Silly season already here!

Many issues are still to be decided this season, the Premiership is a tight three horse race which any one of them can win, apart from the certainty of Portsmouth being relegated nobody knows who else will survive while Newcastle is the only Championship club assured of a Premier League comeback. The European Champions League has not yet reached the semi final stage with all eight quarter finalists still in with a chance of progressing yet the ridiculous silly season has already commenced!

Many issues are still to be decided this season. The Premiership is a tight three horse race which can go to any of them, the only relegation certainty is poor Portsmouth with nobody knowing who else will survive while Newcastle is the only Championship club assured of a Premier League comeback. The European Champions League has not yet reached the semi final stage with all eight remaining clubs still in with a chance but despite all that uncertainty, the ridiculous silly season has already started!

We all know that the vast majority of stories we read about who’s going where and who’s coming to whom are nothing more than mere speculation, even wild guesswork, but knowing all that, many of us still tend to get sucked in by those headlines. The media organizations obviously love all that nonsense and play the stories for all they’re worth but they are not the real culprits, or at least not the only ones.

In many cases the media is only reporting what they are told by player agents who are desperate to create early interest in their clients. It’s another reason why most of these smooth talking, slick operators, have come to be regarded as a curse on the game – yes, a necessary one in this day and age, but unfortunately still a curse.

The sad fact is that if the rumors are out there, fans want to know about them even when they understand that the gossip can only be taken with a large grain of salt. Truly Reds therefore will go along with the gossip and report the following Manchester United related stories which have come to our attention. But a warning, be careful of what to believe!

AC MILAN are lining up a £20m move for Nemanja Vidic after putting the defender at the top of their summer shopping list. San Siro vice president Adriano Galliani has made the signing of a new central defender the club’s No1 priority and the Italian giants have identified the Manchester United star as the man they want. The Rossoneri have made it clear that they are ready to pull out all stops to snare their man with Galliani and owner Silvio Berlusconi still smarting from their embarrassing 7-2 aggregate defeat against United in the Champions League and have decided that enough is enough.

Milan are looking for a defender in the mould of former United and Milan star Jaap Stam to play alongside Thiago Silva. They also know that their ageing defence which has an average age of 31, needs a major overhaul in the summer and are eyeing Serbia international Vidic as their marquee signing. Milan are looking at Palermo’s Simon Kjaer as well who is also wanted by Manchester City and United, but will only move if a bid for Vidic fails. A club source has admitted that “Milan have made a top centre half their overriding priority. Vidic is the one they want  but whether United are willing to do business is another matter”

There has been speculation over Vidic’s Old Trafford future for much of the season following rumours of a disagreement with Sir Alex Ferguson and frustration over Vidic’s injury problems. However, the Serbian defender has still managed to play 24 games this season.

Wolfsburg star striker Edin Dzeko has hinted that he is waiting for the right offer from Italy this summer even though English sides Manchester United and Arsenal have been rumoured to want to sign the Bosnian striker. Manchester United ‘s assistant manager Mike Phelan called him “ideal for the English league” back in December.

Dzeko has scored 21 goals in 38 appearances for Wolfsburg so far this season after he was a major factor in his club lifting the Bundesliga title in 2008-09. The 24 year old is considered to be one of  Europe’s top strikers however, Dzeko has been most strongly linked with AC Milan since the end of last season when the Italians made Wolfsburg an offer that was firmly rejected.

Speaking to German publication Sport Bild, Dzeko has now said “I never said that I absolutely want Italy, if the right offer comes in then I will say yes” There have been suggestions that AC Milan might use Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar as a makeweight in any bid for Dzeko.

Benfica’s Argentine winger Angel Di Maria insists he is solely focused on success with his current club amid persistent rumours linking him with a big money summer move. Di Maria, 22, has been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea on several occasions and more recent reports suggest Barcelona could enter the bidding this summer.

However, with Benfica comfortably on top of the Portuguese Liga, Di Maria wants to concentrate on winning trophies there “I am not interested in the rumours” he told The Sun. “In England they look through everything with a magnifying glass but I don’t have time to worry about it. At the moment I am only interested in Benfica and I think we can win anywhere in Europe”

Who should be Sir Alex Fergusons priority target for next season?

Written by
Frank Scicluna
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