It’s quite clear to everyone that Manchester United are in need of new players and good ones as soon as January. According to reports in England, it’s going to be about more than just one signing, and the January shortlist includes Ross Barkley of Everton, Blaise Matuidi of Paris Saint-Germain and Kevin Strootman of AS Roma.
One of the interesting thing about the way David Moyes is handling his rough start at Old Trafford is constantly talking to the press, and saying all the wrong things. After matches he blasts and blames his players for bad results before rectifying his own words a couple of days later. Now he’s talking about coming close to a big signing back in the summer, which isn’t really helping or him or the club after all the criticism they took for their handling of the transfer business.
The Express and Standard both have their ideas about who is coming, but both seem to be in agreement about it being a midfielder. Manchester United keep fielding new duos each match in the middle of the park, and although there are other problems like a full back or winger that need to be addressed, everyone seems to be in one mind about a central midfielder being the most urgent thing.
Kevin Strootman has been playing for Roma a very short time, joining the Italian club this summer. Manchester United were the team that seemed closest to getting him during the summer, but didn’t make a move for the international Dutchman. It’s hard to say how much of a difference he would have made, but he’s doing quite well in Italy, scoring 3 goals and adding 4 assists. The 23-year old cost Roma €16.5 million, so it’s hard to see United bringing him for anything less than £20 million.
Ross Barkley won’t be the first Everton player David Moyes tried to get his hands on. Marouane Fellaini has been a huge failure at Old Trafford, costing the team £28 million which is more than they could have gotten him for earlier during the summer. Either way, he’s been playing terribly since arriving, while Barkley has been doing great in the middle of the park for Everton. He isn’t bringing big numbers (only 2 goals in 15 matches), but few have been playing as well as him for the surprising club. How willing will be Everton to let him go? Not at all, and certainly not for anything less than £10-12 million, considering he is only 20.
The third player mentioned, Matuidi of PSG, is another hard catch. Manchester United don’t have more money than PSG to offer him, or a permanent place in the lineup if we go by the history of Moyes’ rotational system. Matuidi has played in 18 matches this season for PSG, a huge part of their success in Ligue 1 and the Champions League. He cost €8 million in 2011, and will cost double that price if Manchester United make a move for him now.