Fergie calls time on spending



Sir Alex Ferguson claims that Manchester United is unlikely to spend again this close season but it is the 69-year-old manager’s assertion that this summer’s retirements have financed the club’s spending that will raise eyebrows. While United’s Cristiano Ronaldo-sized cash pile has finally enabled Ferguson to loosen a vice-like grip on the Glazers’ cheque book, it is seemingly the requirement to reign in spending on wages that may limit the Scot’s transfer market ambitions.

Indeed, as has become the parlance in recent times the “Ronaldo money is there,” with the Scot giving the green-light to spend heavily on Wesley Sneijder this summer but unable to afford the Dutchman’s admittedly astronomical wages. Plus ça change critics might add, with United still investing in promise rather than fulfilled talent under the Glazer regime, despite the squad requirements this summer.

“We lost five players in their 30s this summer,” said Ferguson in New York last night, ahead of United’s fixture with MLS All Stars at the Red Bull Arena.

“That helped finance the three younger players – Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David de Gea – I have brought to the club. At this moment, I can’t see another addition. The type of player we might have been looking for is not available. I am happy with the players I have got at this moment in time.”

Ferguson’s comments are a less than oblique reference to Luka Modric, Samir Nasri and Sneijder, each of whom has piqued the Scot’s interest. But with Tottenham Hotspur steadfastly refusing to sell the Croatian and Nasri more-than-likely joining Manchester City on a Bosman next summer, Ferguson’s options in a narrow field are now limited.

Yet the failure to secure Sneijder is disturbing. The Dutchman will remain at Internazionale for the foreseeable future after neatly slotting into a central midfield role in Gian Piero Gasperini’s 3-4-3 system during pre-season. Note to United supporters who doubted it: the Sneijder is, and has always been, tactically flexible enough to flourish in the deeper role identified for him at Old Trafford.

Financially speaking the aborted deal for Sneijder once again brings into question United’s muscle in the Glazer era. By far the world’s most profitable club – at least in EBITDA terms – with the third largest revenue on the planet, United could not close out the deal despite Inter’s willingness – read requirement – to sell and Sneijder’s openness to a move.

After all, Inter is more than £100 million behind United in annual revenues with a highly under-commercialised structure that requires the club to balance the books before UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) initiative kicks in.

What then of United’s prospects in the coming season, with Michael Carrick, Anderson, Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs making up Ferguson’s limited options in central midfield. Each has a serious question mark about his quality and ability to perform.

After all Carrick’s improved performance last season may yet be the exception to prove a rule in an otherwise undistinguished three-season period. Anderson has offered glimpses of talent in an otherwise highly disappointing four-year spell at Old Trafford, while Fletcher cannot shake a serious virus that undermined the Scot’s last campaign. Giggs, the mainstay of United’s central midfield creativity towards the back-end of last season, is 38 in November.

Quibbles over quality aside when it comes to raw numbers Ferguson has fewer options in central midfield for the coming campaign than last.

Despite this United will begin the new season as favourites to retain the Premier League title. Chelsea’s dynamic new coach and Manchester City’s wealth notwithstanding, none of United’s domestic rivals is stronger. New midfielder or not, the nine-point gap at the head of the table  told of United’s ability to endure a long domestic and European campaign.

Yet there is a real debate about whether the club is any stronger for the coming season even if Ferguson has laid the seeds for long-term success. David de Gea  is an outstanding young goalkeeper under immense pressure during his first campaign at the club. Phil Jones will offer solid defensive back-up but less flexibility than Wes Brown and John O’Shea. Meanwhile, Ashley Young must perform from the start to convince many United supporters that the 26-year-0ld is the solution to closing the gap on Barcelona in European terms.

Indeed, in Europe’s premier competition it is hard to see United bettering last season’s performance, in which a spot in the final exceeded many expectations. The humiliating loss to Barcelona at Wembley, insisted Ferguson, was a challenge United would rise too. The Scot’s assertion that no new midfielder will join his ranks has surely negated the promise before a competitive ball has been kicked.

Not that the answer to all United’s challenges lies in the transfer market of course but just occasionally established talent is required amid the club’s policy of buying for the future. In this most pundits and supporters agree that United’s central midfield options are far more limited that even Ferguson must be comfortable with, despite the Scot’s assertion to the contrary.

Of course it  could be a ruse by the wily Scot, who has never been slow to offer the media a smokescreen or two. But with chief executive David Gill joining Ferguson’s party in New York this week it is safe to assume that there is no new signing on the immediate horizon.

Whether any future acquisition is of the quality United supporters hope for is seemingly very much down to economics.

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  • Paul

    Well, I think Fergie has played this right. I do NOT see the point in paying someone an astronomical amount of money which would then destablise the club. Pay Wesley 200 grand plus and then Rooney and others would want parity. I have faith in Fergie.

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

      Paul – Fergie wants Sneijder, the club isn’t prepared to pay the wages. This isn’t about faith in Fergie. The club is saving millions in wages this summer and when the transfer spending is amortized in the normal FFP way the £50m spent this summer begins to look like near zero (net).

  • Steve

    The only thing that still gives me a shred of hope is that if anyone knows that we are short in midfield then its Sir Alex.

  • reddread

    Putting my worst fears into this piece, Ed. Thanks, you fucker.

    I don’t think it is a ruse when he says we won’t be signing anyone, I really think he has given up on a new midfielder, when that is the one area where we are crying out for a quality signing. It is fucking ludicrous. I simply can’t believe his comments about being satisfied with what we have in midfield. That is where the ruse lies.

  • Andy Johnson

    We have no creativity in the middle. Unless that is sorted we will be also rans in Europe.

  • Waxfoot

    We should’ve guessed this would happen all along. Three signings was the minimum we could make and so that’s what we’ve got. Never hold your hand out too long with the Glazers.

    On the plus side Young and De Gea look like they’re settling quickly. Jones might need a bit of time.

