With the season continuing to bounce from one disaster to another, the latest speculation suggests that Manchester United are already well advanced in their plans to overhaul their ailing squad in the summer. Quite what proportion of the blame rests on the players and how much manager David Moyes must shoulder is surely a question now being asked by the board at Old Trafford, however.
Supporter unrest is now finally spilling over after United went down limply to an emphatic 3-0 defeat at home to local rivals Manchester City on Tuesday. And reports are that United’s owners, while still broadly supportive of Moyes, are evaluating all possibilities, including removing the manager. If they are to do so then they will surely have to act quickly to avoid a transfer window as calamitous as last summer. Then Moyes arrived late to the job and appeared hesitant in pulling the trigger with transfers. Having also not being aided by a new man in charge of sealing deals, Ed Woodward, only Marouane Fellaini arrived from Moyes’s former club on transfer deadline day.
United appear determined to make amends this close season. The latest deal the club are close to securing is for Benfica center-back Ezequiel Garay, according to the Daily Mirror. Garay has been linked with a move to Old Trafford since long before Moyes took the reins and will have just a year left on his contract at the end of the season. United are said to be hoping to use that fact to sign the Argentina international for less than his €20 million (£16.5m) buyout clause.
A new center-back looks certain to be on the agenda for whoever is making the transfer decisions at Old Trafford this summer. The departure of Nemanja Vidic when his contract expires at the end of the season has already been announced and Rio Ferdinand is expected to follow suit.
It has also been asserted of late that Manchester United have all-but wrapped up a deal to sign highly rated young Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho. The 21-year-old has certainly been watched a number of times by United scouts this season. However, it appears that United won’t have a completely smooth path to attaining his signature, with French publication Le 10 Sport claiming that Monaco are also monitoring Carvalho closely. Counting in the Ligue 1 side’s favor is their almost endless wealth as well as almost certainly, unlike United, being able to offer the player Champions League soccer.
Trying to revamp the midfield clearly still remains a priority for Moyes. Also repeatedly cited as a target for Manchester United is Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke. There could again be some serious competition, though, with Spanish sports daily AS reporting that Bayern Munich are interested in the Spain international. Koke, who has played a major part in Atletico’s fine season by contributing 13 assists as well as scoring five goals, has also been linked with Barcelona and Internazionale.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star has stuck a big “Exclusive” tag on their story that Manchester United will be offered the chance to sign Fabio Coentrao for £10 million from Real Madrid. United failed with a loan move for the Portugal international on the final day of last summer’s transfer window and, with Patrice Evra likely to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, a new left-back will again likely be on the agenda. United are one of the many clubs linked with £30-million-rated Luke Shaw. Yet Coentrao would be a cheaper option and could well be available having continued to be kept out the Madrid team by Marcelo.