Sir Alex Ferguson will up his search for a long-term successor for Paul Scholes this summer. And the Glazers have vowed to back his hunt for a replacement for 35-year-old Scholes with the £80m from Cristiano Ronaldo’s sale to Real Madrid still available.
Portuguese midfielder Miguel Veloso and Croatian playmaker Milan Badelj are Fergie’s top targets. Badelj, a 21-year-old from Dinamo Zagreb, has been dubbed the new Zvonimir Boban in his homeland – and the former AC Milan star was a one-time target for Ferguson in the 1990s.
While Fergie is sure to cast his eye over the World Cup in South Africa, he usually tries to conclude his business before major tournaments to avoid inflated prices. There’s little doubt that unexpected talent will emerge during the month long football festival but the old fox is well aware that stealing a march on his rivals before then is vital.
Joe Cole, whose contract negotiations are in a reported deadlock with Chelsea, could also be of interest to United. Finding a successor for Scholes has become an important issue, even though he is hopeful of convincing the veteran to sign a 12 month extension to his contract.
The Glazers will hope the money they have made available to Ferguson will go some way to appeasing disillusioned fans. But it is unlikely to quell the call for them to sell up at Old Trafford with the Red Knights’ £1.2bn buyout gathering momentum and Manchester United Supporters Trust membership soaring past 110,000.
Who would be your choice to add to the midfield?