  • captainhormone

    that so called “Ronaldo” money, could have funded Sneijders signing and wages for 5 years….its a load of bollocks

    The Glazers are cunts…end of!! and fergie is too, for making excuses for them…

  • mongoletsi

    Agreed. I remember a time when if Fergie said “no more spending”, it meant he was working on something. And actually had money to do so.

  • triggs

    All Fergie’s recent dampening of transfer speculation has come with the qualification “at the moment”.

    We’ve not seen the last of this Sneijder deal. I think it’s more likely that the sticking point is Inter’s transfer fee demands. Surely we would have know Sneijder’s personal demands when we met with his agent in April – so why would we equire about a player we know we can’t afford in wage-terms? Inter are willing sellers, not least because they want to sign some new players with the proceeds of the sale, but clearly United’s valuation is lower than Inter’s.

    My view is that United’s stance is to wait it out until Inter lower their demands. There appears to be no other suitors and Inter need to do their own business (Tevez?), so the cards appear to be in United’s favour.

  • sheesh

    captainhormone said:
    that so called “Ronaldo” money, could have funded Sneijders signing and wages for 5 years….its a load of bollocks

    The Glazers are cunts…end of!! and fergie is too, for making excuses for them…

    We could have signed sneijder as part of the ronaldo deal. That had nothing to do with the glazers, more to do with fergie being a cunt and failing to are how piss poor we suddenly looked in the middle of the park. Signing shite wingers like bebe instead of a property centre midfielder is all fergie’s work.

  • http://none ian

    Don’t know where you are coming from with Sneijder. Are you saying it is good business practice to offer £35m & £25K per week wages for Sneijder with all the implications? This assumes he & wife are actually interested in leaving Milan.

    We must assume that SAF thinks that Sneijder, Modric & Nasri & possibly De Rossi are the only experienced & creative CMF -who might be available- significantly better than what we have got. It is difficult -if very disappointing- to disagree with that judgement.

    Much more disturbing, SAF seems to be bucking the trend of every major club in Europe in not having a specialised defensive midfielder. Such player like M’Vila & others are available. If he intends to play Jones in that position it is a very big ask. This attitude seems gross neglicence.

    This saga will still run & run…..

  • Davymc

    I watched every game bar maybe 2 to last season and honestly could count one hand the time when our midfield dominated our opponents.
    I was never that keen on buying sniejder for 35 million because he’d be very lonely in our midfield at the moment if we had 35m why not get Danielle de Rossi and fellaini(23yrs) adding physical strength and numbers

  • Julian

    Leaving the rather tedious mind games aside and assuming we don’t sign anyone else, we are actually weaker in central midfield than we were last season. Scholes and Hargreaves have gone, not that the latter contributed anything last term but perhaps the possibility that I might return was always a dampener on signing another holding midfielder.Ok so we have Cleverley back from loan but he remains an unknown quantity. Fletcher has had an illness set back and who knows what’s going to happen with him. Apart from Cleverley,that leaves us with Carrick, Anderson and Giggs. For different reasons they all have question marks against them. Some have suggested that Jones could play a holding role. Maybe but I haven’t seen any official comment suggesting that might be the case.

    Barca have set the benchmark (not City!) to which United should now be aspiring. To do that United perhaps should have done the Sniejder deal whatever the cost. We could have offered Berba as makeweight – after all we now have six strikers in the first team squad. Did we really need Young? Certainly not a priority. There’s money in the bank and the wage bill has been considerably reduced by the departures of VDS, Neville, Scholes and Hargreaves. Certainly a saving which Young, De Gea and Jones are unlikely to have used up.

    Perhaps its not too late to bring in a quality and experienced midfielder even if its not Sneijder. Let’s hope a deal is done with someone who can give us that much needed stability and creativity in the middle so that we can indeed think in terms of competing with Barca and Real. That’s what we should be aiming at.

  • sidney

    They’ve had 5 years to find a replacement for Scholes

  • captainhormone

    10 for keano…in 2002 he was turning like the fucking Titanic ffs

    ridiculous…utterly fucking ridiculous

  • http://none ian

    Forget Keano; we will never replace him. Sydney, spot on about Scholes. We should have been in the market for David Silva & Real sold Sneijder for 15m euros.

    We can all play fantasy games but if United offered Barca £20m for Thiago -a Spanish nationalised Brazilian/Italian- they would have the money to buy Fabregas, a political coup since he is a Catalan.

  • captainhormone

    He recently signed a new contract and has a buy out clause of about 85 million…..

    More chance of getting Owen Hargreaves

    oh…err…

  • sukhy5

    Fucking wank.

  • shauno

    How does anything we have done in the transfer market in the past three years reflect the desire to close the gap on Barca? Looking to replace Scholes is a red herring. We can’t replace him. We should have been planning three seasons ago to replace the midfield and it’s not happened. But the most puzzling aspect of all this is that we have managed to plan for defenders and forwards over these years and provided for some good wide players. But not central midfield? The Glazers are in part responsible but not entirely. I’m not even suggesting we must sign a proven international CM player. But why did we not sign some upcoming players over the last three four years in the same way we brought on the Da Silva twins, Smalling, Evans, Nani etc.

  • triggs

    I think Fergie was hoping Ando would ‘do a Nani’.

  • http://none ian

    The point is that last season the central midfield was very poor, which meant that when we came up against real quality -Barca- we were humiliated.
    This season Scholes has gone; Giggs is on a severe downslope & is not a proper central midfielder; Fletcher had a very poor season & is still ill & we have lost the galactico Gibson & the invisible man Hargreaves.
    The fact is Sir Alex if you can’t come up with a world class experienced central midfielder buy someone like Xabi Alonso who keep the team ticking over & passes the ball forward unlike Carrick.
    I know I will be shot down in flames but if the Scousers are looking for offers for Lucas we should be at the head of the quque.

    • mongoletsi

      GALACTICO GIBSON?

      Wtf are you on about?

  • ltel

    lucas LUCAS.. fuck me thats up there wih earnshaw
    delete your account

  • ltel

    “We’re looking at one more player to bring in,” Gill told MUTV. “Nothing’s happening – nothing imminent – on that at the moment, but we’ll see what happens when we get home. There’ll still be 31 days of the transfer window to see if anything develops. But I’m not working on anything at the moment, in that respect.”

