As if there wasn’t already enough news emanating out of Old Trafford with Wayne Rooney being the subject of a bid from Chelsea, it has emerged that chief executive Ed Woodward has left the club’s pre-season tour to deal with “urgent transfer business,” which, according to Sky Sports relates to an incoming deal.
At this point it is not known what player Woodward is trying to finalize a transfer for, but there have been plenty of clues of late. Perhaps the likeliest theory is that it is Cesc Fabregas who is the focus of attention. The former Arsenal captain has been the subject of a €30 million (£25.9m) bid from United this week after the Premier League champions failed in an move to sign fellow-Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara.
Their attempts to lure Fabregas appeared to have suffered a blow when Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova claimed that Fabregas had stated his desire to remain at the Camp Nou. Yet, the Daily Telegraph is among the publications to report that United still have faith that the Spain international can be persuaded to return to the Premier League. And United are also said to believe that Barcelona are keen to raise funds following the bumper transfer of Brazilian star Neymar.
Another possibility is that a move has finally been made for one, or indeed both, of Moyes’s former stalwarts at Everton, Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines. Moyes is thought to be keen to greatly strengthen his midfield and it would appear logical that he would hold an interest in a man who was one of his leading lights at Goodison Park. Fellaini also has a much-publicized clause in his contract allowing him to join a club in the Champions League for around £23 million. The Belgian, who was signed by Moyes for £15 million in 2008, has the physicality that has been lacking from United’s midfield for some time.
United’s pursuit Baines, meanwhile, dates back to last summer when he was viewed as a long-term successor for Patrice Evra. There are reports that Moyes has continued that interest with a rejected bid of £10 million last summer. With Everton believed to be unwilling to countenance offers for less than twice that figure and Baines making no overt noises about wanting to leave, a move appears unlikely, however. There is also the fact that Evra remains at Old Trafford and the two clubs that appeared his most probable destinations, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, have already signed left-backs this summer.
Another option for Woodward’s attention has been put forward by The Guardian, which suggests that David Luiz is on Moyes’s radar. The Brazilian center-back was reportedly included as a part-exchange option in Chelsea’s bid for Rooney (although that was denied by Chelsea), while there has been speculation throughout the summer that Jose Mourinho is not a fan of the charismatic former Benfica man. United have long been linked with current Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay and the agent of Roma’s young Brazilian defender Marquinhos claimed this week that a bid for his client had arrived from Old Trafford.