It has finally emerged from Old Trafford that David Moyes shortlist of transfer targets has been decided by the new United manager. In a somewhat surprising move, Moyes` top priority is to set up a return to the Premiership for Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. It was initially thought that this was mere media nonsense, but sources from inside Old Trafford have clarified that Manchester United representatives have already been in talks over a move for the former Arsenal midfielder.
Moyes is concerned at the lack of power in the United midfield, something which outside observers have pinpointed for a couple of seasons now, with little activity from former manager Sir Alex Ferguson. However, with the loss of Paul Scholes to retirement, Fletcher to illness and Anderson and Nani both looking to be leaving this summer, there is need for reinforcements and Fabregas is the sort of marquee signing which Moyes will need to make to impress United fans. There was a concern that his contract with Barcelona had a first option for Arsenal, but it is not now thought that they will not be interested, leaving the way clear for United to make a £24m move.
Staying with the midfield, it is almost certain that Moyes will return to his old club Everton, to take Marouane Fellaini back to Old Trafford. The player is open to a move, has already stated his admiration for Moyes and wants Champions League football. It seems that a bid of £15m , which is his buyout clause will suffice to take Fellaini to United this summer.
Another midfielder also on Moyes radar is Thiago Alcantra, a Spanish player of Brazilian descent who currently plays for Barcelona. Whilst certain parts of the media have poured cold water on this transfer, there is mileage as the player is concerned at his lack of opportunities at Camp Nou. He has said that if he moves, it must be to a club in the Champions League; a situation which matches exactly that of Manchester United. The interesting thing here is that the Catalans have actually indicated that they are willing to sell and a fee of around £18m would suffice.
I doubt that United will land all three of these targets, but I would put them in order of likelihood as Fellaini, Thiago and Fabregas. As in the case of Thiago, Manchester United sources have confirmed that they have spoken to Barcelona about both of their players
Finally, as regards the striker department, we still do not know categorically whether Rooney will stay or leave, but it is my understanding that he will speak to Moyes about reassurances regarding his position in the team next season. I fully expect a settlement to be made and that Rooney will stay at United. This is perhaps as well, as it seems that up to a week ago, Robert Lewandowski was coming to Old Trafford. Then his agent suggested that he was going to Bayern Munich. However, it seems that Dortmund have dug in their heels and said that they will not sell another player to Bayern, so maybe he will finish up at Old Trafford after all.