|Photo by Wonker on Flickr|
Manchester United held a press conference on Thursday to introduce the club's two newest signings, midfielders Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell. Kagawa joins United after having recently been crowned as the inaugural Bundesliga Player of the Year. The Japanese international's arrival at Old Trafford has generated a fair bit of excitement among the United faithful, who hope Kagawa can repeat his exploits while deployed in a forward midfield position for the Reds. The club's other signing, Powell, arrives with a bit less fanfare but lots of raised hopes, with the promising work for his hometown club, Crewe Alexandra, offering Sir Alex and his staff a glimpse of the 18 year old's prodigious talents.
After introducing both new players, Sir Alex fielded some additional questions from the press, which inevitably asked if this year's transfer work was over. In his response, the Scotsman let it be known that there may be one or -- breathe easy, United fans -- two more names still to join prior to the closing of the transfer window. Although he would have preferred to have his transfer business done and dusted by this point, due largely to the European Championship this summer United's dealings have been delayed.
"There will possibly be one more. We have always done well in terms of getting players in at the end of the season. That is the right time.Although rumors are swirling fast and furiously that the one additional signing may be Lucas Moura or Leighton Baines, the club has also been linked lately with everyone from Robin Van Persie to Luka Modric and several players in between. So what do the staff at farlieonfootie think of the various prospects? Worry no further, dear readers -- our thoughts are shown below:
But always in a European Championship or World Cup year, there is a delay in the transfer industry. That is over now and we are still trying to get one more in."
-- Sir Alex Ferguson, July 12, 2012
Robin Van Persie: Not a prayer. Robin will be wearing the butt-ugly kit of our cross-town rivals in about five weeks' time -- after dominating the back page of the British tabloids for the next month and a half.
Luka Modric: United has two chance at signing Modric: fat and slim. The Croatian wonder-boy appears headed to Real Madrid, but here's the real question: whose place will he take?
Leighton Baines: The most likely of all the signings, and probably the one that inspires us the least. Yes, Evra has been a bit shaky at left back the last couple of seasons, but with his international career now in the rear-view mirror, we believe Patrice has one or two more seasons left. Plus, let's be honest: United has needs much greater than left back at the current time -- like midfield and striker, to name two.
Lucas Moura: Decent possibility, although a rumored £20 million bid for the 19 year old has reportedly been rejected. Although his Brazilian club may be willing to deal, it appears there may be multiple interested parties, and it's not likely that United will splash the largest amount of cash to get their man.
Robert Lewandowski: His manager said he's going nowhere and I believe him. The big Pole will still be at Dortmund come August.
Joao Moutinho: A relatively safe signing that would please many fans, Moutinho impressed at this summer's European Championship for his native Portugal. Capable of playing holding midfielder, Moutinho would offer an alternative in the middle of the park to Carrick and Scholesy. Unless anyone is still under the belief that Anderson will do that.
James Rodriguez: Has any one else noted that United are piling up wingers at the current moment? Do they need another? No.
Nathaniel Cline: Does anyone know of a young, cheap and relatively unheralded right back? Check, check and check for Cline. For those reasons alone, mark this one down as semi-likely.
Boiling it all down, here's what we think: come August, it looks as if Leighton Baines will be wearing the red, white and black. Unless Moutinho or Moura beat him to it.
This is farlieonfootie for July 14.