Occasionally you come across a rumour that sounds so exciting, you just don’t care whether it’s true or not; in fact, you end up convincing yourself that it is completely true, always was completely true, and that you knew it all along.
Today’s great rumour is unconfirmed but still pretty damn good: Alex Ferguson has drawn up a list of transfer targets, to include Manuel Neuer, Fabio Coentrao and Karim Benzema.
Now, United fans, how does that sound?!
The Manchester United boss will be patient in his approach, and will not make any move before next summer. By which time, Fergie will hope to have convinced the Glazers (or indeed the latest consortium rumoured to be plotting a take-over) to give him access to the funds he will need for these three big signings – a projected £50m.
Signing a new goalkeeper is a must, as Edwin Van der Sar’s career finally draws to a close, and long-term target Manuel Neuer looks increasingly likely to be on his way to Old Trafford after ruling out a move to Bayern Munich, his other main suitors.
Benfica’s Fabio Coentrao impressed no end for Portugal at the 2010 World Cup, and Ferguson is a known admirer of the left-back. However, Coentrao’s signing would almost certainly signal the end of Patrice Evra’s Old Trafford career, with Real Madrid continually linked with a summer move for the Frenchman.
Evra would be a huge loss, yet if he does go, United can at least be happy with the years of flawless service he has provided, and be confident of a suitable replacement in Coentrao.
Finally, Karim Benzema. United lost out to Real Madrid after being too reticent and decidedly pathetic in the transfer market, yet Fergie is still keen on the Frenchman, who will almost certainly find himself surplus to requirements again at the Bernabeu next year once Gonzalo Higuain has recovered from surgery.
Again, this signing could potentially signal another United exit, most likely Dimitar Berbatov, and almost certainly Michael Owen. These two combined wouldn’t be as big a loss as Evra, however, and Benzema would certainly be a good replacement for the pair.
So, it’s potentially three in, three out, yet whatever the squad looks like by the end of next summer, expect big things to happen at Old Trafford next year.
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