With the official summer transfer window opening on 1st July, we are still a way off any concrete deals, however, that does not prevent pre-contract talks. In the last few days, it has become apparent that David Moyes, the new Manchester United manager, has been involved in some priority talks of his own.
First on the agenda is Wayne Rooney, as the striker has made a statement that he still sees himself as a striker rather than a midfield player. This is obviously the opening shot in the talks soon to begin between himself and Moyes over his future at the Old Trafford club. Whilst there is an element of doubt over the validity of his having made an official transfer request, there is no doubt that the player has been unhappy in recent months at his continually being played out of position in the team. Moreover, when he was dropped for the Champions League game against Real Madrid, there was a real fear that this was the end for Rooney as a Manchester United player.
Moyes has not said much about Rooney since taking over as manager, but behind the scenes, there has been much work being done by intermediaries of both camps. It now looks likely that there will be talks in the next week about his future, so his comments about still being a striker are about making it clear what the player`s case will be. I expect this to be sorted out fairly quickly and Rooney will be offered a new contract.
With regard Patrice Evra, it looks likely that should Moyes be able to prise Leighton Baines from Everton this summer, Evra will be sold. Evra`s wife has already gone on record as saying that she would like to return to France and with the player now having turned 32, it would seem to be the obvious thing to happen. Moreover, Evra`s contract has 2 years left to run, so now is the time to sell before his value runs down. I expect to see him sold to Monaco, with the cash rich club paying around £10m for the player.
In addition to Baines, it seems that United have been deep in talks with Benfica enforcer, Ezequiel Garay. This was a deal which I reported at the beginning of the year, as my sources told me that Sir Alex Ferguson had had the player watched for months prior to making his interest known. David Moyes has taken up the baton and club officials are at this moment in talks with the Argentine international`s people with regard to a bid of around £17m being mentioned. The deal was done in principle a few months back, but there was a complication as his contract was part owned by an investment fund, a common practice with South American players. I expect that a deal will be done very soon and the player will be available for pre-season.
I will be keeping my ear to the ground over the next few weeks to report any further transfer activity.