Manchester United are skint. That much has been clear for some time now, and the numbers of people expecting the mythologized “Ronaldo money” to appear any time soon are dwindling. Now that Noisy Neighbours City are signing the modern-day Juan Sebastián Veróns and Ruud van Nistelrooys, will United be forced to look at the equivalent incarnations of Claudio Reyna and Paul Bosvelt?
The rumour that Mesut Özil, who, incidentally, is probably better than Paul Bosvelt, will move to Old Trafford is yet to be extinguished, with The Guardian and the Daily Star claiming that Ferguson is desperate to bring him to Old Trafford. The price that is knocking around seems to be around £12million, which is cheap given his immense talent, but whether or not United have the money is a different matter.
One rumour circulating recently claims that Villareal striker Giuseppe Rossi will make a return to Old Trafford, no doubt after some hack had remembered the buy-back clause that United have in his contract. Despite this clause, Rossi wouldn’t necessarily come cheap, and given the almost vast number of strikers that United have got on their books, wouldn’t really make sense either.
United are also giving a trial to Lukas Hradecky, the Finnish goalkeeper currently at Esbjerg in Denmark. Whilst United’s goalkeeping situation might not be as problematic as, say, Arsenal’s, it is certainly something that needs addressing. With Edwin van der Sar turning 40 next season, Thomasz Kuszczak not good enough and Ben Amos too inexperienced, United will surely need a new keeper either this summer or next; with Manuel Neuer likely to wind up at a club that wouldn’t have to pay him in magic beans, Hradecky, along with Amos, may look to stake the claim for the number 1 jersey in the future.
United should be OK for the time being, just don’t expect any multi-million pound mercenaries to show up at OT. If he can continue to make signings as shrewd as the Hernández one appears to be (although we must never forget Fergie’s past bargain-hunting exploits … Kléberson anyone?) can United can still be competitive on a relatively shoestring budget? Or will they crumble under the financial might of City and Chelsea (or financial adequacy, for that matter, of several other Premiership sides)? Or will they just do away with it and sign Paul Bosvelt?