Manchester United manager David Moyes is set for immediate talks about the club’s pursuit of Cesc Fabregas having returned to Manchester following the club’s pre-season tour of Asia and Australia. Moyes is set to meet with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, according to The Guardian, with the Premier League champions still trying to tie-up their first major signing of the summer transfer window.
Woodward left United’s tour almost two weeks ago to deal with “urgent transfer business” but there has yet to be any progress made on a deal for their chief target. Barcelona have so far rejected offers of £25 million and £30 million for the former Arsenal midfielder and claim that the player is not for sale. Speaking earlier this week, Moyes claimed that the decision on whether to make a third bid was still being deliberated upon, with that offer likely to be in the region of £35 million if it is forthcoming.
A move still appears unlikely to happen, unless Fabregas pushes for it, something which he has so far shown no inclination to do. The Sun even claims that Fabregas has told friends that he wants to remain at the Camp Nou and relays quotes from an alleged “Barca insider” stating that: “Cesc is very flattered by United’s interest and recognizes what a great opportunity they offer. But it’s only two years since he left Arsenal and he doesn’t want to turn his back on Barcelona so soon. It has been a battle trying to dislodge Xavi and Iniesta, or slot in successfully beside them, but he has had his fair share of games and wants even more.”
An inability to pry Fabregas from Barcelona may be a realization that has already dawned on Manchester United, according to The Times. With that in mind, it is reported that the club is now preparing a £25 million offer for Luka Modric. The Croatian playmaker was strongly linked to United 12 months ago before he eventually completed his protracted move to Real Madrid. Things were not a roaring success for Modric during his first season in the Spanish capital, however, despite highlighting it with a memorable goal to knock Manchester United out of the Champions League in the round of 16.
With the signings of Asier Illarramendi and Isco this summer, it is difficult to see how Modric’s first-team opportunities will be enhanced under new coach Carlo Ancelotti. And with Madrid likely to welcome funds to go toward their pursuit of Gareth Bale, a reasonable offer for Modric could well be successful.
Another reported midfield target now appears to have made himself unavailable for a move this summer. Young Italy international Marco Verratti has put pay to speculation linking him with a transfer just a year after joining Paris Saint-Germain by signing a new contract with the French champions, according to L’Equipe.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror believes that Valencia are targeting Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez. The Spanish side are in negotiations to sell Roberto Soldado to Tottenham and are likely to be looking for a replacement up front. It seems unlikely, though, that Hernandez will be that man.
Although he was far from a regular last season, with uncertainty persisting over the future of Wayne Rooney, it would be surprising were United prepared to sell the Mexico international. And with Valencia’s massive debt, even with the sale of Soldado, they don’t have the finances to tempt United into a deal.