In the ever-changing transfer environment around the premier league clubs, we are going to take a closer look at Manchester United. At the beginning of the year, there were a small number of likely candidates for a move to United, Lewandowski being one of the main ones. However, the game moves on at a frantic pace; players form improves and recedes, as does the likelihood of their being replaced. Conversely, other players form dips and their places are therefore up for grabs.
Top of the exit list must be Nani. He has stalled over his contract and Manchester United has not rushed to negotiate any further on the matter. That is because his form has deteriorated seriously since last season and Sir Alex knows that he cannot afford to carry a passenger. Nani`s form has always been erratic, but his performances this year have been particularly poor. I expect to see him go very early in the summer transfer window; Juventus or maybe Spain is the likely destinations.
Another who has not improved this season is Valencia. He has had his moments, but there simply have not been enough of them. With Wilfried Zaha coming into the squad in the summer, Sir Alex might feel it is time to cash in on Valencia.
Anderson is another who has not improved, despite being given numerous chances by Sir Alex. He has had a number of seasons to justify a large transfer fee, but he simply has not produced. United will not recoup their original transfer fee, but he could be a make-weight in a deal for Porto winger James Rodriguez, a player who Sir Alex has coveted for some time now.
Javier Hernandez has been a little frustrated at his substitute label and this is justified given the number of goals he has scored in a few games. There has been talk of a swap deal with Atletico Madrid for Falcao, but my sources have told me that neither Sir Alex nor Hernandez is looking for a transfer out of the club at this stage.
Talk recently has also centred on Wayne Rooney. In my opinion, there is something wrong with Rooney at the moment. He may be upset at being stuck in the midfield, when he really wants to play up front, but with the form of Van Persie, he is being frustrated. Rooney still has over 2 years on his current contract, so despite the media questioning why Sir Alex has not offered him a new contract yet are a little presumptuous. If United are serious about Falcao, then Sir Alex will have a serious question to answer about Rooney`s future, however, people close to Falcao have made clear that the striker is not keen on moving to the Premiership and away from Spain. It is more likely that he makes the short trip across Madrid to Real, maybe in a swap deal with either Benzema or Higuain.
One player we have not mentioned is Mario Gotze. There have been links with Chelsea and Manchester City, but the player himself has given the clearest indication that his preferred destination would be Manchester United. Sir Alex makes it a rule that players he signs, actually desire a move to Manchester United, rather than just coming for the prestige or the money. In the case of Gotze, he fits the bill, probably better than most of those rumoured to be linked with Old Trafford.
One final player who Sir Alex has previously tried to sign is Rafael Varane. This young defender has become a regular at The Bernabeu so it would take a lot of persuading for Real to let him go to United. Whether Sir Alex could tempt them with a deal for another Manchester United player is up for debate. Sir Alex knows that he will have to find another young defender as cover in the next transfer window and this young man fits the bill perfectly.
There has been a bit of talk about some other players, namely Kevin Strootman of PSV and Erik Lamela of Roma, who may be a plan B if Manchester United cannot get Rodriguez from Porto.
It will be interesting to see how these deals develop as we near the end of the season and the transfer window nears.