  • ltel

    Mirko Vucinic is “very close to Manchester United,” confirmed his agent after a meeting. “We will know more in the next few days.”

    The Roma striker has requested a transfer following a row with the fans and had been heavily linked with Juventus.

    However, United have leapt into pole position for the €20m rated Montenegrin international.

    “We are very close to Manchester United,” agent Alessandro Lucci told LaSignoraInGiallorosso.

    “The meeting was yesterday and there were no formal offers, but the English club made it clear they very much appreciate Mirko.

    “We will know more in the next few days.”

  • captainhormone

    ffs

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11667_7063040,00.html

    this wouldn’t surprise me at all tbf….lets buy a centre forward when we need 3 midfielders instead

    ffs

  • captainhormone

    ltel said:
    Mirko Vucinic is “very close to Manchester United,” confirmed his agent after a meeting. “We will know more in the next few days.”

    The Roma striker has requested a transfer following a row with the fans and had been heavily linked with Juventus.

    However, United have leapt into pole position for the €20m rated Montenegrin international.

    “We are very close to Manchester United,” agent Alessandro Lucci told LaSignoraInGiallorosso.

    “The meeting was yesterday and there were no formal offers, but the English club made it clear they very much appreciate Mirko.

    “We will know more in the next few days.”

    beat me to it by a second tel

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

      captain – he’s a striker that scores about 1 in 3. We’ve got 7 strikers on the books. I’d be flabbergasted if United bid. Sounds like agent talk to me.

  • ltel

    captainhormone said:
    beat me to it by a second tel

    it must be bollocks…fuck it lets get lucas in..

  • captainhormone

    Ed is spot on…it’s another galzeresque smokescreen

  • captainhormone

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_7063118,00.html
    Gill chatting shite and contradicting SAF….must need to sell a few thousand more season tickets hey David
    ffs

    LKHF

    faffing

  • http://none ian

    Fraid we will have to sweat it out. Minds will be concentrated when the squad return from the States; possibly after another walloping by Barca.

    Very sorry lads but the Lucas rumour seems to be unfounded. Bugger.

    My point was if we can’t get a world class CMF there are a dozen good ones available who would seriously. strengthen the squad. Why a quality defensive MF is off agenda is incomprehensible.

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

      ian – right, we need both. Talk of catching Barca is just that unless the club does something about it. What does Fergie expect – Fletcher to suddenly become the next Xavi.

  • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/members/vannailyrooy/ nailyclops

    Gill: “The important point to understand, and Alex has made it clear, is that we need someone who’s going to improve the quality of the squad.”

    Same old shite, different season. Nobody else will be coming in.

  • sheesh

    ltel said:
    Mirko Vucinic is “very close to Manchester United,” confirmed his agent after a meeting. “We will know more in the next few days.”

    The Roma striker has requested a transfer following a row with the fans and had been heavily linked with Juventus.

    However, United have leapt into pole position for the €20m rated Montenegrin international.

    “We are very close to Manchester United,” agent Alessandro Lucci told LaSignoraInGiallorosso.

    “The meeting was yesterday and there were no formal offers, but the English club made it clear they very much appreciate Mirko.

    “We will know more in the next few days.”

    I really hope that story’s bollocks. This is precisely why some people (like myself) question where Fergie’s priorities lie when it comes to signing players.

  • RobDiablo

    I really hope that story’s bollocks [United in for Vicinic]. This is precisely why some people (like myself) question where Fergie’s priorities lie when it comes to signing players.

    Perhaps United are looking at Vucinic coming in as a way to feel better about the possibility of using Berbatov as a makeweight in a player plus cash deal for Sneijder – or some other midfielder. It would be amusing if Berbatov went to Inter, who then use the cash to help fund the purchase of Tevez from City.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    I’m as cynical as any on here, especially when it comes to the Glazers, but there is still plenty of time left for something to happen… and Gill has spoken…

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_7063118,00.html

    Might just be spin to sell tickets… we’ll see… I won’t be going on a murderous rampage just yet.

  • reddread

    Its a spin to sell tickets. Fergie says no more signings, the Glazers know season ticket sales are down, have a word with Gill, who all of a sudden is in America contradicting what Fergie has said. Yeah, Gill, there will be 31 days of the window left when United get back from the States, but there might as well be 1 for all the business we’ll be doing. What a fucking deliberately ambiguous statement tailored towards giving fans hope that there will be a big signing. For me, this is absolute confirmation that our dealings are done for this summer*. Fuck off, Gill, you cunt.

    *I would still be extremely happy to be proven wrong on this point. I just don’t think I will be. Boo hoo…

  • Gabagool

    We’re fecked. We’ll be dominated in midfield this year by the likes of QPR. Effing shambolic.

  • SKW

    It’s one thing to shine on the press and snub referees and the like, but Fergie’s carrying water for the Glazers and repeating this gibberish to the fans is something else entirely. My heart told me the three mediocre buys were it, but I did not want to believe it. Seems I was right. Mark my words, we are fucked this season. For sure.

    And when Fergie goes (and it won’t be long now) we very easily could slip to mid-table obscurity.

  • sidney

    I still believe a little bit because 3 central midfielders is not enough to go into a 50/60 odd game season with

    We can bodge with Cleverley, Giggs & Park but they’ll want another body in there, especially with Fletcher’s recurring illness

    Thing is, if its going to happen it will be before 13 August IMO – unless there’s a chance of signing a top draw player like Sneijder then they might be prepared to wait

    So realistically there is less than 18 days left – not the 30 odd that Gill said

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    I think we ARE still looking… I think Ferguson is the one talking rubbish, not Gill.

    Ferguson is NOT the money man, and he’s spouting shit, when he should just keep quiet.

    I think that Sneijder was the dream signing, but we can’t get the deal we want… but haggling continues… right now, I think we’re playing coy, and Inter aren’t biting.

