Man Utd Target Dinamo Zagreb’s Milan Badelj

Chris Wright

1st, March 2010


By Chris Wright


Where have we heard this one before, Manchester United willing to pay over the odds for Eastern European ‘starlets’ that go on to make absolutely no impact at the club whatsoever?

Anyone remember Zoran (‘the new Ryan Giggs’) Tosic or Adem (‘the new Kaka’) Ljajic?

No… …me neither.

Anywho, The Red Devils have reportedly entered the race to sign Dinamo Zagreb’s young star Milan Badelj in the summer for a fee touted to be up around the £8 million mark.

Sir Alex Ferguson has apparently been tipped off by his scouts that the young Croatian playmaker has the potential to become ‘the new Luka Modric’ but United may face competition for his signature as Badelj has also been attracting interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Inter Milan and Lyon.

Posted in Man Utd, Serie A, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. mkl says:

    Considering that United never bought Ljacic or in that matter paid anything of him, this post seems quite ludicrous.

    Getting half right and United having one shitty Eastern European player on their ranks, with also Serbian Vidic it is hard to see your point here..

  2. Chringle says:

    @mkl: Manchester United reportedly payed a combined fee of £17 million for Tosic and first dibs on Ljajic (which is a little over-the-top for two unknowns in my book), but waved their option to buy the latter due to a work permit issue or him not impressing during trials – depending on who you believe. Tosic is currently on loan at FC Koln after failing to break into the first team set up at Old Trafford.

    Vidic was 24 when he joined United in 2006 and was already established in the Serbian national team, so I’m not quite sure what your point is either!

  3. beli says:

    Ljajic made absolutely no impact at the club whatsoever because Manchester United WASNT willing to pay, hence why the deal was shafted. He seems to be doing good for himself at Fiorentina though.

  4. mkl says:

    Man Utd made an agreement to sign Tosic for around 10 million, but didn’t use the option after the year when the deal about to be concluded.

    So if they didn’t pay for him, he didn’t play for United, how can he be a flop for United?

    For Vidic, you’re right, he wasn’t really a starlet, but quite unproven to say the least on the highest level.

  5. eh?! says:

    chringle- what utd payed and reportedly payed are two totally different things! i think mkl,s point is that there is a piece(above) trying, to make out we/saf dont know what were doing with young eastern europeans. now having signed just the one flop, tosic, i dont see the point of this article either, or your blabbering over two “reported fees,” one for a player(ljajic) who we didnt even sign!

  6. Chringle says:

    @eh?! & mkl: All we have to work with is the ‘reported’ fees, as no one except the top brass at Man Utd and Partizan will ever know the exact amount of money that has changed hands.

    I wasn’t saying United never get it right when it comes to their Eastern European signings – I was just highlighting the similarities between the two (or three) deals.

    Tosic and Ljajic were lauded as future stars (the new Giggs & Kaka no less!) but Tosic has gone on to create a minimal impact during his time at Old Trafford, and Ljajic was so unimpressive during his trial period that United reneged their ‘first option’ on signing him – therefore indicating that he was not up to scratch.

    So all-in-all I’d say that any fee at all would be ‘over the odds’ for the pair, let alone £10 million.

  7. mkl says:

    I see your point, but I’d say your missing something here.

    I agree that Tosic has so far been a flop. However, playing currently in Bundesliga and having cost around 6 million I’d say there is a decent chance that United will get 4-5 million from him – you would still have to pay some “prospect extra” for him – or even better, get a decent squad player in the mould of Park. (I know, two totally different players, but a squad player that would play 10-20 games a season)

    What goes Ljacic, I would actually go on and argue that it was brilliant piece of business from United. Football wise so-so, but business wisely sheer brilliance. They guaranteed a top prospect at a young age and were able to monitor his progress for a year before actually paying any transfer fees (obviously there has to have been some fees, even as much as 1 million, but it still comes lot less than buying any decent prospect).

    The only problem in Ljacic case, as far as I see it, was that the fee was originally negotiated maybe a bit too high in 10 million. For that price Ljacic should have been able to challenge for the squad place immediately. But if that was not the case, it was better to save the money to something else – in this case Chris Smallin.

    And about smalling being able to challenge Rio, Vidic, Evans, et co., we can think whatever we want :)

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