It’s been a strange Summer for Manchester United, one in which the headline “Bebe saves United’s blushes” actually appeared on several newspapers and wasn’t some form of p*** take.
Not only has the formerly homeless Portuguese legend been saving the Reds from the embarrassment of losing to a side that didn’t even manage the top six in South African football last season, we’ve also seen United being not only linked, but actually putting bids in for two big name stars.
Last Summer we saw David De Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones, sign for the Reds before Wayne Rooney had even had chance to revisit the barbers with his new barnet. While United’s speed in securing their targets was welcome, there wasn’t really a big surprise in any of them coming to Old Trafford, the rumour mill hadn’t even had a chance to warm up before all three were posing with United shirts declaring war on City. Sort of.
This season though, after the predictable, but by no means unwelcome acquisitions of Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa for a combined fee of around £20 million, United have suddenly upped the ante by going after two of the biggest stars in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie is one of the most coveted strikers in Europe with a goalscoring record -particularly in recent seasons- that Andy Carroll can only dream of. A few days ago, if someone had suggested RVP coming to OT I would’ve laughed at the very idea- in fact I did and dedicated practically an entire article as to why I just didn’t see it happening. While I still don’t see the Dutchman coming to United, it would be foolish of me to deny it’s at least a possibility.
United have reportedly bid £15 million for the former Feyenoord man, which was quickly rebuffed by Arsenal who are after something closer to the £30 million mark, again if reports are to be believed.
As if this revelation wasn’t enough to make United fans explode in a frenzy of conjectural ejaculation on every available social network, then came the news that United were trying to sign Brazilian wonderkid ‘Lucas’ Moura from Sao Paolo.
I’ll be the first to admit that I new absolutely nothing about the 19 year-old Moura until a few weeks ago, and still don’t know all that much, but when a young player is priced around the £30 million mark, he can’t be completely rubbish. Unless of course he’s Andy Carroll.
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that United’s interest in Lucas is very real and despite what some newspapers, well one, reported, a deal has yet to be agreed for the talented winger. The problem seems to be the age old one of United’s valuation having a semblance of reality while the selling club want at least £10 million more than they should because, a) we’re dealing with United here and b) we haven’t got a lot of players to sell for over £20 million so we better get the most we can for the ones we do. Oh and you can even add on c) the player’s entitled to a large chunk of the fee as well.
It may take United a bid of £30 million or more to bag the Brazilian, while to prise Robin Van Persie from Arsene Wenger’s clutches could come in at around £5 or so million less, but would cost more in wages as the Dutchman seeks a bumper payday for what could be his last big contract.
Both players could feasibly end up costing around £100 million in transfer fees and wages, which is not exactly likely considering the Glazers are currently trying to sell shares to help alleviate the club’s massive debt.
Yes, it’s obvious there’s money to spend, but is there really £100 million of it? I very much doubt it.
If both Sao Paolo and Arsenal, decide to play hardball as they say in the colonies and/or in the case of RVP other parties -such as a certain Blue faction get involved then it may take that almost unthinkable sum to acquire both talents.
Sir Alex Ferguson may be faced with a simple yet difficult choice, go all out for one of them and get him. The question is “which one do you go for?” The one with a proven Premier League pedigree that’s also coveted by your main rivals, but has practically zero re-sale value, or the bright young talent, yet to be fully tested in England, who could be the next Ronaldo?
Personally I’d go for Lucas, but then again if City get Van Persie, it could be title number four…….