    In the meantime, we’re still being linked with all sorts… now we’re supposedly in for Pastore as well… http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/chelsea-face-late-man-utd-competition-pastore-1777451

  • RobDiablo

    If the fight with Cheatski for Pastore comes down to the size of the offer, United lose that signing as well. Why are we not hearing anything about Defour; he is supposed to be on the move, and Sir Alex is thought to rate him?

  • Godfrey

    If you look at across Europe every single one of the heavy wieghts has atleast one stand out mid fielder and a couple of good ones..n whom have we got..???Fletcher trying to beat a virus.Carrick looks like Alice in Wonderland in the big games and Anderson just cant seem to get one pass right..
    Scholsey out…No balls pinged from one side to the other..gaffer had that one coming…How long did Fergie expect to run away from that fact.?Coz thats what it looks like with Fergie trying to persuade him to carry on for another season..
    If its about the money than its seems stupid we went for Young(atleast at the moment)when we could have used the money for a creative heart beat cuase like everyones been saying we’ve never been able to dominate in mid field last season and yet we wait and hope…a pipe dream thats all..

  • ichiro

    Most of the mainstream press have gone a different way with this story, quoting Gill’s “one more player” statement.

  • triggs

    I wouldnt bother reading anything on that website

  • triggs

    Ed said:
    Paul – Fergie wants Sneijder, the club isn’t prepared to pay the wages. This isn’t about faith in Fergie. The club is saving millions in wages this summer and when the transfer spending is amortized in the normal FFP way the £50m spent this summer begins to look like near zero (net).

    Only if you look at it in isolation. Remember Rooney, Anderson, Carrick, Fletcher, Evra, Vidic, Smalling all signed improved deals, meaning the wage bill had already increased substantially since the beginning of last season. Park and Chico also likely to sign new deals shortly.

  • shauno

    Seem’s the only logical reason why we have yet to sign a good CM. Good CM’s are in short supply, have high wage demands and whilst SAF wants them e.g. WS they the Glazers wont sanction an expensive complicated package/deal with no resale value after the term of the contract. It seems the only rationale explanation. SAF likes to buy people he feels are unique and can be the difference. It wasn’t about splashing the cash more doing what you can to get the right player. At the moment and for the next few seasons it comes down to cash and a sprinkling of ambition. So SAF is struggling to seal the deals he used to find easy to complete. But whats he going to do come out and say “yeah i really want to sign WS but the owners are a bunch of rotting cunt rags and wont let me”.

  • http://none ian

    There seems to be an obsession with Sneijder; fine if we get him, but absurd if we don’t & don’t add some quality to CM. The figures quoted -£35m/£250k pw- are terrorfying, or £22m per year over four year contract with no residual value & all the obvious substantial risks. Does anyone suggest that is sensible business? If Inter accept Berba as part of the package & Nike subsidise part of the wages it becomes more feasible. Using Nani as bait would be bloody stupid.

    Assume the Sneijder deal does not go through & we have £60m available for transfers & contracts. Is the Messiah telling us -bugger a defensive MF; bugger a decent creative MF; no bloody value in the market; keep the money in the bank? We all know he is obstinate; I’ve never thought he was bloody stupid.

  • http://damiangarside.com Damian Garside

    The thing is, it all started out so encouraging: Young, Jones, de Gea are signed and the club starts to look like it has the intention to establish (or re-establish) itself as the world’s premier team and throw down the gauntlet to all our Premiership rivals, including the noisy sky blue ones from across the city, and do what it takes to get a team together than can compete with the best on the Continent and have a number of exciting youngsters about to break through waiting in the wings) (as opposed to a team with a surfeit of wingers and nothing in the middle).

    Now it is clear that not only will Sneijder not be coming, and Nasri won’t be coming, but that no central midfielder of note (either of the playmaker or of the ball-winner variety) will be heading to Old Trafford a.k.a the “Theatre of Dreams” (but if we are honest with ourselves there hasn’t been much football to dream about since CR7 left).

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we supposed to enter a new season with a real sense of expectation. a longing to see how our team charged up with new spirit and reinforced with new blood, will fare against our rivals. Luckily, apart from Liverpool, our rivals have been quiet in the transfer market. Happily, City have signed no one of real note and have a disaffected want-away captain at their helm. My feeling is, that if we had sorted out our midfield problems this summer, we would be salivating at the prospect of meeting them at Wembley in the Charity Shield, not going into a situation where the pundits will probably call it `anyone’s game’ (and if we lose it will be our second consecutive loss to them at Wembley).

    The transfer market this summer has been a great surprise. Could it be that teams are so scared of what will happen if a really top player joins a close rival that they start putting in counter bids, not so much to secure the player as to ensure that their rivals don’t? Nasri, Modric, Sneijder: everybody seems to have been chasing these players, but now it looks like they are not going anywhere. Would the arrival of any of the three have turned us instantaneously into world beaters? I really doubt it. But by the same token, if we are up against Barca or Real in the next Champions League final without one or even two of them (or suitable equivalents, of the kind AF says does not exist) we won’t have a hope in Hell.

  • Waxfoot

    I take Gill’s words with as big a pinch of salt as the next man, but I think he’s being realistic here. Sellers are obviously trying to hold us to ransom at these stages. I don’t want the club to look like mugs and make more silly signings for silly fees like we have in the past, just because we need ‘somebody…anybody!’ in midfield. We all know we only want the best, so for that I guess we’ll have to be patient. If it gets to August 31st and we still haven’t signed a top midfielder, then i will understand fans being less relaxed about the situation. But for now, we can make do. Can’t we?

  • captainhormone

    Commenter said:
    If it gets to August 31st and we still haven’t signed a top midfielder, then i will understand fans being less relaxed about the situation.

    IF IT GETS TO AUGUST 31ST IT WILL BE TOO FUCKING LATE THEN FFS!!

    LKHF

    faffing

    • Waxfoot

      So if on 30th August we sign Sneijder (or whoever else you reckon we should), that’s too late!?? 3 PL games in. Just saying, as long as we get our man before the window closes, we’re fine. If we don’t, well then yes, we’ll all set to struggle.

