United’s pursuit of the England left-back appeared comical at times, with two bids of £9m for Baines being rejected. A further £28m bid for both Fellaini and Baines was made, but United eventually bought the midfielder for £27.5m, demonstrating the derisory double offer that was made for the pair. Patrice Evra appears to be returning to some sort of good form, although Moyes can’t be too comfortable with the Frenchman given the last-gasp bid for Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao. Will they pick up where they left off in January? We reckon so.
The dust is yet to settle as to why four Spanish lawyers arrived at the La Liga headquarters to negotiate a deal that would see Herrera leave Athletic Bilbao for Manchester United. The midfielder has since claimed that no agreement was ever in place, the lawyers have refused to comment, and United claim it had nothing to do with them. Confused? You bet, although Moyes interest remains in the 24-year-old Spaniard. With youth on his side, United could wait until next summer to make a move.
Now this one went under the radar a little. The Benfica defender was linked with a move to Old Trafford, but publicly spoke that he was happy with his current club and would be staying in Portugal. Never the less, with questions over Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s long-term fitness, and both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling yet to cement a place in the centre of the defence, a move for the former Real Madrid defender could quickly materialise in the New Year.
With Chelsea’s long-term interest in Wayne Rooney, and their signing of Samuel Eto’o on a one-year deal seen a stop gap until they return for the England international, United could hold the Blues to ransom over to move – or in clearer terms demand that they get Mata as part of the deal. The Spaniard was close to a Stamford Bridge exit when Paris St-Germain made a deadline day move for the 25-year-old, but he would certainly add an attacking flair to the United squad if they got him in January. Not many Red Devils’ fans would say no to the deal, but it could depend on one of Nani, Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia leaving first.
Moyes made a seemingly panic £34m bid for the defensive midfielder on transfer deadline day, but Khedira himself confirmed that Real Madrid rejected the offer and that was that. Having pursued creative, threatening midfielders all summer in the shape of Cesc Fabregas, Fellaini and Luka Modric, the Khedira revelation seemed like a peculiar one, although United’s squad do not contain a recognised holding midfielder. Either way, the German is unlikely to move to Manchester come January.
Remember him? Sir Alex Ferguson will do as the one that got away. Not many players that appeared on Ferguson’s wish-list slipped his grasp, but Sneijder was probably the biggest of them all. Now, Galatasaray’s sporting director Bulunt Tulun has claimed that United made an indirect offer to the Dutchman two weeks before the end of the transfer window. The former Champions League winner has gone a bit quiet since his move to Turkey, although he has received an international recall and could be on the way back to the top.
Daniele De Rossi:
The Italian midfielder has been a long-time target of Chelsea, and questions seem to appear over his Roma future every time that transfer window opens. But the Italian is no spring chicken and at 30, he would be the quick fix solution rather than the answer to Moyes midfield problems. United were believed to have bid £12m on Friday morning for De Rossi, but the Roma officials told the club in no uncertain terms that he was not for sale after they had convinced him to stay with the club earlier in the summer.
“Who” you might be asking? The 22-year-old defender currently plies his trade at Porto, but he has been attracting attention from clubs such as United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona. Scouts from the Premier League champions were in attendance to watch Mangala help Porto keep a clean sheet in the 3-0 victory against Maritimo last weekend, and he could be available for around £12m - £10m less than his colleague Garay. Barcelona’s desire for a central defender could see them move for Mangala in January which could spark a furore of interest in him, so don’t be surprised to see him in a red shirt come February 1.
The late, late move for Coentrao came after United accepted defeat in their battle with Everton for Leighton Baines, but considering Real Madrid had spent all summer trying to get rid of the left-back, the move came too late in the day to be completed in time. Real wanted Guilherme Siqueira from Granada to replace the Portuguese if he went to Spurs as part of the Gareth Bale deal, but when he wasn’t needed he went to Benfica instead. United’s late bid meant Real needed Siqueira back, but Benfica officials refused and they had to hold on to Coentrao. Expect Moyes to go back in for Baines before he does Coentrao.
Now this is an interesting one. Fabregas was one of very few transfer targets this summer to actually speak out in public over where he wanted his future to lie. He said he was happy at Barcelona, United scrapped their third bid, and everything appeared to have been sorted out. Right? Well, with Barcelona set to face Real Madrid at the end of October plus two Champions League group games against AC Milan, Fabregas could base his Nou Camp future on his inclusion in these ‘big occasion’ matches. If Gerardo Martino leaves him on the bench, Fabregas could be packing his bags and making a Premier League return.
United made an enquiry over Modric’s availability after they accepted defeat over Fabregas and lost out to Bayern Munich over Thiago Alcantara, although whether they actually made an official bid is unlikely. Modric only joined Real last season, but got off to a lsow start that saw him named the worst summer signing in La Liga just after Christmas. Modric turned his performances around though and became a prominent figure in Jose Mourinho’s side. But with the additions of Gareth Bale, Isco and Asier Illarramendi, Modric could find himself out of the squad if he doesn’t keep up his good form, although the departure of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal has at least removed one competitor in the Real Madrid attack.