After relinquishing their Premier League title to cross-town rivals Manchester City in 2011-12, Manchester United have targeted an active transfer window this summer to revamp their squad and come back stronger next term. With Euro 2012 (get your free bets on the Euros from sites like freebets.org.uk) capturing the imagination, transfer dealings have been slightly on the back burner, but Red Devils fans can expect a busy remainder of the window in July and August.
United’s first signing of the summer was that of Japanese attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa, who joins the Old Trafford outfit from German champions Borussia Dortmund. The Asian superstar’s move to Sir Alex Ferguson’s men was in the pipeline for quite some time, with the former Cerezo Osaka playmaker charged with adding invention and energy to the side’s midfield.
Despite the obvious commercial benefits of signing a well-documented Asian player, Kagawa’s purchase is a positive one. Quick, good on the ball, full of running and with an eye for goal, Kagawa will look to link the side’s midfield and attack and could well be an important first-team player next term.
Ferguson followed Kagawa’s purchase was that of another attacking midfielder, however this time it was a homegrown player in the form of Crewe youngster Nick Powell. The 18-year-old has impressed for the lower league club since breaking into the Railwaymen’s first team back in 2010, and scored a wondergoal against Cheltenham in the League Two playoff victory for Crewe. Powell is certainly a talent, but will continue his development in the reserves before witnessing consistent first-team action.
Missed out on
The main transfer target that United have missed out on is Eden Hazard. The Belgium international sparked a transfer war after impressive performances for Ligue 1 side Lille. Despite a number of suitors, including United, the silky playmaker opted to move to Chelsea. The Red Devils will be disappointed with this, but the capture of Kagawa will make up for it slightly.
Potential new faces
The midfield seems to be the area being focused on with the main supposed targets for United seemingly playing in this position. A long-term replacement to Paul Scholes is on Sir Alex’s wish-list, with Luka Modric being linked as a potential big-money signing. With Tottenham missing out on the Champions League for next season the Croatian is expected to ask for a move away from White Hart Lane, which may happen. A fee of £30 million-plus will be requested from the north London side, whilst Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea are all thought to be interested also.
James Rodriguez is a name being constantly linked with a switch to Old Trafford also, with the Premier League giants reportedly already in negotiations with Porto over the Colombia international. United are said to have had a big-money offer turned down, however Ferguson is keen to sign the player due to his versatility of being able to play on either flank or in attack.
Finally, a left-back is believed to be on the agenda also, with competition for Patrice Evra needed. The number one name emerging from this position is Leighton Baines of Everton, and with England’s Euro 2012 campaign now over a move could well be made. The Toffees’ poor financial position could mean that a deal could be completed.
Man Utd's transfer window 2012: The signings and targets
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