  • brianofnazareth

    ltel said:
    lucas LUCAS.. fuck me thats up there wih earnshaw
    delete your account

    FUCK YOU!!! EARNSHAW WAS A GENIUS!! :evil:

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    The more I read about Marvin Martin, the more I hope we really are after him… thing is, from what I’ve read, it seems he doesn’t want to leave France… shame that… but it encourages me, that there are midfielders out there, that would improve United, that aren’t necessarily household names… but it just as much frustrates me, to hear Ferguson claim, he can’t find what he’s looking for.

  • twisted blood

    Whether we make a deal or not is down to economics. Damn right. It should be. I think we are still looking but at our price and then only for an upgrade. Nasri, Sanchez and Sneijder are all upgrades. With Nasri, the Arse played hardball and City outbid us (will always happen with clubs that spend someone else’s money), with Sanchez, it appears we outbid Barca but the player only wanted to go to one place (shades of Ozil) and in the case of Sneijder, it’s value for price. I, for one, don’t think value is a bad word and as Ed made the case recently, compared to Nasri, Sneijder looks overvalued. I don’t want signings for the sake of signings. Why clog up the queue for starting places when we have youngsters (Tom C., Pogba, possibly Morrison) waiting? No, they’re not world class but neither is the Roma striker, Martin, Lucas or Jack Rodwell, the story that won’t go away. The window is not closed, SAF is doing his wiley, Scot, drive a hard bargain act and Gill is the straight man. Inter will either blink or they won’t. It was silly money summer 2 summers ago when Ronaldo went and I think Ferguson was wise to lay off. Even our 2009 bid for Benzema looks inflated now considering how he did for Real. Do we really wish we’d done that deal now in light of Rooney (2009-2010) and Hernandez’s (10-11) performances?

  • mongoletsi

    Am I the only one who thinks we should’ve signed Charlie Adam for £10m like Fergie obviously intended?

    Still not a world-class marquee signing, but as good as any of the others at the very least.

    • Waxfoot

      I’m of the ‘So f***ing glad the scousers bought Adam’ opinion

  • captainhormone

    i think you should give every rant member a blow job as punishment for that comment

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    Am I the only one who thinks we should’ve signed Charlie Adam for £10m like Fergie obviously intended?

    Still not a world-class marquee signing, but as good as any of the others at the very least.

    I’d agree if we sign no one else, and don’t give any of our kids a chance.

    Adam is good enough to play in our current starting midfield… but that’s not saying fuck all… we should be after a much higher standard than that.

    Before we sign a player of Adams quality, we MUST give Cleverly/Pogba/Morrison a chance.

    • mongoletsi

      That’s exactly what I mean. £10m is entirely reasonable compared to (for example) Anderson’s price tag. He’d come in and do a decent job, a la Fletcher.

  • bman

    Adam is not good enough to play in our current starting midfield. On form, Fletcher and Carrick are better than 95% of players out there, I’m tired of listening to people whining on about why we aren’t in for this or that player being whored out in the tabloids by their agents, who’ve achieved fuck all in comparison to the players we have who are up to their ears in silverware.

    Fergie and Gill have it exactly we right. We want to improve our midfield, but there’s only a handful of players who are of the right calibre and the right kind of player to fit into our team immediately. Since United is alone among Europe’s elite clubs in being run as a profitable business (Chelsea, Barca, Real, Inter etc. being loss-making vanity projects), we rightly assess players like Sneijder as business investments, and recognise that at his age at a certain point he’s not worth the money. It’s nothing to do with debt or the Glazers, we’ve always been run as a business. It’s notable that the other biggish clubs that actually try to make money each year (Arsenal, Spurs, Bayern etc.) are never in the running for players at Sneijder’s high end of the market.

    I think it will probably work out. Inter want to buy players themselves after all, and they’re not in the same league of cash obliviousness as the likes of Chelsea, City, and Real. In the next couple of weeks when they have their own deals lined up, they’ll agree to a more reasonable price for Sneijder.

    • mongoletsi

      // Adam is not good enough to play in our current starting midfield. //

      He’s a billion times better than Gibson, for example.

      // On form, Fletcher and Carrick are better than 95% of players out there //

      Fair point. I’ve every faith Fletcher will come back and be dependable. But when was Carrick ever on form for us? One decent season, and became “not shit” at times last season.

  • bman

    And Fergie’s right to play bad cop to Gill’s good cop. We have some dignity after all, we’re not desperate nouveau riche trash like City willing to pay any price. If someone’s trying to take us for a ride, Fergie’s right to say “f off, I’ll stick with the players I’ve got”. Supposedly Sneijder wants to move to us anyway, unlike a team like City, so we’re in a strong position.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Bman… “On form, Fletcher and Carrick are better than 95% of players out there,”

    That’s complete rubbish… and I’m not even going to argue it.

    “Since United is alone among Europe’s elite clubs in being run as a profitable business (Chelsea, Barca, Real, Inter etc. being loss-making vanity projects), we rightly assess players like Sneijder as business investments, and recognise that at his age at a certain point he’s not worth the money. It’s nothing to do with debt or the Glazers”

    That’s rubbish… it’s got everything to do with debt and the Glazers… if not for the debt, we could sign a “Sneijder” ever fuckin year… I hear what you’re saying about not buying just for the sake of it, and there’s other variables, such as fitting the team ethic, and fat egos, etc… but your point that we’re not a team run by flash cash, misses a point… we could force these clubs to pay even higher, more ridiculous prices, if we weren’t hampered by debt, and the Glazers transfer policy…

    With the revenue United generates we could, if not for the debt… compete pound for pound with any team on player transfer fees, and wages… reduce ticket prices… and at the end of every year, we could attract a huge amount of great publicity, by giving a ton of money to charities around the world… just because it’d be a wonderful thing to do… when it comes to global marketing… United is in a league of its own… the only reason Barca and Real even get close, is because of their privileged status in Spain, and their telly deals.

