Manchester United - Main Transfer Targets Are Out Of United's Reach
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Main Transfer Targets Are Out Of United's Reach

If press reports are to be believed, our main transfer targets for this summer are the following players, in no particular order: Antonio Valencia, Franck Ribery, David Villa and Karim Benzema.

The problem is that we have to sign at least two of these players - or other players who have similar strengths - due to Ronaldo's departure. And so far only Antonio Valencia's arrival looks likely.

United are set to meet Wigan over the transfer of Valencia in the next few days and though Dave Whelan claims Madrid are still in the hunt it's quite certain that it's only an attempt to increase the fee. I'd say it's 90% that he'll end up at Old Trafford.

David Villa, however, has already made his decision and apparently his agent is working towards that. Villa made it clear on many occasions that he'd prefer to stay in Spain which means that he's almost certain to have chosen Real Madrid who still could not agree a fee with Valencia CF. But they will, I'm sure, as Valencia are in desperate need of the money.

Franck Ribery is another Real Madrid target - but surely they can't sign EVERYONE? - and Zinedine Zidane claims that talks are underway about taking him to the Bernabeu. Why would he go there is anyone's guess, seeing that they are overloaded with superstars already but it is said to be his dream. Barcelona are also in the picture and they are also ahead of United in the race - and it would make much more sense for Ribery to join Barcelona than to join Madrid, that's obvious. But United's chances of landing him are very slim: 5%, at best, I'd estimate.

Then there's Karim Benzema: Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas admitted that he couldn't say Benzema was untransferable. But they do not wish to sell, Benzema is not desperate to leave and Aulas confirmed what we had known anyway: that Benzema's preferred destination would be - guess who? - Real Madrid... 5%, again, as Benzema is prepared to wait a year for Madrid to make their move.

So it looks like that all our main transfer targets will be snapped up by Madrid or stay at their club. Unfortunately, these high-profile continenatal players have this inexplicable love for Real Madrid which is baffling: what is so flash about a club where football comes second to merchandising and marketing income and which never reached the quarter-final of the Champions League in the last five years?

As for United, we have to go down the usual 'Fergie way', it seems: we can go for established Premier League players (as we did in the case of Berbatov, Carrick and the likes) or relative unknowns from the continent who might turn out to be fantastic (Evra, Vidic, Anderson, Nani - the latter showing the dangers of this approach...). It is quite clear that we won't be able to sign established stars to replace Cristiano Ronaldo: that is Real Madrid's privilige, for some reason.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday June 18 2009

Time: 6:20PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I thought you guys had some age limit or something.. On big transfers..
Report Abuse
18/06/2009 19:03:00

"Unfortunately, these high-profile continental players have this inexplicable love for Real Madrid which is baffling:" Baffling?? BAFFLING?? Are you serious? Let’s see amazing history, Great weather, Great City, A chance to play with Kaka, Ronaldo and Ramos, A chance to wear their idols jersey and number, O and great pay doesn’t hurt. I understand that your *****ed that Madrid is getting all your targets but its not baffling....Good job Fergi, Ronaldo out Valencia in. WOW
Report Abuse
18/06/2009 20:29:00

like Ray Wilkins has said - Madrid are putting the roof on without sorting the foundations out!
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18/06/2009 20:53:00

I think we'll be looking at Valencia, Young, Vucinic and Eto'o. But I reckon wage demands from Eto'o and the likely excessive price for Young will mean we get Valencia and Vucinic. Both have potential to do well and won't cost a bomb either.
Report Abuse
19/06/2009 00:30:00

If this season,real circus fail with the amount they have spend and the players they have,it would be the biggest joke since football was kicked into action.
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19/06/2009 11:31:00

Even bigger than paying Wigan 18m for Valencia ? I think not abmtd lol
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19/06/2009 17:19:00

There is no way nani and Anderson were relative unknowns (You paid 30 mil for the pair. Also the wod 'fantastic' is hardly the word ill use for either. Anderson, never scored a goal for united, and couldn't keep up with the big boys eg Barelona (Although i could say that about your whole team, exept for Ron... o yh he's gone.) Then theres nani he's made 72 appearances (around 20% have been in the carling cup) and scored 10 goals. So yh they are brilliant players..
Report Abuse
19/06/2009 18:04:00

Nani stikes me as the kind of player who needs the confidence of his manager and team mates to be confident in himself. A good run in the first team might do him some good. I have always felt that he has a far better shot on him than CR7, he is also a better crosser of the ball. His problem is just not knowing when he should do either. But hey, after three seasons Ronaldo was "just a show pony". 3 more seasons and 91 goals later and everyone is singing a different tune. After 2 season nani has only scored 10 but Ronaldo had only scored 15 and he played 20 more games.
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19/06/2009 19:46:00

You guys have had years and years splashing masses of cash around. You can only get at the cash now by selling your best players. Also you had your botty smacked in Rome; totally humiliated. The fact that you won't be first choice on form for Europe's best players means that your financial problems will start to impact on transfer options. It's just a commercial reality that other clubs have always had to live with. There's no sense moaning about it. The new reality just means teams like Man City will beat you more often; will qualify for Europe and shortly start winning the Premiership.
Report Abuse
20/06/2009 17:05:00

Sindbad - Because we sold Ronaldo who had always wanted to go? Or because there is no way any club in this world can reject an 80 mil offer for their player? So for these reasons, you deduce we have to sell to buy? Why won't we be first choice? Are we the first team to lose a CL final? What kind of s*** are you talking??? And I can tell you this much - if we aren't first choice, you're probably not even in the choices considered! Thinking about getting Kaka, Eto'o? Hahahahahahahahah please. Commercially, only ONE club in this world can come close to us and thats Madrid. We are still the most valuable sports brand in football and just signed a record shirt deal. The new reality, you will spend billions on players and still at best win the CARLING CUP! You will continue to qualify for Europe through the Fair Play league and we'll all be dead by the time you win the prem!
Report Abuse
20/06/2009 17:22:00

City will sign some good players, but they'll b mercenaris looking for a quick buck or players who will be looking for a move before the ink is dry on their contracts (robinho to Barca anyone?). The premier league is tough and whilst people seem to think that its just about spending loads and buying big names; its a teams spirit that gets themacross the finish line. Look at Chelsea; it was the Mourinho mentality that brought them back to back titles. When City bring in Eto'o, Tevez, Ronaldinho, Buffon etc they will perform well on their day. But when the chips are downand they need to dig deep they won't; because win, lose or draw they still take home £300k and have no real love for the club.
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22/06/2009 00:02:00


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