Manchester United’s Transfer Targets List

June 14, 2013 in Premier League, Transfers

With the departure of Sir Alex and the arrival of David Moyes, a new era dawns on Manchester United. Although Sir Alex’s final season at United culminated in the team securing their 20th top flight title, you would have to say the great man managed it with perhaps the second or even the third best squad in the Premier League. There were moments in the season where United were being dubbed a ‘one-man team’ as a result of Robin van Persie’s goal scoring exploits, which is a stark contrast to the previous great teams of Sir Alex’s tenure.  The team of ’96 boasted Schmeichel, Bruce, Giggs and Cantona. The team of ’99 had Beckham, Scholes, Keane and Cole. In ’07, United had possibly their best squad ever with van der Sar, Vidic, Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez. So now, David Moyes has the chance to create a team that will leave its own mark in history.


The first thing Moyes has to get used to is a transfer budget that is six or seven fold larger than the one he had been working with over the last 11 years. If reports are correct and the Glazers really do intend to provide Moyes with a larger than normal transfer kitty to make his stamp on the squad, then he needs to lose any inhibitions, be bold and go for the sort of player United are associated with. No more looking for a £1m striker playing in the Greek League. However, at the same time he needs to add to squad where needed and not follow Manchester City’s ethos of buying players and then trying to fit them into the team.

The highest priority for Moyes remains finding a central midfielder who will play alongside Michael Carrick. The obvious name being thrown into the mix is Marouane Fellaini with the previous work he has done with Moyes, and it would seem a perfectly reasonable link to make. He’s a powerful central midfielder who can play behind the strikers or in front of the back line and is a huge nuisance for opposition defenders in set piece situations. He has consistently been Everton’s best performer, and if he was to manage his temperament a bit better and stop head-butting players, then there is every chance he would be a success at Old Trafford. Also, with Sir Alex no longer there he may even get to keep his iconic afro. Price tag - £20m

Cesc Fabregas is another name that seems to doing the rounds in the media even though he vehemently denies any intention of leaving Barcelona. Although United fans will salivate at the prospect of a Fabregas-van Persie reunion, the player more likely to leave Catalonia for Manchester would be Thiago Alcantara, the Brazilian-born Spanish midfielder. United fans should not be disheartened by this as the 22-year old is one of the finest young midfielders in the game and is only limited by the fact that he has Xavi and Iniesta ahead of him the pecking order. The diminutive Spaniard is very technically sound as is any Barcelona player, with an eye for a killer pass, and you could see him having many fruitful interactions with Kagawa and van Persie. Price tag - £15m

David Moyes has also been a long term admirer of PSV’s Kevin Strootman. The 23 year old box-to-box midfielder is already vice-captain of the Dutch national side and has all the attributes to be a hit in the Premier League. He’s strong in the tackle and will provide protection for the back line, but also loves a powerful burst from deep in midfield to the edge of the opponent’s penalty area, where he has the ability to turn provider or even utilise his rocket of a left foot. His style of play means that he will need minimum adjustment to the English League and his arrival could see him fill the role that Phil Jones is sometimes asked to play in midfield but more effectively. Arguably, he could be the best option for Moyes. Price tag - £15m

United also need a left back. Patrice Evra is probably the best attacking full back in the Premier League but he is by no means a great defender. At 32 years of age, Moyes will not want cover but rather a player who can challenge Evra for his spot – he already has Buttner and Fabio as cover. So who are the other outstanding left-backs? Southampton’s 18-year old Luke Shaw had a very impressive season in the top flight and could be seen as a long term successor for Evra, but he is far from the established player that Moyes will be looking for, and Ashley Cole is not leaving Chelsea. So all things point to Leighton Baines, the man Moyes developed into a full England international. He is as good as Evra going forward, but you would have to say that he is considerably better than him at coming back towards his own goal and actually doing some defending. Not to mention he can hit a free-kick every now and then too. Price tag - £12m

If Wayne Rooney leaves, do United need another striker? This is questionable. United already have the prolific Hernandez and the ever-useful Welbeck waiting for their chances, so unless you are talking about someone in the same bracket of the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema, there is really no need to add another cover striker to the squad.  Something that may require more attention is a new winger.

Nani seems to be on his way out, and with Valencia and Young being the only real wingers remaining, and Wilfried Zaha being untested at the highest level, Moyes may have to recruit at least one more. Neymar’s arrival at Barcelona means that Alexis Sanchez or Pedro will miss out on playing time and out of the two, Alexis will definitely be of interest as his direct and skilful style could go down well in England. Gareth Bale was once a possibility but with his price tag soaring to over £80m, United may have to walk away and wait for the inevitable sale of one of Madrid’s wingers if the Spanish club manage to buy Bale. United fans dream of a Ronaldo return, but the more viable player would have to be Angel Di Maria. Di Maria is as effective as anyone on the right wing and would only be losing his place due to the arrival of Bale, so there is nothing wrong with his form or ability. Playing in front of Rafael could prove to be a lethal South American right flank for United. Price tag - £20m

So, if Moyes were to capture Strootman, Baines and Di Maria for a combined total of £47m, you would have to say that he has considerably strengthened his squad for less than what Monaco paid for one striker. Despite what City and Chelsea are doing, you do not have to spend too big to stay competitive.