Date:15th July 2011 at 2:50am
Written by:

Javier Pastore

Javier might not have had the B'allon D'or but he did have a balloon

After hearing today’s update on the Sneijder saga, I was quite disappointed, so to console myself I’ve compiled a list of a few players who could also fill our midfield void.

1. Javier Pastore- Rumored to prefer a stay in Italy, but nevertheless, Pastore is a player more than capable of providing United with creative spark; he has been one of the Serie A’s most exciting attacking players since arriving from Argentina in 2009. A gifted dribbler, Pastore is composed on the ball, capable of creating an attack through movement on the dribble, or an incisive pass. At only twenty-two years old, the Argentinian international would fit United’s transfer policy to a tee; he has the potential to improve, and significant sell on value if he busts. Currently plying his trade at Palermo, Pastore lacks Champions League experience, and I wouldn’t count on him adjusting to the physicality of the Premier League, however, he still remains a decent second or third choice transfer target.

2. Samir Nasri- We already know that United have tabled a bid for the Frenchman; it was widely reported that Fergie’s twenty million pound query was rejected by Arsenal. Since then, Ferguoson has stated his doubt at the potential arrival of Nasri, making it clear that he suspects the midfielder will either stay at Arsenal or reject Manchester United for someone else. Personally, I see Nasri as a player who should only be signed in addition to a Sneijder/Pastore/Modric, he is less of an out and out midfielder, and more of a creative winger, capable of cutting in and weaving passes through. Unlike Pastore, Nasri has already proved that he is capable of cutting it in the Premier League, the former Marsielle man was especially impressive last season, though concerningly, he did fade a bit towards the end.

3. Luka Modric- More of a deep lying, regista type playmaker, Modric would represent a different option than that provided by Nasri or Sneijder. A Croatian international, Modric seems to have his heart set on a move to Chelsea, though even that transfer is unlikely due to Tottenham’s stubborn stance- one that Ferguson has had plenty of experience with in the past. Of all the midfielders linked to United, Modric is the one with the playing style most reminiscnet of that of the now retired Paul Scholes; the former Zagreb man is content to sit deep and ping passes around the park, rather than bomb forward in search of goals and assists. During his time at White Hart Lane, Modric has consistnetly proved himself adept at helping wingers into play, and there is no reason why he shouldn’t be able to replicate his great relationship with Bale and Lennon, and forge a dangerous partnership with Nani, Valencia and Young.

4. Marek Hamsik- Of all the four players listed, Marek Hamsik is the least likely to join, but he does meet United’s transfer specications perfectly. Still only a young player, the Slovakian boasts World Cup experience, as well as that of a title chase in a top class European league. A rumored target of AC Milan, Hamsik has made it clear that he wishes to leave Naples for pastures new, leaving the possibility of a move to United viable, if perhaps a little unlikely. Hamsik would certainly add something to the United attack, last year he forged a dangerous relationship with Napoli duo Lavezzi and Cavani, as the trio of attackers helped make Napoli one of the most feared sides in Italian football.

So, it seems that United’s search for creativity will continue to drag on. Personally, I would like to see Sneijder playing for us next season, though Modric wouldn’t be bad either..

Comment with your say on United’s midfield hunt.

Read more by David Yaffe-Bellany @ In For The Hat Trick and follow him on Twitter @INFTH