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UNITED TRANSFER RUMOURS: Robben, Hummels and Sagna

Arjen Robben – 30 Years Old

Since his move to Bayern Munich, Arjen Robben has found a level of consistency and health that had plagued his time at both Chelsea and Real Madrid. One of the world’s most exciting and talented player he has been a major difference for club and country in recent years. Blessed with incredible speed, he is capable of dominating every full back in the game. Often criticised for being one footed, it is perhaps made irrelevant when you consider the strength of his left foot, knowing how to stop Robben and actually succeeding in it have been two completely different things. His close control and speed make it an extremely difficult task to get the ball away from him. In front of goal has been the area in which Robben has really improved since joining Bayern, averaging at better than a goal in every two games, he has undoubtedly become a match winner and it was showcased during the Champions League Final last year against Dortmund.

Where would he fit in?

Throughout their dominant reign under Ferguson, Manchester United possessed highly talented wingers who spread the opposition and made them cover every blade of grass. With no disrespect to the majority of the current crop but there are blatant and numerous flaws with the majority, be it consistency or quality, in some cases, both. Arjen Robben can both hug the touchline like a traditional winger, cutting inside from the right on his favourite left foot, or drift in field taking full backs with him creating space for the full backs to overlap. United, since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and perhaps until the arrival of Juan Mata, lacked goals when the strikers did not fire, Robben would introduce a new dimension to a potent strike force when fully fit.

Chances of signing?

When Guardiola arrived at Bayern almost twelve months ago, many felt that Robben would not fit in due to his individualistic nature but he has adapted and accommodated himself within a team ethic which makes a possible move away seem suspect. However, the arrival of his international and ex club manager Louis van Gaal may tempt Robben in a move to Manchester if a deal materialises. Coming towards the back end of his career but in his most productive years, the transfer value would likely remain steep, barring the purchase of Robin van Persie, United have not traditionally spent vast sums of money on aging players.

Mats Hummels – 25 Years Old

The German international and Borussia Dortmund defender has been key to his side’s rise to prominence in the last few years. The mainstay of the defence, Hummels is often the stereotypical German in his efficiency and defending. An excellent reader of the game, he relies on clearances and intercepting the ball as opposed to going into tackles frequently, however this has come at a price at times when mis-timing an interception he can leave his partner and the keeper exposed to quick breaks. Hummels satisfies both the modern and traditional centre-back as he is equally capable when he is on the ball, bringing it out from the defence in order to initiate attacks. This season he completed more successful dribbles per game than team-mates Blaszczykowski and Aubameyang.

Where would he fit in?

With the exit of both Ferdinand and Vidic, Manchester United are left bereft of experience and international quality in their defence. Smalling and Jones may well prove to be good enough to partner Evans but there would still remain a lack of depth. Hummels’ quality would be a welcome addition and give the younger defenders at the club someone they can continue to learn from. His passing ability and tendency to bring the ball out from the back is likely to be a relief for a midfield that has struggled to make its presence felt in games and provide a platform for the attacking players the club possess.

Chances of signing?

Having been consistently linked with United in recent transfer windows, the dominance of Bayern Munich in Germany may tempt Hummels to leave for greener pastures. A couple of less successful seasons in terms of silverware with club and personal performances is likely to mean that the transfer which may have cost United a considerable fortune around the time of Euro 2012, may well have decreased. With rivals City and Chelsea targeting the pair of Benatia and Mangala, the route to acquiring Hummels’ services may mean facing little competition.

Bacary Sagna – 31 Years Old

The Arsenal right back has been a bit of an anomaly at the club, in that he was highly regarded around Europe but chose to remain in North London. One of the premier league’s most consistent players in his position, Sagna’s form declined rapidly following a string of serious injuries but has since returned somewhere near his best form. Defensively solid and equipped with the natural abilities to match most wingers in the world for both strength and speed, Arsenal’s fourth best defence record in the league can be credited in large parts to Sagna’s performances this season. However, the player does struggle to make an impact on the other end of the field, misplaced crosses and a lack of desire to get past his opponents would place a great deal of pressure on the right winger to be productive. Yet, in an age when accomplished defenders are few and far between, Sagna’s quality in his own half of the field have kept him at the top of the game.

Where would he fit in?

The right back position at United was in constant flux last season under David Moyes, whilst new manager Louis van Gaal may wish to give Rafael the chance to replicate his form towards the end of Ferguson’s time at the club, Sagna would provide experience and consistency for the new manager in a position that lacks both. Like Hummels he would be a player that the younger defenders at the club could learn from.

Chances of signing?

Having decided to leave Arsenal on a free transfer this summer, there is likely to be a lot of teams interested in Sagna’s services due to the lack of fee needed to sign him. Long been touted to end up at Inter Milan may bring into question the chances of him ending up in Manchester, along with his time at Arsenal and relationship with the club but should United offer him a sizable contract, the ex-Arsenal man may end up wearing red again.

About Ramon Isaac

Ramon writes for By Far The Greatest Team and Mowing Meadows. Follow @MowingMeadows on Twitter.

