This embarrassing trend must really just stop. Time and time again, we have seen Manchester United lured into contract negotiations by agents of star players from various clubs, and used as leverage to re-negotiate contracts under the guise of ‘genuine’ interest of joining the Old Trafford outfit. United in the past, have been assured that they could tempt away Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, Cesc Fàbregas from Barcelona, Thomas Müller from Bayern Munich, Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund, and now more recently, Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid.
In every similar situation the result has been the same, so its is safe to deduce that once the parent club is reluctant to let the player go, they normally always find an amicable solution lubricated by a nice new fat contract for the player and his agents, and United normally ends up the jilted bride – way too often for a club of United’s stature.
Ed Woodward needs to get control of this worrying trend. There is no real way to control the gossip campaign about every player in the planet United is linked with, that would certainly be a fool’s errand. Every agent knows United are in rebuilding phase and are looking for a few good men, to get Old Trafford back to the heights of the Fergie era. They also all know roughly what United’s transfer kitty is at any given time, mostly because United announces those figures in a self promotional way to increase market confidence. A drawback of being publicly traded on the stock market.
No matter how genuinely interested the Ramos camp feigns, there is no reality in which he departs Real Madrid for United. He is their vice-captain, been a staple of the side for decades, and more importantly and to the point – Madrid simply do not want to lose the player. Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, and Juventus…these clubs invariably always get what they want. If they don’t fancy a player, like Madrid didn’t fancy Di Maria, they were gone – poof! If they want a player, that player materializes, adorned in their club colors before the paper work gets to FIFA offices.
United have tried to pry these stars from their respective clubs with very little success. Courtesy of The Daily Manc.
So it is quite puzzling why United is so slow to learn from this, it is embarrassing to always come up empty handed in these situations. The aforementioned elite clubs almost are never caught in this situation. They go for players they are certain they can get, and are deft at the dark arts of backroom dealings. United should concentrate on annexing marquee talents from the lesser lights of Europe and South America.
It is being reported, albeit no official confirmation, that the club put in a hefty bid for Muller. Small secret Louis van Gaal admires the player, and sees him as the answer to the red devils goal drought. However, same situation, the player has no desire or reason to leave, and the club does not have to, or wants to sell.
Instead of going for well-established players, Woodward and LVG should be looking for emerging talents, as they did with Memphis Depay. They should look to players on the rise, who are hungry and willing to seek new challenges and reach new heights. United already have enough marquee players in the mix with Rooney, Di Maria, Mata, and Herrera. The balance of the squad must be maintained, as we found out last campaign, early on, as LVG experimented with his Galactico approach, and tried to shoehorn all his stars into the squad – that didn’t work out well.
Woodward and Van Gaal should focus more time on players who have something to prove on a bigger stage. They started so gloriously by working quickly to getting Depay’s signature – a highly coveted player across Europe. They should continue in the same vein, and stop wasting time with players like Ramos, Muller, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, so they can get players in camp before the pre-season tours to integrate and acclimatize them properly before the season starts.