  • triggs

    Commenter said:
    Am I the only one who thinks we should’ve signed Charlie Adam for £10m like Fergie obviously intended?

    Still not a world-class marquee signing, but as good as any of the others at the very least.

    I hope you’re the only one.

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Not the only one.

    If you go off last season, Adam is clearly a better footballer than Carrick, Anderson and Cleverley. He was better than Fletcher last season too.

    The 95% comment is a fair one too, plus Fergie just won’t be held to ransom financially.

    Everyone can jump up and down but we are unlikely to be signing a central midfielder this summer.

    Get used to it.

  • http://none ian

    The fact is we have not got one proper defensive MF at the club. Asking Jones to do the job is stupidly high risk. No other top club in Europe is in that position.
    So if we bought a quality, young player for that position a lot of progress would be made.

    Does anybody really think that Pogba, Morrison or Cleverley will play 15+ games in the PL? They won’t.

    To argue that there are no CMFs on the planet considerably better than Fletcher & Carrick other than Sneijder beggars belief.

    Despite what most of you lot think the bigger picture -not just Sneijder- is not about lack of money or the bloody Glazers it is about an obstinate, Scottish ex-shipyard worker. Of course, as often happens he might prove me wrong.

  • sheesh

    Commenter said:
    The fact is we have not got one proper defensive MF at the club. Asking Jones to do the job is stupidly high risk. No other top club in Europe is in that position.
    So if we bought a quality, young player for that position a lot of progress would be made.

    Does anybody really think that Pogba, Morrison or Cleverley will play 15+ games in the PL? They won’t.

    To argue that there are no CMFs on the planet considerably better than Fletcher & Carrick other than Sneijder beggars belief.

    Despite what most of you lot think the bigger picture -not just Sneijder- is not about lack of money or the bloody Glazers it is about an obstinate, Scottish ex-shipyard worker. Of course, as often happens he might prove me wrong.

    Excellent post. I completely agree.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    The fact is we have not got one proper defensive MF at the club. Asking Jones to do the job is stupidly high risk. No other top club in Europe is in that position.
    So if we bought a quality, young player for that position a lot of progress would be made.
    Does anybody really think that Pogba, Morrison or Cleverley will play 15+ games in the PL? They won’t.
    To argue that there are no CMFs on the planet considerably better than Fletcher & Carrick other than Sneijder beggars belief.
    Despite what most of you lot think the bigger picture -not just Sneijder- is not about lack of money or the bloody Glazers it is about an obstinate, Scottish ex-shipyard worker. Of course, as often happens he might prove me wrong.

    No, I can’t agree with all of that… I don’t think Pogba is ready yet, and Morrison needs to sort his head out before he gets any promotion… but I think Cleverly is certain to get his chance, and considering the competition we currently have in his position, I think he could hold his place… one thing I’m certain of… he’ll show more appetite for the job than Carrick or Anderson… and that alone might win Ferguson over.
    Also… I refuse to believe Ferguson is the problem regarding signings… after the humbling at Wembley, I think Ferguson would give his bollocks for players capable of beating Barcelona… I think he’d take Sneijder, Nasri, Frankensteiger, Modric, Pastore and/or any other cunt that might make the difference IF he was given the funds.
    This… “To argue that there are no CMFs on the planet considerably better than Fletcher & Carrick other than Sneijder beggars belief.”… is spot on, though.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  • bman

    Let’s see how Adam does this season then, after looking good for one season in a poor side designed around him as if he was Messi. I don’t deny he has a great deal of skill, but he’s severely lacking in many of the other areas essential to success at the highest level. Given how much people complain about Berbatov, I’m amazed that people are asking for us to buy Adam.

    I’ve always maintained that Fletch and Carrick are consistently underrated, basically because their jobs in the team are not glamourous ones and because they don’t have impressive-sounding foreign names. I don’t deny we should have better, but there’s only a handful of teams that can get the better of our midfield (Barca most obviously). Let’s not forget that Giggs and Carrick wanked all over Chelsea’s midfield three on three separate occasions last season — so that’s not just a once off. And of course Chelsea’s midfield is not what it used to be, but one of the reasons why people say that now is because Giggs and Carrick wanked all over them, and they’re still one of the best midfields around.

    There’s definitely a few teams that consistently wank all over our midfield, notably Barca and Liverpool. I agree that this is unacceptable, and that we do need some serious starpower in midfield, but my point is that you can only objectively judge players on the results, and there are only a handful of central midfielders who’ve achieved more than Carrick, Fletch etc. in the past five seasons.

    So already there’s only a small number of players worth thinking about, and I think Fergie is also not interested in young players like Pastore for central midfield, because he already has some promising young lads and he’s looking for someone who has the kind of “influence” on a game that a player like Sneijder does. Sneijder is not the same as Scholesly, but like Scholes of old and Keane and Viera and so on, he’s a player that has the magic X factor that allows him to control matches on a consistent basis. You’re probably not going to get that with someone like Pastore, talented as he is, not for a few seasons at least.

    So I think Fergie’s looing for someone (A) a clear level of quality better than what we have, (B) experienced, (C) creative & attacking, (D) can play in a two-man midfield and gel with our system, (E) has the rare CM X factor that lets him boss games.

    There’s just not that many players who meet that specification. Sneijder definitively, but most of the other candidates simply aren’t available currently (eg Schweinsteiger, who maybe is not creative so much anyway). Modric seems to have his heart set on Chelsea, and is maybe a better fit than Sneijder is some ways but worse in others, and perhaps just not as good a player when all is said and done. Nasri was worth thinking about because he ticks most of those boxes and has shown signs of ticking the rest, but Arsenal will never sell him to us. Most of the other names suggested (Pastore, Ganso etc.), much as I love Pastore myself, on consideration are probably younger than Fergie wants and perhaps not ideally suited to PL football or a 2-man midfield.