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  1. redfil says:

    any of these would be good signings but i fear your headline says it all really, “rumours”

  2. m09538061 says:

    LVG is with Holland and preparing for World Cup. He has not worked or trained with the players. He needs time with them to see if they fit in with his methods but he doesn’t have much of that. It will happen after the WC and don’t forget that the WC players usually have a 2 week holiday after the competition. That will leave LVG with just 2-3 weeks with some players. Now tell me I’m wrong but that is a tough call for any player/manager. He may have left a list of names for Woodward but would you trust that guy with his previous record. ??
    United fans need to be realistic, they think they’ll be competing for the title next year but are in for a huge shock, it takes time for a manager to get his methods across and they’ll turn on him when results dont go to plan as quickly as they want. LVG won’t just be nice to keep the peace he’ll go for the jugular on other members of his team, the owners, the players, the fans or the media, he don’t give a fuck. AND you must remember how the media attacked the fat spanish waiter,when he wound them up, they hit away with it cos Rafa was foreign, they’ll attack LVG more because to him the media are just morons !

  3. wayne barker says:

    As the article mentions Robbens only consistent form has come in the German league he struggled at the Rent Boys and Madrid with form and injuries,at 30 personally think he’d be a risk he’d want 200k per week,the transfer fee would be 25mill plus
    Woodward didn’t get were he is today by being a dummy,it came out Fabregas had told RVP he was open to a move you’d also have to assume Barca was giving encouraging signs because by all accounts Fabregas is available this summer,so that fiasco wasn’t all on Woodward and he did get the Mata deal done.So maybe give him a chance considering last summer was his first in a new job and Utd were dealing with the loss of Sir Alex and Gill

  4. trevor knightsmith says:


    With you on Robben, on his day a brilliant player, if he signed for us everyone would have a field day regarding his diving . He a a bit if a cheat , something we should distance our selves from in my opinion.

    Also as you mentioned, he’d want more than thirty bob a week !

  5. lecho says:

    Very little reason to sign 30-year old Robben for big cash (and I mean BIG, 40+ mils). Absolutely no reason for signing 31-year old Sagna, LAV could provide enough support for Rafael on the right flank.

  6. maxbrown3268 says:

    Defnatly need a rb in all honesty…rafa just hasnt kicked on like we all thought. Think wed hv to pay too much for robben at 30yrs old.we can only wait n see who we bid for !! Need to gt crackin befor wc starts!!

  7. j sman says:

    I honestly do not believe LVG would ask for older players. I think he is trying to build a team that is reliable and not past their peak. It would be a waste of money on Robben or Sagna because their is little to no resale value on them compares to what we would have to pay in transfer fees and wage.

  8. wayne barker says:

    I’m not writing off Rafa he had ongoing injuries that made it a stop and start season which is really hard on a player to get into a grove he only played around 20 games.
    Let’s face it just about every player in the team had a off season for whatever reasons so just have to write the season off,2 seasons ago Rafa was one of the best backs in the league

  9. wayne barker says:

    Sagna would be a free but don’t see him being a upgrade read the other day City were going to sign him,not bothered either way

  10. j sman says:

    I read that Mat Hummels father came out with a statement saying that he will not be leaving BVD

  11. united till i die says:

    I like Robben as a player but at this point I wouldn’t pay that kind of money for him. I’d much rather see Van Gaal use his knowledge of the European leagues and bring in someone who can be molded into a man utd type player as We rarely have success buying finished products.

  12. j sman says:

    does anyone know anything about the story saying Giggs had a major part in us not signing Alcantara last summer? I didn’t think Giggs had that much pull last year

  13. WilliamAR says:

    Robben too old for a rebuild job plus he’s over priced

    Sagna is again too old for a rebuild project and I don’t think he’s what we want to be honest.

    Hummels is the right age and is top quality and all the noises from his father are more to do with the fact we haven’t approached BVD for him or contacted hummels himself with a look to acquire his services. we’re either going through the targets one by one or we are just not looking at hummels at the moment, who knows really. time will tell. I think the comments made by his father are a come and get me plea without trying to sound too desperate in front of the media.

  14. WilliamAR says:

    Memphis Depay and Yevhen Konoplyanka, have been mentioned.

    Depay is a really good young player who has been selected for Holland for the world cup so I think he shows real promise.

    Konoplyanka I don’t rate as highly as his hype so i’m not fussed about him really.

  15. wayne barker says:

    j sman sounds like bollocks to me mate,the longtime rumor is Moyes shut Giggs out now he convinced Moyes not to sign Thiago?anyway Thiago been injured most of the year didn’t play many games now he’s picked up a new injury means he had to drop out of the World Cup squad so probably a bullet dodged

  16. j sman says:

    Did the prospect of signing Rues just go out the window? Why isn’t there any talk about him anymore? I would love him on squad and letting him and Kagawa work together again.

  17. Lyndon Murray says:

    I believe that Mats Hummels will be great for us because he is still young, has a lot of experience already playing for Borussia Dortmund and Germany. He can be a calming presence for us at the back and the fact that he likes to dribble and bring the ball out of the back will certainly place less stress on our midfielders.

    Please check out The Red Devils Blog at for all your Manchester United news.

  18. FBr David Lee says:

    agree with wayne barker, looks like we dodged a bullet in the name of alcantara for the the time being.

    out of the 3 mentioned players, Hummels seems to be the realistic one as rightly pointed out by scott that jones & smalling need someone to learn from.

    if Rafael fails to (i hope not, he’s good on his days) live up, we could rely on Valencia or give Varela a chance.

    as highlighted by m09538061, Van Gaal have not personally assessed the squad yet so, altho we can dream big, let us not get frustrated if we haven’t hit the ground running.

  19. FBr David Lee says:

    we might need to give LvG a year to get results and hopefully with the results it will be easier for us to attract good players to join us.


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