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The 2012-2013 Manchester United Thread: Thank you, Sir Alex

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100% of the last 1 player to wear the #7 - strikers

Yeah.

:D

Does this argument need to go on any longer?

I kinda agree...

Park :(

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Oh oops. Seems Pogba's fee will only be a training fee so Fryers fee will likely be higher.

Yep, from what I've read it will be next to nothing. He's easily worth several millions already, never mind what he's likely to be worth in the future. Shows what a FUBARed policy this wait and see attitude with youth contracts is though. Then again, maybe this guy would have left no matter what. If one stack of money is taller than the next...

Sorry to see Park go, but if we get 5m for him that is pretty decent. Still a good player after all, just not quite good enough for us any more.

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We don't deserve anything from the Pogba deal really, all we did was poach him early and train him up. Saying that if he makes a couple of big money moves we'll get a % cut I'm sure.

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Lets say, hypothetically that he did. Does that put him in the "high profile, established superstar" category like Benzema, David Villa or Sneijder?

No, but I never said it did. You're convoluting separate points regarding Ferguson's alleged desire to reduce the aura around the #7 which was cited as a reason for giving the shirt to a less inspiring player such as Valencia, which I don't believe would have been the case had any of those confirmed (iirc; certainly the first two) targets have been signed; and the reasons justifying why players who have had the shirt got it. To clarify:

1) Ferguson allegedly wants to remove the 'aura' around #7. My assertion is that if we had been successful in signing Benzema, Villa or Sneijder, that wouldn't be a concern.

2) Beckham was an established first choice for United and England, this (combined with the promise he had shown to become a 'superstar'; and his long held desire for the shirt) led to him getting the #7.

These are two distinct, independent points.

You said this;

In reply to this;

Now you could have been picking out one condition of a 3 conditioned statement but since that would be ultimately meaningless to prove anything and you're evidently not stupid I have to assume you were using the fact he was an England regular as evidence for him being a "high profile established super star", something I would disagree with.

Unless of course you were merely saying Beckham was established (using England as proof) but wasn't high profile or a superstar at that point, something I wouldn't disagree with, but then I wouldn't as it doesn't alter the point that we don't give the number 7 shirt to high profile established superstars.

Again, I've never claimed we habitually give the shirt to high profile superstars. Going back further into the conversation, your

we never give it to the high profile established super star, it's always given to someone with a bit of a point to prove.

Was in response to

No but thanks for yet again taking my comments out of context rather than actually discussing the point. That line of thought was in reference to comparing Owen versus Valencia; why Owen was an understandable gamble despite his significant on-field inferiority in comparison to Valencia.

which in turn was in response to

So we should have given it to Park really?

From the previous conversational thread about Owen's off-field appeal versus Valencia's on-field ability; so Park was the comparison I was working from, which is why I focused on 'established' as the key factor. Not sure if you quoted the wrong part of my post - again, I agree that we don't go out to bring in superstars for the #7 shirt, simply that had one of our 'star' targets arrived, they may have been given the shirt, contrary to Ferguson's concerns over the 'aura'.

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1) Ferguson allegedly wants to remove the 'aura' around #7. My assertion is that if we had been successful in signing Benzema, Villa or Sneijder, that wouldn't be a concern.

Despite all the evidence suggesting the he wouldn't have given the shirt to someone who was already a superstar with nothing to prove?

2) Beckham was an established first choice for United and England, this (combined with the promise he had shown to become a 'superstar'; and his long held desire for the shirt) led to him getting the #7.

Further evidence that we don't give it to people who have already 'made it' in the game.

Personally I think that Valencia not having the shirt in the first place for whatever reason suggests we thought we could have someone better; that he's now got it suggests we've revised our expectations downwards.

Then you stated that if we'd gotten Benzema/Villa/Sneijder they'd have been given the number 7 shirt if they'd wanted it when we've never given it to that type of signing before. Nani would have been a more typical choice than Valencia for the number 7 shirt as well and on his day is arguably as good as any of those, Fergie obviously didn't want to dump the weight of Ronaldo on his shoulders.

I agree that we don't go out to bring in superstars for the #7 shirt, simply that had one of our 'star' targets arrived, they may have been given the shirt, contrary to Ferguson's concerns over the 'aura'.

Despite us never doing that? Well I think we should leave that there then, because I'm evidently not going to be able to dissuade you from this hunch you have and you can't provide anything to validate it so we're at an impasse.

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You never let things go do you dion?

What an odd time to pick that point out after I'd just done so;

Well I think we should leave that there then

And yes, I don't. And yes I am doing this to you deliberately.

