The Summer Shopping List: Man Utd (or, guess which three players Alex Ferguson wants to sign this summer?)

71305930.jpgIf this isn’t prime material for pub-based speculation, I don’t know what is: Fergie has announced, via chief exec. David Gill, that Man U have identified ‘three targets’ to buy during this summer’s season break. We’ve taken a good look at Man U’s squad to see which areas they need to strengthen…
Goalkeepers: Edwin van der Sar probably has one or two more seasons in him at the highest level, but United are well-covered in this area, with Tomasz Kuszczak and Ben Foster waiting in the wings. Still, I’ll be interested to see who United’s No.1 is next season.
Verdict: There’s no chance that United will make a keeper one of their big three summer signings.

Full-backs: Gary Neville, Patrice Evra and Gabriel Heinze have all been injured this season, exposing Man United’s lack of depth at full-back. John O’Shea, Darren Fletcher, Wes Brown, Mikael Silvestre and even Kieran Richardson can all do a fill-in job here, but this is definitely an area where Ferguson will look to improve his squad. Evra’s form has been a plus, and Heinze is slowly getting back to full fitness (although he’s not the same player who was voted Player of the Season by Man U fans in 2006), but Gary Neville could use some help at right-back.
Verdict: I’m pretty sure that one of Fergie’s big three targets will be a full-back. Southampton left-back Gareth Bale has been linked to Old Trafford already, and I’m sure if the Saints don’t get promoted, then Fergie will surely have another crack at the talented young Welshman.
Centre-backs: Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have been the best central-defensive partnership in the Premiership this season, and they will, injury permitting, be around for many more years to come. With solid citizens like Silvestre, Brown, O’Shea and Craig Cathcart (United’s 18-year-old youth team skipper) as back-up, United look plenty strong enough in this area.
Verdict: No new centre-backs will arrive at OT this summer.
Defensive midfielders: Ferguson still craves a Roy Keane Mark II. He has tried and failed to sign Rino Gattuso from AC Milan and I’m sure he regards Chelsea’s Michael Essien with some jealousy. Michael Carrick was not brought in to replace Keane, but he’s done a solid job this season in the Premiership, even if he went missing against Milan in the Champions League. Indeed, Man U don’t really have any authentic defensive midfielders, unless you count John O’Shea, Darren Fletcher and The Alan Smith Experiment (we don’t). That’s where Owen Hargreaves comes in. Bayern Munich seem ready to sell him this summer, but is he man enough to fill Keane’s boots? I have my doubts, but then I can’t see that any player will ever fill Keane’s boots. I really like Daniele De Rossi at Roma but would he come to England? Unlikely.
Verdict: It’s highly likely that Hargreaves is one of the three targets identified by Fergie, and there’s no doubt that he is the type of player United need – tenacious, hard-working and dedicated. Myself, I’d rather have De Rossi.
Attacking midfielders: As long as Cristiano Ronaldo stays at Old Trafford, Man U are fine. Look beyond Ronaldo, however, and the cupboard is, if not bare, then getting a bit stale. Scholes and Giggs can’t go on for much longer and Fergie should really upgrade sub-United standard players like Kieran Richardson (with Aaron Lennon?) and young Chris Eagles (he’s actually the same age as Ronaldo but you’d never guess). Park Ji-Sung is a more than useful utility player who does add something to the squad, but United rely way too much on Ronaldo in wide attacking positions – if the young Portuguese had been injured for six weeks or more at any period of the season, I believe Chelsea would have won the league.
Verdict: It’s doubtful that Man U will buy an attacking midfielder, but Ferguson should be looking to replace Scholes and Giggs now – an almost impossible task, admittedly. I like the look of two Portuguese stars: Ricardo Quaresma at Porto and young Nani at Sporting.
Strikers: We come at last to a position where United definitely need some more oomph. Henril Larsson is back in Sweden, Louis Saha started well but is too injury prone, Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer is too old (as much as we all love him) and Alan Smith has yet to convince me that he is good enough to play up-front regularly for the champions; Ferguson loves Smith’s mental strength, but I just don’t believe he rates him that highly as a player. Giuseppe Rossi is doing quite well at Parma and may return next season, whilst Dong Fangzhuo seems close to breaking through to the first-team squad on a regular basis. But, Wayne Rooney apart, United are lightweight up front. They need a Didier Drogba-type bulldozer, someone ruthless to finish off the dazzling attacking play of Scholes, Ronaldo and Rooney, who still has a tendency to drop too deep when operating as a striker.
Verdict: Fergie must have a shopping list of strikers, as it’s certain that one of his three targets is a forward. I wonder if it looks anything like this:
Dimitar Berbatov, Fernando Torres, David Villa, Samuel Eto’o, Carlos Tevez, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, semi-skimmed milk, eggs, bread etc.
Anyway, that’s my take. Add a comment and let me know who you think United should sign…
[Ollie, Pies Ed.]

