Usually a club that aims to get their transfer business done early in the summer, there has still yet to be any confirmed signings at Manchester United this time around. A deal for Shinji Kagawa would appear imminent, but there has been a lack of communication from any of the involved parties in recent days.
Goal.com speculates that the hold-up in a move for the Borussia Dortmund star could be a problem with Kagawa's work permit. Although he played in Japan's World Cup qualifying victory over Oman at the weekend, Kagawa has not played in the requisite 75 percent of his nation's matches in the past three years to automatically qualify for the permit.
However, given Kagawa's undoubted ability and reputation, it is highly unlikely that Kagawa would face any serious problems attaining the necessary documentation.
The more likely reason for a lack of updates regarding the transfer is that, unlike some of their rivals, United is a club that rarely comments on transfers until they are thoroughly finalized.
It would appear, though, that United will not be signing Kagawa's Dortmund teammate Mats Hummels this summer. Boss Sir Alex Ferguson was thought to be interested in the highly regarded center-back, but, according to TalkSport, Hummels has agreed a new five-year deal to stay at the Westfalenstadion.
A key element to United's transfer dealings in recent years has been their their unwillingness to pay what they view as excessive sums for players. A factor that may well have led the club to miss out on the signing of Eden Hazard. According to the Daily Mail, it is also that stance that has led to United cooling their interest in Premier League trio Luka Modric, Leighton Baines and Cheick Tiote.
The report quotes an always reliable source from inside Old Trafford, who reportedly says: We have made inquiries for all three players. But Sir Alex will not be paying these ridiculous fees.
This is a story that should be consumed with a healthy dose of skepticism. Baines always appeared an unlikely target given his age, lack of experience at the top level and high fee. As for Modric, it certainly would be no surprise to anyone at Old Trafford to be quoted £32 million for a player whom Tottenham rejected a £40 million offer for from Chelsea last summer.
There may be some truth, however, to United's interest in midfielder Tiote. The defensive midfielder has put in a series of impressive performances since joining the Magpies two years ago. And with United having an apparent need for a robust presence in their engine room, the Ivorain would appear a likely target. But given his importance to the side, if any interest is pursued Newcastle will doubtless attempt to price suitors out of any deal.
Another midfielder doubtful to be arriving at Old Trafford any time soon is Udinese's Kwadwo Asamoah. TalkSport reports that the Ghana international is poised to join Serie A champions Juventus for an estimated £12 million.
According to the story, United has been keeping tabs on the 23-year-old for more than a year.