How much United activity can we expect in the transfer window?
The transfer rumour mill is already kicking up plenty of transfer rumours regarding United and their rivals but just how busy can we expect Sir Alex to be?
The amount of money spent or number of new arrivals will probably depend somewhat on how United react to the defeat to Chelsea and if they can close the gap at the top before the window opens. In all honesty the Reds were unlucky to lose to Chelsea and deserved at least a point after what was one of the best displays of the season so far. However, I do think the side relies to heavily on the abilities of Wayne Rooney which is why I’m sure we’ll see at least one big signing in January.
One man who could be making the switch is Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery. The Frenchman was allegedly Ferguson’s ‘number one target’ following the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid but a move failed to materialise. The German club believed Ribery’s value to be somewhere in excess of £75million during the summer which seemed to put the breaks on any possible move away from the Allianz Arena. It is now being reported that Bayern are willing to let him go for around £30m – if true I’m sure Fergie will be able to match it. The likes of Man City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea are also said to be interested so United may face a battle but Ribery could be an option for Sir Alex. However a deal for one of cash-strapped Valencia’s fantastic trio, Juan Mata, David Silva or David Villa could be a more viable option.
It has also been strongly rumoured that United are on the hunt for another keeper. Do United need another keeper? Perhaps not right now but Edwin Van der Sar can’t go on forever and Ben Foster looked shaky when he deputised for the Dutchman. Some names in the hat are CSKA Moscow keeper Igor Akinfeev, Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon (the man who replaced Van der Sar at Juventus) and Bayern Levekusen’s Rene Adler. Whether or not United bring in a keeper or not remains to be seen but there has been a lot of speculation so I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
A few things in terms of the United squad have worried me a bit this season. Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are great players, but the team should not be relying on them as much as they do. Giggs and Scholes should be impact players from the bench, or reliable squad members now they’re reaching the tail-end of their careers but the squad seems to rely too heavily on them.
It would really surprise me if at least one big name didn’t arrive in January when all things are considered. A signing like Ribery would be fantastic, but he isn’t the only option and I’m sure Ferguson has plenty of targets in mind already as he prepares to enhance his squad in the new year.
Written by Gareth Freeman, a sports writer for Betfair