After reading the stories about Dimitar Berbatov’s potential move to Germany, I get the feeling that Fergie may be thinking about raising some money to spend this January.
Of course, Sir Alex will never let us know what he’s up to, but with Darron Gibson already moving on, it looks like there’s a chance of seeing some new faces at Old Trafford by the end of the month.
Gibson has made the right move by getting out of Manchester. Lets face it, it was never going to happen for him at United. Just like Kieran Richardson, he was given his chance, but never seemed to reach the level that’s required at Old Trafford. He was never going to become a regular in the first-team, so it was only right that he looked for a move elsewhere. I’d expect Gibbo to do well at Everton. On a good day, he’s a decent passer, and we all know about his rasping shots. It’s a good move for him.
As for Berbatov, I’m a little surprised that he may be leaving.
After an excellent run of form in December, it seemed that the Bulgarian had turned his season around. During his three and a half years at the club, he’s had plenty of highs and lows. After a difficult start, he’s managed to win over SOME of the United fans, showing us his skills (his amazing first-touch) and scoring on a more consistent basis.
With his recent good form and all the talk of a new contract, why, all of a sudden, is he heading to Germany for “talks” with Bayer Leverkusen? Maybe Ferguson reckons he’ll get more money if he sells an in-form striker? However, if the papers are accurate (which they usually aren’t) the transfer fee is looking to be around £8 Million. Considering Berbatov is 31 at the end of the month, you might think that’s a good deal. However, I reckon that fee could go up, that is, if the move goes ahead.
That would leave United with roughly £10-£12 Million raised in January (Possibly up to £14 if Ravel Morrison doesn’t get his act together). If that’s the case, surely Alex Ferguson will have funds to sign at least one player during the transfer window?
The question is: Who can he sign?
Personally, I think a central defender is a priority. Defensively, there was good and bad during United’s 3-0 win over Bolton on Saturday. Jonny Evans performed very well, completely taking Davin N’Gog out of the game. However, if i’m honest, Rio Ferdinand really looked past it. It’s clear to see his pace is going. Mark Davies got past him with ease during the second half, and it seems to be a reoccurring feature of his game these days.
With Nemanja Vidic out for the rest of the season and Phil Jones looking better in midfield, a centre-half is vital if United are to claim their 20th league title. With Gary Cahill sealing his move to Chelsea earlier today, any lingering hope of getting his signature has been put to bed.
Some have suggested Chris Samba from Blackburn, however, I don’t think that would work. There doesn’t seem to be many realistic defensive targets in the Premier League. Jan Vertonghen of Ajax has been mentioned. I must admit, I don’t know an awful lot about the lad, but from what I’ve watched on Youtube, he looks quite good. Mat Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) is the man I’d like to see at Old Trafford, however, i’d say it’ll be the Summer before that could become a possibility.
As for the midfield, it’s easy to think of the quick-fix. Signing a Sneijder or a Modric would keep the fans happy, but Ferguson is thinking beyond that. It’s much like the time David Beckham left for Real Madrid. Fergie took a few years to rebuild his side, investing in Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, rather than buying proven 26-27 year olds. I have a feeling he’s going to approach this (and the summer) transfer window with the same thing in mind.
I’m going to ease my way back into blogging, so it’s just my take on the football headlines for today
Mark Hughes returns to management with Queens Park Rangers
First of all, I’m really surprised that Neil Warnock was shown the door at Loftus Road. Although he’s not the most popular figure in the game, Warnock should’ve been given more time to turn things around. Judging by his comments today, it seems that he thinks the same.
Now, I know the R’s haven’t won in eight, but I find it unusual they didn’t address the issue before giving Warnock his marching orders. My God, the man that brought Rangers back to the top level, hasn’t even had a season to structure a team that can cope with the demands of the Premier League.
As for Hughes, I’m not shocked that he was appointed the new boss. I’m sure he was keeping an eye out for potential sackings, ready to pounce when a half decent job came along. It looks like he needs to prove himself after his less-than-successful period with Fulham ended last June.
I think it’s important that Sparky doesn’t become a bit of a journeyman around the Premier League. QPR will be his fourth shot at management in the English top-flight and to be honest, he hasn’t had a whole lot to show for it (well, in the line of silverware anyways)
Hughes needs to be clever in the transfer window. Rather than spending big on marquee signings, he needs to build a solid foundation and get a settled XI. Survival is his first objective. If he fails to succeed at that, he could be shown the door by May.
Thierry Henry second coming exceeds all expections
It was like something from a Hollywood movie! As an Irish football fan, it’s hard to like “Le Cheat”. However, it’s impossible not to appreciate the natural talent that Henry possesses.
He might be slower and heavier, but the way he took his chance last night was just like the Henry of old. He definitely still has the touch, while adding a fantastic beard that makes him look about 45.
That’s all the compliments I’m giving him. Although, I had to laugh at some people on Twitter last night. I seen some very angry comments directed towards Irish Arsenal fans for welcoming Henry back to the Emirates.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with this. I support Manchester United, and if it had been Patrice Evra that had been involved in the “hand of frog” incident, yes, I would have been fuming, but what would I do? Boo Evra each time he played for my club? Of course not! That’s the job of those who support other clubs. (In fact, I still blame Paul McShane for the whole thing! Clear the ball you clown)
Sean St Ledger makes massive move to…………Ipswich?!
What? Is he just not good enough to play in the Premier League?
As an International, I think he’s fairly solid. Maybe it’s “The Iron Curtain” Richard Dunne that compliments him, but I thought he’d have made a move to the ‘big-time’ at this stage. I’m sure some of you will disagree with me, but he is definitely in my starting XI for Ireland at Euro 2012. Who else have we got?
It seems that a falling-out with Leicester boss Nigel Pearson was the reason for St Ledger’s exit. It’s believed that a number of bids came in for the Irish defender, but he set his sights on Portman Road. I wonder did he like the idea of working with Paul Jewell? The Ipswich boss is well respected in the English game, and could definitely lead the Tractor Boys to promotion if given a bit of time.
St Ledger better hope he’s made the right move, because at 27, he’s in the prime of his career and won’t want to waste it at a club that’s going nowhere.
I WANT YOUR OPINION: Name your Republic of Ireland 23 man-squad for EURO 2012
You can tweet them to me at @frankiemccann
Thanks for reading!
I have been putting this off for some time now, but I’ve finally decided to bring back my blog. For anybody that has been following me on twitter for a few years, you may remember my daily posts during the 2010 World Cup. (I’m pictured above, sporting a lovely red hoodie in the Nou Camp)
Basically, I was just giving my opinion on the games and the star performers of the tournament. (Here’s an old sample if you’re interested)
As a New Year’s Resolution, I have planned to write daily pieces on what I find interesting in the football (and sporting) World.
Hopefully this is something you’ll find interesting, and make sure you comment on what I write. (good or bad!)
Stay tuned. First piece goes up tomorrow evening……..