Neuer, Dzeko And Garay All Set For United
A few weeks ago Sir Alex told reporters that he did not see value for money in the transfer market and that he was happy with his squad. So, it's only natural that the papers keep on linking us to every decent footballer on the planet.
According to the Daily Mail, we are in pole position to secure the signature of Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko as Milan's vice-president Adriano Galliani declared they were not interested in him due to having similar players available. With Pato, Huntelaar, Borriello and Inzaghi all at the club it only makes sense they do not want to purchase another centre-forward.
However, Dzeko would cost a fortune, could not play in the Champions League and confirmed his preference for Serie A many times. Will he join us? Unlikely. Even if we have the money which is far from certain.
Various sources report that we are in talks with Schalke for talented goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and that the Gelsenkirchen club is prepared to let him go for as little as 10m. Now for a private confession: I desperately want this rumour to be true because Neuer is an excellent, highly reliable goalkeeper with a great build. He would be the perfect successor of Edwin in my opinion.
But Fergie confirmed a few weeks ago that Foster would not be leaving in January and that Tomasz Kuszczak will have the chance to impress. Which means it's unlikely that we'll sign a fourth goalkeeper. But this deal could happen in the summer and I very much hope it will happen.
Now move on for the wilder pieces of gossip. Apparently, Real Madrid are ready to offload Ezequiel Garay - the defender hasn't set the world alight since moving to Madrid - and United are very much interested, preferably in a loan deal. He was supposed to become one of the best centre-backs in the world but it's fair to say this did not happen. In short, I would say that Madrid's defence is, erm, not very good and he can't get games in that defence. Unlikely, again.
And my personal favourite: Real Madrid are disappointed with the contribution of summer acquisition Karim Benzema and are contemplating a sale before his value dips. He was very much on Fergie's radar in the summer but the manager admitted he had been priced out of the move. But does he want a Real Madrid reject now? Are the Spaniards really ready to sell? It would be surprising to see them giving up on Benzema so quickly - he was a marquee signing and will probably get more chances to show his value. The way Real Madrid is run is often confusing but they are not Liverpool - they won't sell a striker who had arrived with big hopes at a loss after only six months.
And some more rumours, in brief: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar could leave Milan in January as he's not content with the amount of games he gets and United are interested in the Dutch striker; Gremio slashed the price of young star Douglas Costa and therefore we have resurrected our interest in him; Catania's 21-year-old Japanese striker Takayuki Morimoto is also a target - I've never heard of him; the Manchester Evening News reckon that we are still in the hunt for both David Villa and David Silva who, in my humble opinion, would turn United into title favourites immediately but whose arrival is hugely unlikely.