While Manchester United will understandably be lamenting the absence of Ryan Giggs in Valencia on Wednesday night, one of the most disappointed will be Spain World Cup winner Juan Mata. The Valencia winger has recently admitted in an interview that he used to idolise Giggs when he was young. Sadly for Mata, Giggs was left behind at Old Trafford because of a hamstring injury picked up at Bolton on the weekend. The omission has left Mata disappointed “It is such a shame that Giggs won’t be playing because I would have loved to swap my shirt with him” he said. “I used to talk about Giggs a lot, because he was left footed like me and I used to watch his movements.”
Just as one began to sense a feeling that the frenetic activity in the transfer rumors season had started to ease off, more stories began popping up linking Manchester United to more players. The official club site is keeping tabs on all the gossip with the running total currently standing at 42 players coming in for an estimated £877m and 9 going elsewhere for an estimated £170m. A calculator is obviously not required to come up with a round figure of a mammoth net £600m being outlaid. An absolutely ridiculous amount.
When Manchester United, not unexpectedly, failed to retain a title which had been held for three successive seasons, the common expectation was that the time had finally come for Sir Alex Ferguson to blow the cobwebs off his cheque book and start spending much of the £80 that had been stashed away from the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid this time last year. Chief executive David Gill had after all repeatedly assured everyone that the cash was available for his manager to strengthen the squad in any way he saw fit.