Despite nearly landing him this past summer, Manchester United FC is having trouble taking Fabio Coentrao from Real Madrid CF in the transfer window. They are having trouble signing Koke from Atletico Madrid. It appears that their pursuit of Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund has also stalled. Ross Barkley of Everton appears to be out of the transfer window hopes for United, as well. It has been reported by Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail that the Glazer family has made £200 million available to manager David Moyes to spend on bringing in players for the club in the next 18 months. The frustrating thing for Manchester United fans, however, is that none of it is being spent.
Moyes has acknowledged the need to add players who can make an immediate impact to the squad. He has publicly lamented the lack of available talent during the January transfer window. In truth, it appears that the amount of quality players being made available, at least to Manchester United, is very limited. That will not matter, when it comes down to it, to United fans. Moyes, whether there is an actual shortage of players or not, suffers from a reputation of dithering when it comes to player acquisition. If he is unable to add significant help for the struggling squad this month, it will be the story that keeps on coming back with every stumble and setback for the rest of the campaign. Whether or not he is at fault will not matter at all to fans.
In the case of taking Fabio Coentrao, a deal with Manchester United is reportedly done, but the trouble is Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti preventing it from happening in January. Given the fact that this deal has been in the works since last summer, with the window closing just before the deal could get done, Ancelotti’s statements must be a source of frustration for the embattled United manager.
“No players are leaving, and we’re not going to sign anyone,” said Ancelotti about the potential deal “the window is closed for us.”
It is as final a statement as any during the transfer window, but this time of year everyone is denying the availability of players right up until the point where they are spirited away. Ancelotti admitted that Coentrao had wanted to leave during the summer when the deal was being negotiated, but continues to hold firm against the move in public. It could be gamesmanship, but with Moyes running up against firmly negative responses everywhere he turns, he may not have the time to pursue a deal with so slim a chance of happening.
Given the number of negative responses to Manchester United inquiries being reported, he may not have time for much of anything. United fans are unlikely to be satisfied by anything less than a truly quality player, able to contribute right away to the turnaround of the Premier League campaign, and there are not many players of that caliber available.
Despite Ancelotti’s stance, Coentrao’s representatives have indicated that a deal might still be possible with an offer of at least £12 million. While it would not solve all of Moyes’ issues, any decent signing at this point would help him to shed the image of being ineffectual in the transfer windows. Whether it is taking Coentrao from real Madrid, Koke from Atletico, Barkley from Everton, or any of the other deals reported to be in the works, Manchester United will need to make some forward progress to avoid real trouble in the rest of the campaign.
By Jim Malone