    As for the money – well we’re a very rich team but we’re not a money-no-object team. City, Chelsea, Real etc. are money no object teams. But for us, the point does come when the player is probably just not worth the money. United has the benefit of stable, consistent management and business management, so even if the need is pressing, Fergie and Gill have been around long enough to know that there will be more transfer windows and other players available eventually, and they have a whole squad to consider in terms of wages and transfer kitty. There’s also a good length of time left in this one, time enough for Inter to accept just a stratospheric price for Sneijder rather than a completely absurd one.

    But yeah, I’ll be gutted if we don’t get someone. But I think the mistakes we made in previous transfer windows, not this one.

  • sheesh

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Also… I refuse to believe Ferguson is the problem regarding signings… after the humbling at Wembley, I think Ferguson would give his bollocks for players capable of beating Barcelona… I think he’d take Sneijder, Nasri, Frankensteiger, Modric, Pastore and/or any other cunt that might make the difference IF he was given the funds.

    Fergie’s had money in the past and wasted it on shite in areas that didn’t need fiddling about with in the first place. We’ve had years to get a midfield together to slowly enable the likes of Scholes and Giggs to fade out in terms of importance to the first 11.
    You surely have to accept that Fergie has wasted money. We agree that there are players out there who far better than the lot we have got. I’ve pointed this out before as an example: Sahin to Madrid for £8 million. Absolute bargain.
    Why have we been fannying about signing shite like Manucho, Dong, Bebe, Tosic and Obertan (to name but five players) when we could have saved that money in transfer fees and salaries and bought at least one decent young centre midfielder with the potential to become a vital cog in the team? Now we’re rumoured to be after Vucinic who is a striker.
    Fergie hasn’t got a bloody clue what to do with the money he’s given. We all know there are financial constraints – so why hasn’t he managed them properly?
    Edit – Anderson, Carrick and Hargreaves cost us over £50 million FFS. Value for money?
    Edit – Forgot about Eric Djemba Djemba. £3.5 million waste of money.

  • sheesh

    All this nonsense from the club about not spending for the sake of it…it would be laughable if we weren’t in the situation we’re in. That’s exactly what we’ve done for several years and Fergie’s the one who’s identified these players. He should be ashamed of himself for taking the fans (especially the paying ones) for a ride like this. We all knew that Gill is a cunt anyway.

  • bman

    Sheesh, I agree. people keep saying we’ve done nothing to address the departure of Keane and ageing of Scholes for years, but in fact we’ve spent a decent amount of money, we’ve just spent it poorly. Hargo – big waste of time and money. Anderson – so far at least a waste of time and money. Carrick – I think he’s a good player, but he’s definitely not a world beater. As you say, there’s a decent expenditure there.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that us bidding big money for Sneijder now is a major admission of past errors: it’s totally against our publicly stated transfer policy, and it’s not how Fergie likes to operate. But we’ve little choice now but to spend big on a star in his late 20s because Hargo came and went, Anderson hasn’t done much, Gibson is relatively shite, and Carrick’s proven limited.

  • http://none ian

    Let’s start with five facts.
    We have had to spend a lot of money to replace VDS.
    Young -a winger- was signed for about £16m. We have retained Nani, Valencia, Obertan, Park & Cleverley all of whom can play wide & Wellbeck at a pinch.
    Jones -a promising CB- was signed for about £17. We already had Rio, Vida, Smalling (an even more promising CB) & Evans.
    We have lost Scholes, Hargreaves & the Irish clown.

    We have apparently made no serious attempt to sign a defensive MF.
    All of SAFs eggs -for a creative MF- seem to be in the Sneijder basket.

    The only possible Glazer input is that £22m per season for a MF with no resale value is not sensible business.
    If we call Inter’s transfer bluff & Sneijder’s wages bluff we can all go to bed & cuddle our teddybears.
    If we don’t get one quality midfielder Real & Barca are over the hill & far away & it might be a struggle to finish in the top four of the EPL.

  • sheesh

    As much as I would be happy for us to sign Sneijder, I don’t get our ‘obsession’ with signing him in particular. I find that aspect rather alarming.
    If the following is true, then what we have is a pretty sad indictment of our transfer policy:
    http://explaining-the-stories.blogspot.com/2011/07/wesley-bloody-sneijder.html
    That piece is by Darren Can who is a football reporter and has a Twitter page (yes, yes, I know what you’ll all say). To be fair, he has been reasonably consistent on the Sneijder story all summer.
    To me, it suggests that the manager has failed to adequately deal with the impending retirement of Scholes and has been surprised by his decision to retire…when, surely, there should have been nothing remotely surprising about it.
    Rather than being proactive and finding a decent young player years ago who could establish himself, he has waited until a retirement is more or less in the offing before doing anything about it…and even then looking to pay big bucks for a ready made replacement.
    What is this obsession with finding the next Paul Scholes about, anyway? We are Manchester United for heaven’s sake. Players are supposed to make their name at our club.

  • reddread

    Paul Scholes was quite good, Sheesh. We need someone who, and I know there is no-one to replace him like for like, because that is impossible, can almost-kind-of-sort-of do some of the things that he could do.

    I’m being a bit facetious there, but I think the general consensus is that we won’t replace him, of course we wont, but at the same time, and it’s been said so often I feel dizzy, our remaining first team midfielders don’t fit the bill, unless Anderson bucks his ideas right up, which I really hope he does, but hope is the pivotal word in that sentence!

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    sheesh said:
    As much as I would be happy for us to sign Sneijder, I don’t get our ‘obsession’ with signing him in particular. I find that aspect rather alarming.

    If the following is true, then what we have is a pretty sad indictment of our transfer policy:

    http://explaining-the-stories.blogspot.com/2011/07/wesley-bloody-sneijder.html

    That piece is by Darren Can who is a football reporter and has a Twitter page (yes, yes, I know what you’ll all say). To be fair, he has been reasonably consistent on the Sneijder story all summer.

    To me, it suggests that the manager has failed to adequately deal with the impending retirement of Scholes and has been surprised by his decision to retire…when, surely, there should have been nothing remotely surprising about it.

    Rather than being proactive and finding a decent young player years ago who could establish himself, he has waited until a retirement is more or less in the offing before doing anything about it…and even then looking to pay big bucks for a ready made replacement.

