Manchester United continue to be linked to a host of central midfielders as speculation heightens that Sir Alex Ferguson will finally enter the transfer market to address what many people have long seen as a glaring deficiency in his squad.
United’s midfield has often been overrun and over powered in recent seasons without a dynamic presence in the center of the field. While the return of Darren Fletcher and an all-too-rare fine performance from Anderson in the Capital One Cup victory over Newcastle last night raises hopes of a solution being found from within Old Trafford, there is still a long way to go before either of those two can consider themselves a dominant performer at the highest level.
A new target has emerged of late in the form of Juventus’s Arturo Vidal. United have approached the Serie A champions about a possible deal for the Chile international, according to TalkSport. The 25-year-old arrived in Turin from Bayer Leverkusen last summer for an initial €10.5 million and immediately impressed as he helped the side to their first title since 2003.
Vidal will also have impressed English viewers as he played a starring role and scored a fine goal in Juventus’ 2-2 Champions League draw with Chelsea last week. Unsurprisingly, Juventus have no intention of selling the key midfielder, however, and will demand €50 million (£40m). With that resistance in mind, coupled with Juventus’ current upward trajectory, a move appears highly unlikely.
One reported target who would appear simpler to prize away from his current club is Russia captain Igor Denisov. Along with teammate Alexsandr Kerzhakov, the 28-year-old has been forced to train with the youth team of his club Zenit St Petersburg after criticizing the high wages being given to new signings Hulk and Axel Witsel. The Daily Mirror has now become the latest outlet to link Denisov with a move to Manchester United, along with fellow Premier League clubs Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti has said that the ball is now in Denisov’s court regarding his future.
"We don't want to take players who think only about themselves, and don't want to go forward with us,” he said, according to TalkSport. “Their return to the starting lineup depends only on them themselves."
There has also been news of another midfielder linked with Manchester United. Celtic’s Victor Wanyama has been monitored closely by Ferguson for the past several months, according to Metro. However the Kenyan, who is also said to be attracting interest from Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers, has claimed that he is happy to remain with the Glasgow giants.
“All I do is concentrate on the football,” the 21-year-old said, according to Metro. “Celtic is a big club and we are in the Champions League so I don’t think there is anywhere better.
“I leave the transfer talks for the club and my agent but I’m really happy here and looking forward to staying for as many years as I can.”
Manchester United also currently have problems in the center of defense and with that in mind, Spanish publication AS claims that Ferguson is set on bringing Real Madrid center back Raphael Varane to Old Trafford.
United have again been struck by a succession of injuries in defense and AS also alleges that Nemanja Vidic is keen on a move to Barcelona. Varane, 19, would seem a logical target. The France Under-21 international was keenly pursued by United last summer before he eventually moved to the Bernabeu. However, with Varane struggling for first-team opportunities under Jose Mourinho, he could be tempted with a move away.