The end of the transfer window drips ever clearer with plenty of weary and cynical eyes already ready to see the back of it.
As everyone knows, this time of year is where everything cranks up to volume 110 with the rumours splashing into overdrive and every morsel of gossip squeezed until it cannot be anymore. And nowhere generates headlines like Old Trafford, even if the club aren’t involved in the Champions League draw occurring today.
That said, there has still been a significant shift in the briefing of the club regarding the transfer of Arturo Vidal. Plenty of smoke and mirrors over the movement of the Juventus midfielder’s agent yesterday but most of the reliable journalists are sticking their neck out to say United are pursuing the Chile international. The Mirror have interpreted this as a ‘panic’ buy in the wake of Tuesday’s humiliation at MK Dons and have included Daley Blind’s potential move in there too, though add little more of substance other than to note the fee for Vidal is around £30m. Seems like they’re merely greasing the wheels to keep people buying.
What is interesting is Mark Ogden’s report in the Telegraph that mentions William Carvalho. Sporting Lisbon had originally wanted around £40m for him from United with no serious substance of interest all summer long but it seems as if the Reds may use the rumour mill to their advantage. Nigel De Jong and Kevin Strootman are named as alternatives (isn’t it funny that no Dutch players have yet been signed despite reports linking Van Gaal with almost every member of his national team this summer?) while Sporting now appear to rate Carvalho at £24m. Ogden is well sourced and well briefed – is this a case of trying to force Juventus into lowering their price or accepting a structured offer?
Ogden also mentions that Anderson, Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa are all being touted around to clubs with a view to a rapid exit.
Danny Welbeck continues to be mentioned with an exit and a move to Arsenal. There’s no new information in the press today but TalkOfTheDevils is led to believe that there have been informal discussions between Welbeck and a potential suitor.
Last but not least, Tom Cleverley is a name who has found himself surplus to requirements. Ian Herbert reports that half a dozen bids have come in for Welbeck and Cleverley, but that the much maligned midfielder wants to see out his contract in order to pick up a more sizeable signing on fee. If true, this will only serve to infuriate supporters frustrated at his underperformance and ‘brand’, but then, maybe that’s why Cleverley’s decided to do it. Who knows.
Finally, the appointment of Neil Warnock at Crystal Palace may hasten the departure of Wilfried Zaha, who has been linked with a return to Selhurst Park, say the Daily Star.