    What is this obsession with finding the next Paul Scholes about, anyway? We are Manchester United for heaven’s sake. Players are supposed to make their name at our club.

    I think that’s a crackin article Sheeshy… sums up the situation perfectly, in my opinion… and importantly, it suggests that United are indeed, still willing to buy, if the right deal/player becomes available… and I agree with you 100%, that it makes no sense to be so obsessed with one player like this… if nothing else, it’s just a daft approach to bargaining… might as well just hang a sign round our necks, that reads, “desperate rubes”…

    I’d love us to sign Sneijder, because in my opinion, he represents the class of player that United should have more of… however… for what it would cost us to sign Sneijder, we could buy 2, £15mill players and offer them fantastic wages… ffs, where are our scouts, and what the fuck are they doing to earn their oats?

  • bman

    Decent article, but I’m still not really buying the whole Glazer-debt angle. Sure that’s a factor in that it impose some financial limits on us, but I think that good business sense comes into effect here before debt constraints do. That article is talking about £35M to Inter and £200k + a week before tax in wages: the simple fact is that no club that doesn’t lose money hand over fist operates like that. Yes, Real, Barca, Chelsea, City and so on buy players at those prices and pay them those kinds of wages all the time, but those clubs also lose huge amounts of money and are only propped up by benevolent billionaires and political connections. Even if it weren’t for our debt, I’m dubious that those levels of playing staff expenditures are sustainable for commercially viable football.

    There’s really three levels of football club now in top flight football, it’s not just rich and poor anymore. It’s now divided into poor clubs, rich clubs (i.e. us), and clubs that don’t really have to deal with any financial or commercial realities.

  • bman

    I’m also not convinced that the desire to buy Sneijder comes from Fergie being surprised by Scholes’ retirement. FFS, Fergie didn’t even play Scholes in the tougher games anymore. Shattering the club’s transfer and salary records for a superstar is a strange way to replace a quality squad player.

    The urge to buy Sneijder comes from the loss to Barca. Fergie saw the gulf, and he wants top quality in midfield, and he realises that he should have done it last summer at the very least.

  • bman

    Alfonso Bedoya said:

    I’d love us to sign Sneijder, because in my opinion, he represents the class of player that United should have more of… however… for what it would cost us to sign Sneijder, we could buy 2, £15mill players and offer them fantastic wages… ffs, where are our scouts, and what the fuck are they doing to earn their oats?

    M’Vila and Martin? Two Frenchies, both look class, both young but old enough to be doing the business already.

  • sidney

    Aguero to City

    So if Tevez goes to Inter then Sneijder is coming to United

    It’s begun. Telling ya 100% absolute nailed on definitely

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    bman said:
    M’Vila and Martin? Two Frenchies, both look class, both young but old enough to be doing the business already.

    I like the look of Martin as well, but neither player wants to leave France… so that’s them out.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    sidney said:
    Aguero to City

    So if Tevez goes to Inter then Sneijder is coming to United

    It’s begun. Telling ya 100% absolute nailed on definitely

    Sid… The Bitters may take Sneijder as part of a trade deal for Tevez… I no longer think we’ll get Sneijder.

  • Pikey McScum

    sidney said:
    Aguero to City

    So if Tevez goes to Inter then Sneijder is coming to United

    It’s begun. Telling ya 100% absolute nailed on definitely

    I love your optimism sid, I really really do

  • captainhormone

    ffs

  • http://none ian

    It’s not bloody rocket science. Buy:

    Thiago from Barca. On loan for 2years. £15m. £50k pw Barca have buy back & transfer options. Breathing space & they can now buy Fabregas.

    M’Vila. Quality, young defensive MF. £15-20m & £50k pw. If the Fuehrer thinks Rodwell has same potential good time to buy after a very average season. £15m & £50k pw

    Erikson from Ajax. Loan back for two years. Initial fee £15m United have transfer option.

    Pray that Morrison stops being a prat & Pogba bulks up & both develop. If they are not good enough in 2 years they never will be.

    Cost over 2 years £60-65m. WS cost £60m.

    Realise that Tim Rice meant to write “Don’t cry for me Wes-ley-snjd-a”.

    • mongoletsi

      +1

  • sidney

    Inter CEO Ernesto Paolilo told La Gazzetta dello Sport “I don’t think there’s anything that can’t be sold, it all depends on the price. There are certain opportunities that you simply can’t turn down. An offer from Manchester United for Sneijder? We haven’t heard or seen anything yet”

    You can see what they’re trying to do – Tevez in, Sneijder out, everyone’s happy

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    fletcher and carrick are only better than 95% if you nclude all people who play football on the street and in parks and whatever, all the other teams in the top six have better players starting games in their midfields and are all buying more

    our best midfielder is giggs ffs,

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    yes again we’re going into a season worst than we left the last

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    i mean yet

  • Herbie Simms

    I do not believe what SAF is saying that the player he is looking for is not available. That is a pure B.S. story.
    I hope this is not going to be a long, cold, frustrating winter with this crappy midfield. There is no more money available to spend on players and that is the bottom line.
    Anderson will have to get it on big time!

  • sidney

    ‘If he wants to come he must accept our contract offer. If not, we have other options in mind. We’re done talking.’
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2020639/You-blew-Sneijder-insists-United-boss-confident-current-midfield-crop.html
    If those quotes in The Fail are true (and it’s a big if) then I was right when I said that all this shit Fergie & Gill have talked about us looking for other targets, and that our current midfield is enough, and that we have perfectly capable young midfielders coming through, is part of a wider transfer strategy to not appear desperate so we don’t end up caving in to his wage demands
    So I suppose it depends on how stubborn Fergie & the club are going to be… As the season draws nearer, will they eventually cave and give him what he wants or will Sneijder compromise

  • reddread

    Jesus, the standard of writing in the Fail is just dreadful. Every tabloid cliché in the book trawled out. Still, hope the story has some truth to it. Tired now. Bed required. Stupid work…