Posted in Man Utd, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Matty says:

    Spot on Ollie. As a Utd fan I would love to see Bale and Hargreaves come in, and I think that these are certainties. Nani would be a great addition, along with any of the named strikers. Fergie will be looking at all of them, plus Defoe. Berba is staying at Spurs, Villa to Chelski or Liverpool. That leaves Huntelaar, Torres, Eto’o, any of which will be class. Don’t fancy Tevez, Arsenal for him maybe?

  2. Allen says:

    Why would SAF make a move for yet another left back? Doesn’t ManU already have enough depth there? And at that what says Bale is going to make the move? He’s expressed in the past that he feels has has a lot to learn. He seems cautious over making a move to a big club too soon. Even if Southampton don’t get promoted, I wouldn’t count on him making a move to ManU (or any other big club).

  3. Anonymous says:

    what manu needs is a world class striker and a defensive midfielder, with a slight pressure on the first. defoe is not a kind of that, tevez is a great player but not the typical striker. Perhaps villa or torres would be the best choices as etoo seems to be far overrated. Berbatov also can make it.
    On the other hand, what makes the greatest tournaments winners nowadays are the defensive midfielders (gattuso, makelele. In the past dunga, dessaily, deschamps and many like them). But ! hargreaves is definitely not 20m pounds, gattuso and de rossi seems to be unrealistic, so is Gago who`s got the abilites to be one of the best defensive midfielders in a future, with an creative option also ! harsh times for defensive-midfielders-seekers.

  4. Snuffy says:

    There is no way Eto’o would fit in. It would be like having Anelka (this is not a racial bias). Those two are moody like Zahovic or Barton. Eto’o would be disruptive.

  5. Anonymous says:

    eto’o is the best striker in the world, people rave about ronaldinho but he was overshadowed the last two seasons by eto’o, that said why would he want to go to united, best club in england this season but not even lose to barca!

  6. Anonymous says:

    last two beforer this one obv and thas coz hes been out for most of it

  7. Anonymous says:

    Etoo is clearly arrogant shit who can only smile when he fucks up another 1on1. Without ronaldinho`s & co passing, noone would ever have heard something about him, Etoo was called hero cause he scored 1 from 5 dead situations.
    If david villa have played for FCB they would have score twice as many goals as it is now tbh.

  8. Sam says:

    Spot on. A striker, defensive midfielder and full back are most likely signings. Richardson and Silvestre ought to be on the way out and I wonder if he’s going for Bale, what does this mean for Heinze? Regarded as a centre back full stop or shipped out also. Personally I hope he stays, he’s getting back to his best after some major lay-offs.
    Berbatov I’d take although the allorgy one season wonder comes to mind, having said that he’s been Spurs’ best player this season and only Drogba has been a more consistent striker in the Prem. I’ve always said De Rossi would be a good signing; moving from second placed Serie A side that got stuffed by us 7-1 seems logical but hardly any Eye-ties move from Italia any more.

