As is always the case after winning the title, attention now turns to the transfer market, especially as it has been widely leaked that Manchester United will be making some major changes to their squad for next season. Sir Alex has always maintained that you cannot stand still in football; if you lose the title, you need to buy in the next transfer window, if you win the title; you need to buy in the next transfer window.
There have been a number of rumours knocking about in the last few weeks, but now we know that Manchester United will be making a net spend of around £50m. Of course, that will entail some players leaving as well, so that figure is a net spend. The obvious candidates to leave are Nani and Anderson. Nani should be worth around the £15-20m mark depending upon who comes in for him and Anderson will be lucky to manage £10m. Even so, that will free up another £30m or so for the coffers. With Paul Scholes definitely retiring this time around, that will also free up a midfield spot and the wages he was earning.
It is unclear regarding both Hernandez and Rooney just what is happening and even my trusty insider has not been able to find out what is happening. It is clear that both are unhappy for different reasons; Rooney because he is being played out of position and Hernandez because he is not getting enough game time. Both have scored goals this season, some of them crucial ones, so Sir Alex has a bit of a conundrum to sort out with regards to those two. My own feelings are that if a big enough offer came in for either of them, Sir Alex would listen. Rooney has had a poor second half to the season by his standards and his body language suggests that all is not well with him. We will have to wait and see.
The incoming players will depend somewhat upon what happens with either Rooney or Hernandez. Robert Lewandowski seems to be the more likely striker to be bought, especially as Sir Alex has already had one bid turned down last season and the player has himself made clear that his preferred destination would be Manchester United! Falcao is a bit trickier as he has not made any sort of indication as to where he would prefer to go. It is unlikely that he would go to his club`s main rivals, Real Madrid, but maybe Barcelona would be a better destination. He ticks all the boxes and after last night`s drubbing by Bayern Munich, they will be wanting to add some more firepower to their front line.
Disregarding all the usual waffle and spurious media nonsense, the other likely target will be Leighton Baines at Everton. Sir Alex knows that he has to do something about the left back position and whilst the young Dutchman, Alexander Büttner, has made progress, he is not yet at the necessary level for that position. I expect that a bid of around £15m will suffice to persuade Everton to part company with him.
One name that has surfaced recently is that of Bruma, the Sporting Lisbon 18 year old prodigy. Needless to say, all the usual clubs are watching this player, but Manchester United and Sir Alex have a very good relationship with the club, especially after they bought both Ronaldo and Nani from them. Moreover, Sporting are in a bit of financial difficulty and will have to sell some players, with Manchester United hoping that an offer of around £3m will clinch the deal. You can never be sure when clubs like Manchester City and PSG are involved, as they can gazump any offer made, but maybe with the threat of Financial Fair Play looming large for these clubs, they will have to play the game a little more sensibly.
With the exciting Wilfried Zaha already in the bag for next season, it will be interesting to see who Sir Alex finally goes for when the window opens in a few weeks’ time.