Imagine Real Madrid had been spent up this summer, after breaking the world record transfer fee twice within a few weeks, Karim Benzema would likely be a Manchester United player now. He would have cost us £35m and at 21-years-old he has room for improvement. However, like RoM mentioned at the time, we would just be a pit stop for the ambitious forward. He’d probably be happy at United but it would only be a matter of time before he got itchy feet. One season, two seasons, three seasons…? He was always going to leave us for Real Madrid.
The fans’ reaction to our little business in the transfer market is as if the £80m is burning a hole in their pocket, not Sir Alex’s!
If we go back a year in time, to the final day of the transfer window, the shit hit the fan. Fergie was trying to call Daniel Levy’s bluff on Dimitar Berbatov when Manchester City suddenly became The Richest Club In The World (TM) and were trying to tempt Dimi with a move to Wastelands. City were dropping bids all over Europe for the best players around and the only one interested was Robinho, who was desperate to get away from Real Madrid, and who wasn’t entirely sure who he was signing for.
Spurs accepted a bid from City which gave Berbatov the excuse to fly up to Manchester but there was only one club up here he dreamed of playing for.
“If I want to play for the money, I would accept the Manchester City offer or Chelsea,” Berbatov said after signing for us.“The red shirt is the really big thing for me. I want to play for the biggest club in the world.”
That is the kind of player we want at Manchester United. For signings like Berbatov, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney, this is as good as it gets. Playing for United is the pinnacle of their career and if we’re going to spend obscene amounts of money on anyone, it needs to be on people who share this attitude.
Not every player we sign has to love United, that’s not my expectation, but if we’re going to be coming close to breaking British transfer records, we need to make sure that money is going on players who sees themselves here for a long time and who are grateful to wear our shirt.
With the market going crazy this summer we would have to pay over the odds on a superstar anyway. But to pay over the odds on a player who saw themselves at Real Madrid or Barcelona in a few years time would be mad.
The Glazers’ spokesperson, Tehsin Nayani, has spoken out on the club’s decision not to spend Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer money this summer.
“The delay is because the manager has not been able to locate the players that he believes fit into the Manchester United mindset, ones that are motivated to play for United,” said Nayani. “You don’t want mercenaries, to pay over the odds for players not willing to give their all for the club.”
I think the club have a healthy stance on spending at the moment and whilst some will claim the lack of spending is down to the debt, it is common sense for us to wait to splash out. So, let’s work on being a little more patient!