  9. the manu fan says:

    all the top class strikers are already “taken” anyway. plus, buying a striker from another league is a big riks for english clubs since most of them have never played in the premier league (etoo, zlatan, adriano, villa, torres etc.). current top strikers playing in england? henry, drogba, van persie, johnson, mccarthy etc. all very unlikely for a move to manu dont you think?

  10. Anonymous says:

    i really don’t see the need for another leftback
    i would love to see the following
    a winger! giggs is 35 this year! preferably by the name of lennon, ribery or nani!
    a striker, would be happy with any of the names that keep popping up.
    a defensive midfielder, but not hargraves! 20 million for a washed up canadian is a joke!

  11. the manu fan says:

    seriously, screw hargreaves he shud stay in bayern, 20mio for him is absurd. he’s nothing like roy keane anyway, i have no idea why ferguson fancies him so much. i’d rather pay double the price tag for essien

  12. Matty says:

    Looking at BBC GOSSIP TODAY –
    Eto’o, Nani, Owen … Yes please!

  13. Lee says:

    eto’o is the best striker in the world so gladlty take him yes he is arrogant but so is ronaldo, and henry is as arrogant as they come but he has done ok for the gooners. Its a vital part of being great thats what gives these players there belief. hargreaves is top notch and keane was a great leader but owen is a lot more technically gifted and you will see nanni arrive this summer not bale why would he sign bale, unproven kid who would add nothing to the first team when did sir alex last sign a player like that.

  14. Hani Umer says:

    huntelaar is the man we need up front..
    nani as a replacement for giggs..bench him next season tho…
    owen hargreaves as the defensive touch we need to our midfield to compete in europe..all affordable in the 50 million kitty…and well hav a couple players headin out..saha,silvestre,brown..or may b jst saha and richardson..thtll add another 5 mill

  15. adam carrick says:

    I think Man Utd should focusing their target for a good,talented,goal sekeer;like van nistelrooy(the best MU striker in the millenium era).
    So my choice;Dimitar Berbatov,David Villa,Fernando Torres,or if it so hard,just call back Giuseppe Rossi.
    MU also can try to ask Gerrard,since he don’t get his favourite position in midfield..

  16. andrew says:

    i think quaresma is a good choice plus torres and bale and hargeaves. and sell saha and mayb even richardson coz he tries 2 b like ronaldo wif all his triks( look at the everton game) but failed miserably. quaresma and ronaldo r the new portugese wingers so they wood work briliantly 2egther. and torres i think has had enough at A.Madrid after getting thrashed.

  17. Thomas E Ballantyne says:

    We badly need Owen Hargreaves, needed him last year. Better late than never. Bale would be lovely. As much as i like Louis, he is injury prone, misses too many one on ones and is injury prone, sell him! Get in Huntelaar or Villa or maybe Torres-even though he has got no left foot to speak of! The 3 big ones we missed out on tho and they all wanted to come to United but we wouldn’t stump up the cash! Read it and weep, Robben, Essien, Ronaldinho. All wanted to come!!!!

  18. Thomas E Ballantyne says:

    A thought! Remember when we needed Rio! We paid £30m in a deflated market. Well the board thought well we are a business, we have been held to ransom here a bit. They vowed to never do it again! Wouldn’t be held to rensom over Ronaldinho ( his first choice was old trafford) Robben, wouldn’t get into a bidding war with chelsea would we!! Essien, dreamt of replacing keane as a young player, we would not enter the bidding war. We need to get past this. It gets frustrating. And the amazing Robben, he was invited to old trafford and we were going to get him but for chelsea coming in. Oh dear. We have to rely on Giggs and Scholes performing miracles again, they can’t last forever!

  19. jonny b says:




  21. EBONY says:


  22. Man Utd says:

    I think that Fernado Torres must arrive at Old Trafor.Fernando & Ronaldo.Think It.

  23. daniel 12 years old says:

    i think that united will sign nani anderson from porto and Rodrigo Possebon along with tevez and maybe a hot prospect and hargreaves