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Despite us never doing that? Well I think we should leave that there then, because I'm evidently not going to be able to dissuade you from this hunch you have and you can't provide anything to validate it so we're at an impasse.

Your right, we didn't give Veron Beckham's shirt so there's no chance we'd ever give a vacant #7 shirt to a star turn in the event we ever signed one.

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Your right, we didn't give Veron Beckham's shirt so there's no chance we'd ever give a vacant #7 shirt to a star turn in the event we ever signed one.
You never let things go do you dion?

This is me letting this go Brett :thup: just for you, hope the Man Utd thread is more readable for you now!

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With El Loco buggering off from Athletic, we better know our visiting hours....

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How does everyone feel about Moutinho btw? He seems to be the journo's favourite atm. Is he good enough? Are we even in for him? If we are is it a sign of our lack of ambition in not going for Modric or the smart mans option?

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How does everyone feel about Moutinho btw? He seems to be the journo's favourite atm. Is he good enough? Are we even in for him? If we are is it a sign of our lack of ambition in not going for Modric or the smart mans option?

Modric didn't have a great season last term from what I saw. The numbers been bandied about for him, (anything from £28-35million), are in my opinion too much.

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I think there's a bit of an issue with Modric that there isn't with Moutinho. Modric is supposed to be a ball player, a real creative spark yet since he went to Spurs his output has really dropped off. He went from being involved in 0.44 goals/games to 0.27 gpg.

Now I'm not saying we should be all about stats but we already have a ball retention+passer in Carrick. Modric would be a more flashier option but that's about it with how he has been playing the last few years. I like the idea of Moutinho because he is that ball playing "carrier" that a lot of midfields need/use who also used to drop back into LB at Sporting if required. He has a much more defined job than Modric would have, especially with having Kagawa in the team and Scholes still playing. However I don't like the Porto angle since I know they're going to squeeze every ounce of finance from the deal as possible. I think Moutinho or a player in his mould is certainly more likely to happen than a Modric.

On a similar note, there isn't that "Quaterback" playmaker out there so far, certainly not the type that United would need. We don't really play with any real Trequartista (Cantona was a second striker, Rooney is a catch-all player) so any like that are out. The rest of the creative midfielders seem to be similar fall into two main camps nowadays; the Xabi Alonso/Pirlo or the Xavi ball-holders sitting slightly higher up and we're using Carrick, Scholes and Giggs as those.

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Moutinho had a great Euro 2012 and he is a good all round midfielder but his asking price would be 30m, would we pay this amount for a 25 year old?

I thought we had a chance of signing Modric but that seems unlkely now with him being linked to Real Madrid. The only other players we could be after are Witsel and possibly Rodwell ( Baines is almost a certainty now)

Anderson will probably move on next, which is a shame becuase he could have been a great player for us if not for the injuries.

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Twitter (don't shoot me Pan) has made up a figure of £26m as the Porto asking price, saying we've offered £20m and it's just a matter of coming to a compromise point between the two. Personally £22-24m for a 26 year old (or close enough) seems a bit steep but makes more sense than spending £32-35m on Modric.

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Modric had a very good season with us, until March when everyone dropped off big time. Our play ran through him, great player FWIW. Anyone saying anything different simply doesn't watch him play full matches. Just sayin'.

That said, he went missing. Though that is liable to happend when you're playing 90 minutes of high tempo football EVERY game. For 6 months.

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I think there's a bit of an issue with Modric that there isn't with Moutinho. Modric is supposed to be a ball player, a real creative spark yet since he went to Spurs his output has really dropped off. He went from being involved in 0.44 goals/games to 0.27 gpg.

Directly perhaps, but I can tell you he's in some way involved in probably 80% of the goals we score. Do you have figures for Xabi Alonso with Madrid?

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Moutinho is a good player and I wouldn't mind seeing him at United.

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Directly perhaps, but I can tell you he's in some way involved in probably 80% of the goals we score. Do you have figures for Xabi Alonso with Madrid?

Using a quick Wiki, it's 0.041 gpg for Alonso. And you're absolutely right, indirectly both Alonso and Modric are heavily involved in their teams' goals. However United have a good number of players who can be indirectly involved in goals. Most of the squad's midfield players are talented enough to pick up the pass before the assist. If the team totally switches to a 4-2-3-1 4-3-3 and does not use 4-4-2 then Modric is definitely someone we can use, however SAF has been using the 4-4-2 and what we need there are players who do that final ball.

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Twitter (don't shoot me Pan) has made up a figure of £26m as the Porto asking price, saying we've offered £20m and it's just a matter of coming to a compromise point between the two. Personally £22-24m for a 26 year old (or close enough) seems a bit steep but makes more sense than spending £32-35m on Modric.

