine how we are stocked if they are true. One signing, would surely mean a defender coming in – the development of Anderson and Nani, the addition of Manucho to the first team squad, a fully fit Hargreaves, and a full pre-season from Tevez may be enough to persuade the gaffer that we need no back up going forward. The sale of Pique and the likely sale of Silvestre is accompanied by the fact that aside from Simpson, we have no defenders to come in with any kind of first team experience. Neville should return, but at left back we would be horribly exposed should Evra get a knock. And, for all the speculation, there has not been one left back seriously linked with the club – Veloso of Sporting appears to have his heart set on a move to Milan, while Lahm recently signed a new contract at Bayern, and I don’t expect either of the Brazilian twins to be ready for the first team on arrival.
Manucho, at 25, could only have been signed with a view to have an instant impact after his acclimatisation period in Greece. Whether he will get games or whether he will make a good impact is open to debate – whether he is the player fans would identify as the man they want leading the line in the absence of Rooney or Tevez surely isn’t.
In the wake of Fergie’s comments, there must be a good few fans concerned that the club will do as it did in 1999 – no progress, no statement of intent, instead just replacing what is lost in the squad.
What do you think? Is Fergie playing a poker face with the intention of quietly pulling off major coups? Or do you believe his comments, and think just one player will be signed – if so, who?