Manchester United are continuing to try and land David Moyes a marquee signing to inspire confidence in the new regime at Old Trafford. It has been a frustrating summer so far for Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement as he has so far failed in attempts to land Thiago Alcantara and Leighton Baines, while a move for Cesc Fabregas continues to drag on. Things have not been ideal on the pitch either, with United losing for the second time in their three pre-season games to date against Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos on Tuesday.
As well as Moyes, the summer also presents the first test for new chief executive Ed Woodward and it is why the deal for Fabregas has become so important. United have been unusually open about their two bids for the Barcelona midfielder so far and it would cause significant embarrassment were the Premier League champions to wind up empty handed.
ESPN reports that United are readying a third bid for Fabregas, with a fee of £35 million being quoted in several publications. Yet, Barcelona continue to insist that the player they bought back to the club from Arsenal two years ago is not for sale. Clearly Fabregas’s camp have given United some encouragement that he’d be interested in a move, but whether this was genuine or if it was merely to strengthen his position at the Camp Nou must currently be in considerable doubt.
One thing that does not appear to be lacking at Old Trafford this summer is money to back up the club’s ambitions in the transfer market. The Times believes that Manchester United also still have an interest in Gareth Bale and are prepared to break the British record transfer fee -- the £50 million Chelsea paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres -- to secure the Tottenham attacker. The chances of Bale plying his trade for United next season seem extremely unlikely, however.
For one, there is the strong rival interest of Real Madrid. Bale is believed to be keen to join the Spanish giants and Madrid-based publication Marca has even reported that personal terms have been agreed between player and club. Tottenham too will put up fierce resistance, which will likely be increased at the proposition of losing their prized asset to a Premier League rival. Manager Andre-Villas Boas has again reiterated on Tuesday that the 24-year-old will be going nowhere.
Manchester United have also long dreamt of bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club. But that deal too appears out of reach, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez again reiterating his belief that the former United idol will retire at the Bernabeu.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is the cornerstone of our project," he said, according to Sky Sports. "He's the world's greatest player and I can now say that he will end his career at Real Madrid. We haven't received any offer for Cristiano Ronaldo."
With the future of United’s current Portuguese winger, Nani, still uncertain, United may be forced to enter the market to increase their options out wide. The club has also been linked with a move for Lazio’s Antonio Candreva, but the Serie A side have insisted that they have no intention of losing the Italy international.
“He's not for sale,” president Claudio Lotito said, according to Sky Sports. "Napoli? They have never called me, but if they do, I'd say he's not for sale. Lazio are the only club who have bought players without selling. We wanted to strengthen the team again. I can also say that we have achieved all the market targets we had."