Modric is used to the Premiership so he could fit in straight away, Moutinho on the other hand would need time to settle in, also players do up their game when they join us, and Modric would be the creative spark we need like City have in Silva.

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Modric isn't the same type of player as Silva, we've bought a Silva equivalent already in Kagawa (they're not like for like but close enough), we need someone who can do the scrappy stuff in midfield.

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30+ million for Modric sounds too much though. Would be a good player for us, I'm quite certain, but don't think we will spend that much on him.

Then there is the (sadly) more important issue. Who is the agent of Moutinho..?

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How does everyone feel about Moutinho btw? He seems to be the journo's favourite atm. Is he good enough? Are we even in for him? If we are is it a sign of our lack of ambition in not going for Modric or the smart mans option?

Not sure if it's a genuine interest or just the hacks plucking out the name of a player who had a good tourney (though that does tick one of Fergie's significant transfer boxes). Not seen as much of Moutinho as Modric but they seem to be similar players. A lot of different figures being bandied about for both men so it's a question of whether the savings we could make by plumping for Modric would sufficiently offset Modric's proven Premier League ability and experience. Still not sure if Modric would come for us if he had a genuine option of Madrid or staying in London with Chelsea, and obviously we won't be outbidding them if it comes to that.

I think there's a bit of an issue with Modric that there isn't with Moutinho. Modric is supposed to be a ball player, a real creative spark yet since he went to Spurs his output has really dropped off. He went from being involved in 0.44 goals/games to 0.27 gpg.

Now I'm not saying we should be all about stats but we already have a ball retention+passer in Carrick. Modric would be a more flashier option but that's about it with how he has been playing the last few years. I like the idea of Moutinho because he is that ball playing "carrier" that a lot of midfields need/use who also used to drop back into LB at Sporting if required. He has a much more defined job than Modric would have, especially with having Kagawa in the team and Scholes still playing. However I don't like the Porto angle since I know they're going to squeeze every ounce of finance from the deal as possible. I think Moutinho or a player in his mould is certainly more likely to happen than a Modric.

On a similar note, there isn't that "Quaterback" playmaker out there so far, certainly not the type that United would need. We don't really play with any real Trequartista (Cantona was a second striker, Rooney is a catch-all player) so any like that are out. The rest of the creative midfielders seem to be similar fall into two main camps nowadays; the Xabi Alonso/Pirlo or the Xavi ball-holders sitting slightly higher up and we're using Carrick, Scholes and Giggs as those.

I think Modric has been converted into more of the 'ball playing carrier' role you speak of (if I'm understanding you right) in the past couple of seasons, and his involvement earlier in moves is why his 'involvement in goals' stats have dropped. Are you sure you're not thinking of Veloso as the sometime LB for Sporting - don't think Moutinho played there. Don't think we really need a QB style midfielder - that's pretty much Carrick's role at the moment, and occasionally Scholes' (again, unless I'm misunderstanding the role you're talking about).

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30+ million for Modric sounds too much though. Would be a good player for us, I'm quite certain, but don't think we will spend that much on him.

Then there is the (sadly) more important issue. Who is the agent of Moutinho..?

apparently its Pinhas "Pini" Zahavi

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I think Modric has been converted into more of the 'ball playing carrier' role you speak of (if I'm understanding you right) in the past couple of seasons, and his involvement earlier in moves is why his 'involvement in goals' stats have dropped. Are you sure you're not thinking of Veloso as the sometime LB for Sporting - don't think Moutinho played there. Don't think we really need a QB style midfielder - that's pretty much Carrick's role at the moment, and occasionally Scholes' (again, unless I'm misunderstanding the role you're talking about).

As soon as I wrote about Moutinho playing at LB and posted it my brain said about Veloso instead. Woops.

You're right on all regards. His last two seasons for Zagreb were certainly higher ala Scholes numbers and I think even his first Spurs season had him bringing in the goals/assists. You're right, we definitely don't need a QB, and that's what I was trying to say. United has almost always played with a Charlton/Scholes type of playmaker, someone who is just as like to burst from midfield to score on their own as they are to set something up. It's a creative spark that can fit into the 4-4-2 we play while also flexible enough to do a 4-3-3 as well. What I was trying to highlight was the lack of those type of creative players around nowadays. Post the Scholes-Zidane era we've see Kaka as the only one of that type to really be a big name and it's the type of playing that we all hoped Anderson would have turned into. Incidentally, the only name that jumps out as being that type of creative spark is Iniesta who needs to stop being pissed about out on the left wing.

