Despite their position as league leaders and their progress to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Alex Ferguson knows that Manchester United need to improve their midfield.
It’s testament to the management skills of the wily Scot that he has positioned a team with a midfield chosen largely from Carrick, Giggs, Nani, Fletcher & Scholes to the top of the table. These are all decent players, but Giggs and particularly Scholes seem to be fading as the years catch up with them, Carrick has failed to inspire, Fletcher is not playing as he did last term, indeed, only Nani has shown particularly impressive form this season.
While Ferguson has done a great job of propping up his midfield, he knows that to continue to challenge, he must move forward and bring in offensive players who can do damage to the opposition. Giggs and Scholes cannot have very long left at this level and replacements are becoming increasingly urgent.
This is why the Manchester United manager has sent scouts across Europe to sniff out the best young players, who can come into the United set-up, challenge for places immediately and improve the quality of the squad. One such player is the €25million-rated Jeremy Menes of Roma; the French international, 23, plays either on the wing or as an attacking midfielder and has drawn rave reviews for his performances in Rome.
Having started his career at Sochaux in France, Menes progressed quickly and earned himself a transfer to glamorous Monaco in 2006. After impressing on the Mediterranean coast, the speedy midfielder moved on again, this time into Italy’s Serie A with Roma.
Since his arrival in Italy, Menes has made a good impression with his technique and playmaking abilities and has secure himself a first-team berth for the Giallorossi, who finished 2nd in Serie A last season. Late last year, Menes was called up by new French international manager, Laurent Blanc, with whom Alex Ferguson is believed to have discussed the young midfielder’s talents, and has since earned 3 caps for his country.
To me, it seems unlikely that this transfer could happen; Alex Ferguson is understood to have limitations on his transfer spending, so the idea of stumping up the €25million Roma require, for a player who is highly-regarded but largely unproven at the highest level would probably not sit well with United.
Of course, if Fergie really wanted the player, he may be able to convince the Glazers to depart with the cash, but it is not clear quite how highly the Scotsman rates the French international and whether or not his other midfield targets would prove more tempting.
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