Date:Tuesday January 23 2007
It's now a week (eight days) to the closure of the January transfer window and United seem to be going backward in terms of negotiations for players. I have a gut feeling we won't buy anyone at all.
Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath said he did not expect a lot of activitity in the remainder of the window. Instead of selling and buying feverishly, they would concentrate on retaining the championship and doing well in the Champions League with the squad they have at their disposal.
That does mean that Owen Hargreaves won't come to United in January. It's not spectacular news: Beckenbauer, Hoeness and Rummenigge had all stressed this before but now we are truly running out of time without any real progress.
The same can be said about Gareth Bale. It had been reported that United were about to pay £5.5 million for the promising Southampton left-back. However, his price is on the up. Last week, it was believed to be around £8m and all tabloids were sure United have won the race. Then came George Burley and leughed off the possibility of selling their prized asset for such a ridiculous amount (in their opinion, of course).
The latest news is that a club bid £10m for the 17-year-old Wales international. Sir Alex Ferguson had stressed he would not pay astronomical amounts for a left-back so I believe it could be Spurs who are willing to pay that money in their desperation for a quality left-sided player. And of course we can't rule out that Southampton will reject every offer and stick to their player.
Other rumours are afew. We had heard of Mavuba and Fernandes but the latter went to Everton on loan. United are believed to be tracking a PSG youngster called Youssouf Mulumbu but apart from his extraordinary name, I doubt he would be the midfield solution Fergie's looking for.
That means for me that United won't buy anyone in this year's January transfer window. Sir Alex and David Gill prepared us for it, remember? 'Don't hold your breath', Fergie warned us whilst Gill claimed he would expect a quiet period.
I would be happy to see another midfielder at the squad because it's obvious we're short in numbers in that area. But we are not in a desperate situation so I won't be gutted if we don't purchase anyone. I'm against buying for buying's sake of course. But with Scholes, Giggs and Solksjaer all approaching the end of their United career, we need to find proper replacements and therefore I would expect a busy, even hectic summer...
Date:Tuesday January 23 2007
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