So through all my waffling, what I'm trying to say is if we can almost guarantee being able to turn Modric into that turn of creative spark then I'd pay the £30m. It's that type of player who could get United into the Chamions League finals if we're using a strong defensive shape and stop us having those damaging draws. However if we can't be sure he has the mindset to move further up field then Moutinho, who was always that ball player to begin with, could be a better, slightly cheaper option.

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Yeah, well like dion says I think that Kagawa is the player we're looking to have in that role. Modric I'd see more alongside Carrick in the latter '00s Scholes role, with the option of playing off the front man on occasion in a 4-2-3-1, though there's a chance that could inhibit Cleverley's development. At the risk of harking back to the Sneijder debate (:D) I think making a big signing in an attacking playmaker role would inhibit Rooney; or if Rooney was moved forward to accommodate him, Welbeck.

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I completely agree. I'd rather use Welbeck and Cleverley over the next few years than mess around with the AM/ST positions any more now we've brought in Kagawa. So it then comes down to the type of ball player to have alongside Carrick. Is Modric's English experience worth the extra £8m-£12m+ over Moutinho?

Or could SAF be looking to turn Cleverley into that type of midfielder?

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Twitter (don't shoot me Pan) has made up a figure of £26m as the Porto asking price, saying we've offered £20m and it's just a matter of coming to a compromise point between the two. Personally £22-24m for a 26 year old (or close enough) seems a bit steep but makes more sense than spending £32-35m on Modric.

The Moutinho figures are actually Euros and not pounds, twitter has it wrong there.

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See that's the thing, the lower end Moutinho figures are vastly preferential versus the high end Modric figures, but I can't see why Porto would let him go for so comparatively little a) at all with their track record, or b) after such a strong Euros. You'd imagine they'd not be short of suitors, and have other salable assets (e.g. Hulk) who could rake in sufficient funds for them to not have to sell.

Ultimately I think I'd rather see Cleverley have full, hopefully injury free season to try and build on his promising start and latter cameos from last season. While he wouldn't be my first choice, talk of the likes of Tiote has me more interested than Moutinho, even though Moutinho is obviously the more talented player.

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Also something to consider, would we feel more confident with Moutinho and Cleverley (assuming he makes the grade) or Cleverley and Modric? Modric/Carrick is obviously stronger but Carrick will need a rest at some point, would the more defensive minded Moutinho give us more options?

And if the figures are in Euro's then we should snap their hand off tbh, £21m for someone who has just had such a good tournament by Porto standards is an absolute steal.

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Yeah, now this is where my ignorance on Moutinho lets me down - is he that more defensive than the recent Modric? Or to take another angle - would Modric be happy to play that role were he to move, or does he perhaps prefer being the creative hub? Going back to touch on Veloso again briefly, I thought he looked decent as a definite defensive option this Euros.

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Tiote has a bit more bite to his game, doesn't he? I wouldn't mind him than just a "pure" footballer alongside Carrick.

The ridiculous thing about Porto is that they consider every player they have to be the best in the world money-wise. 70m euros for Hulk is a joke. I can really see Porto pushing the price up to where there's almost no difference between that deal and Modric's and if that's the case then Modric is the more sound option. Although I really would not want to pay that much for either of them.

Have people totally given up on Anderson then? Let's say we never ask him to assist or score, are his ball skills not worth playing him even deeper rather than spending 30m+?

Yeah, now this is where my ignorance on Moutinho lets me down - is he that more defensive than the recent Modric? Or to take another angle - would Modric be happy to play that role were he to move, or does he perhaps prefer being the creative hub? Going back to touch on Veloso again briefly, I thought he looked decent as a definite defensive option this Euros.

If I remember correctly it was Veloso who was the defensive minded of the two and Moutinho the runner/passer. So to answer Dion's question, I would say Veloso if we're looking at someone who could also cover for Carrick. This way we can play Veloso-Carrick for more stability and then X-Carrick/Veloso in other games.

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Anderson has fitness issues that mean so far he's completely unreliable, it's hard enough to make it here even if you're fit all the time never mind when you're out injured every 15 minutes. If he could be fit all season then he'd maybe be worth a punt, but I just can't see it happening. Tiote is good as a destroyer but I can't see where he would fit, England proved at the Euros having a completely defensive player in a 4-4-2 is unworkable and in a 4-3-3 someone else could do it as they have more help in central midfield. Those types of player have to be really special to make it at the very top and I'm not sure Tiote is at that Makelele or Gattuso standard.

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Understandable about his fitness although, on a side note, I don't think England proved you can't win with a completely defensive player in a 4-4-2 since it's the same with a totally attacking player (van der Vaart). In either case the other end of the pitch gets left to only one man (be that defensively or creatively).

