Manchester United FC, in light of recent poor results, may be feeling a bit more pressure to complete the rumored signing of Portuguese wing-defender, Fabio Coentrao. The deal, nearly completed during the summer transfer window, may be closer to completion now. Real Madrid, Coentrao’s current home, is now in talks with United manager, David Moyes, to send him out on loan for the rest of the season. According to Jason Burt of the Telegraph, Coentrao’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is very interested in a revival of the deal which would have brought the Portuguese player to the club last summer. Mendes reportedly has close ties to Manchester United, and is motivated to pursue the loan.
This deal is not new. Shortly before the beginning of the current campaign, Moyes attempted to secure Coentrao on loan for the season, as a prelude to a more permanent contract. While the terms were reportedly agreed upon, the paperwork was not submitted in time for the deal to go through. It marked the last of several failed attempts to augment the United roster during the summer window. Not an auspicious beginning for Moyes, and with the poor performance of the club in the standings thus far in the season, pressure is mounting for him to come up with something in the transfer window to bolster waning hopes for the rest of the season.
Availability of quality additions will hamper his efforts, as the January window is famous for providing lots of rumors and little substance. The fact that it is a World Cup year, and players are looking for a chance to get enough playing time somewhere to be showcased for National team spots, is the only thing that may make this year different. Regardless, many fear the club has fallen too far to truly compete for the top four spots anyway. Moyes, however, has not given up hope. Signing Coentrao may not be the only piece needed to turn the fortunes of Manchester United around, but coupled with the anticipated return of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie from injury getting closer, it might go a long way toward reassuring the fan base that their concerns are being addressed.
Aside from the Coentrao deal, the only major rumor with a significant possibility of coming to fruition in the transfer window is the acquisition of Chelsea forward, Juan Mata. Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, stated in an interview following their 3-1 defeat of United that he believed the chances of them catching up to contend with the top teams was remote at best. With the perception that they are not really direct competition anymore, and the growing rift between Mata and Mourinho, it is possible that this deal may get done. Reports indicate that a £37 million bid may be coming any day for Mata. While Moyes may not agree with Mourinho’s assessment of the club’s chances, he will certainly not be shy about taking advantage of the Chelsea manager’s perceptions if it is to his advantage. If fact, if Moyes is truly closer to signing Coentrao, and Mata is actually a viable possibility, things just might be on the upturn for Manchester United. If the return of Rooney and Van Persie to fitness soon actually materializes as well, Moyes may actually have a chance, however remote, of making that title run.
By Shannon Malone