Here’s a warning to those expecting a host of world class stars to come flooding through the Old Trafford gates because the Glazer family made a commitment to accept Wayne Rooney’s demands for the cheque book to be opened. Don’t get too excited because it’s not going to happen – at least not to the scale that some fans are dreaming of. The media will be full of rumours between now and the opening of the January transfer window with name after big name linked to Manchester United, most of which will be instigated – surprise, surprise, by those players’ own agents.
Sir Alex Ferguson is no fool, he has been around long enough to know that doing mid season transfer deals smack of desperation and will much rather wait for the summer. Many other reasons will come into the mix without any specific one being the major factor. There will instead be a combination of them to ensure that many rumoured transactions having no hope of ever seeing the light of day.
The very first hurdle is the obvious fact that every player agent and selling club will by now be aware that United are committed to strengthening their squad so it’s natural for them to substantially increase their demands. Ferguson will certainly not fall for that because he can recognize false value with his eyes closed.
Then there’s Ferguson’s unshakable belief in the quality of youth already at Old Trafford. He has to convince himself that whoever comes in will be a better long term prospect than what he already has on board. That of course becomes a matter of judgment but Sir Alex has enough runs on the board to back himself against anyone. What he sees in a player may be totally different to what anyone else does but really, who has the experience and know how to second guess him?
As hard as it is to imagine, Ferguson may be one of the problems himself. Footballers are generally conservative creatures who dislike change. By the time the January transfer window comes around Sir Alex will be 69 years old so you cannot blame any prospective signings for asking how long will he be around for and more importantly, who comes afterwards.
The club is therefore caught in the middle of a rock and a hard place. The greatest manager in English football needs to remain at Old Trafford for as long as possible but on the other hand, questions cannot help but be asked as to how long he can, or want, to continue. That uncertainty may be doing more damage to Manchester United than it cares to admit or even realise.
There are so many questions still remaining to be answered. The one which must stand above all others however is ‘Do the Glazers have deep enough pockets to fulfill the commitments they made to Rooney’ and perhaps just as critical ‘Do they even have the will?’ Am I just being a cynical old fart? Possibly. Or am I being realistic? Most definitely.
Will United be able to sign the stars promised by the Glazers?