However United would be okay with a solid defensive midfielder. A sort of Nicky Butt squad guy who can be brought in when we need extra muscle but not a major part of how the team sets up as the favourite. I think it all depends on if we're looking for that big name who should be able to play in any game we need or a squad guy who is "allowed" to have weaknesses.

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With Tiote there would be the African Cup of Nations, which could become an issue.

Veloso had a good reputation but lost his way a little, he's just moved to Dynamo Kiev which seems strange.

Moutinho is a good all round player, passes, tackels and chips in with goals. Modric has added the defensive element to his game and his guile and intelligence is what we need for the big games.

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The ridiculous thing about Porto is that they consider every player they have to be the best in the world money-wise. 70m euros for Hulk is a joke.

It's not ridiculous when it works though :D

I really, really like Anderson. Would love for him to finally break out and perform consistently, but I think I've said that the past three summers now. Never let us down in the AM position to my recollection, so could maybe be used in the old AM Park role this season given his ability to press the opposition. Fitness is the obvious concern, but at the same time he's unlikely to have many suitors at present given that he's not really played for 6 months. I think we've got to give him a bit of a start against some weaker sides in the hope that he performs to some degree. If he can keep it up then he may be an option; if he drops off but we can at least keep him fit then maybe we can offload him in Jan.

On Tiote, I don't think his ball retention is good enough ultimately. The gossip column had Lass Diarra on the move again the other day - another potential option but with the same concerns.

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It's not ridiculous when it works though :D

You've got me there! :D

Looking at our midfield t's certainly missing that key option to replace/compliment Carrick in the harder games. Unless of course Jones is going to be moved there on a permanent basis to become the new Robson.

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I remember saying before last season that Anderson would break out and be a top player through the season. At the start it looked possible and then once again he went through all the same problems he had before. Can't give him that chance anymore.

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I can save you pages worth of Modric talk by simply saying you won't be signing him.

we can always dream.

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I hope we're not looking at either of Modric or Moutinho. We need a holding midfielder because without Fletcher, we have no ball-winner in midfield. I hear Witsel can do that job but I would rather we get someone like Lars Bender or even Etienne Capoue

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We won't buy an holding midfielder, just not Fergie's style.

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Looking at our midfield t's certainly missing that key option to replace/compliment Carrick in the harder games. Unless of course Jones is going to be moved there on a permanent basis to become the new Robson.

Think we're a long way from knowing what Jones position/role will be. Will most likely get some games there this season unless we sign at least two players.

I remember saying before last season that Anderson would break out and be a top player through the season. At the start it looked possible and then once again he went through all the same problems he had before. Can't give him that chance anymore.

See I reckon his performances from the start of last season have earned him one (more) final chance. If he'd been ***** and then injured fair enough, but him and Cleverley were pretty exhilarating at the start.

I hope we're not looking at either of Modric or Moutinho. We need a holding midfielder because without Fletcher, we have no ball-winner in midfield. I hear Witsel can do that job but I would rather we get someone like Lars Bender or even Etienne Capoue

A holding midfielder and a ballwinner are not one and the same.

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Unless we happen to get good money for Berba and/or Anderson (if he really is on the way out for real this time), I'm not sure we're able to bring in a midfielder of the 30m type. Moutinho will probably be in that range, and we know Modric is. Think it's more likely, if we sign another midfielder, that it will be a guy a bit more under the radar, a bit less well-known.

Would love to be wrong of course, and (again) wouldn't at all mind Javi take the trip up north.

Football seems to be moving away from a roughly 4-4-2 formation, and has been for some time, so maybe we should be less married to that (rough) formation too. Granted we can play quite different from match to match, but think it's time to move more in the direction of 4-2-3-1, which I hope Kagawa is a sign of. If that happens, though, it will be to the detriment of Welbeck and Chicha.

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A holding midfielder and a ballwinner are not one and the same.

Fair enough. We need a ball-winner then.

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I think if we have a more stable midfield partner for Carrick then our 4-4-2 can easily become more of a 4-2-3-1/4-2-4-0 with, say, Nani-Rooney-Welbeck-Young rotating positions.

In other good news (or terrible if you're a MORON) - Nani has confirmed to the Times of India that he's very happy and contract talks are ongoing \o/

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the Times of India? that well known knowledge and source for all the big footballing stories? ;)

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Largest circulation in the world for an English speaking newspaper ;) Looks like it may have been a one-line response to a rumour they ran suggesting he'd set a deadline for a new deal.

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the Times of India? that well known knowledge and source for all the big footballing stories? ;)

I'd take them over some English news sources tbf :D

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