It is that time of year again and already we seem to have been linked with many different players around the world, some of which have signed new contracts with their clubs or secured moves elsewhere. Over the past few days talk of United concentrating on Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger started to heat up, before reports on Friday night suggested that United are not interested in the veteran German midfielder.
Reports have suggested that Barcelona midfielder Xavi is now a target for United, but just how genuine are these reports. The truth is that there are only a few people in the know over United’s actual targets and with one of those currently leading his national side at the World Cup over in Brazil, I doubt anything will happen until Louis van Gaal’s side have made an exit from the tournament, which after thrashing Spain 5-1 on Friday night, may not be before the knockout stages of the competition.
Xavi was given his chance in the Barcelona side by Van Gaal back in 1998 along with Carles Puyol and Andrés Iniesta. Three players which helped keep the Catalan club in the hunt for trophies over the years, with Puyol retiring this season. Van Gaal and Xavi will no doubt have a bond as it was the Netherlands coach who nurtured the midfielder, helping him to become the player he is today. I would like to see Xavi at United, but at 34-years-old, I wonder what impact he will have in the Barclays Premier League and whether he could be a player that will be more of a hindrance than a help.
Xavi has achieved so much at Barcelona, it would be a shame if such a player moved to a more competitive league in the twilight of his career and appeared to be a shadow of his former self, that is one of the things I worry about when linked with older players. There are also reported linking the Spanish international with Qatari club Al Arabi, which I deem as more likely. The reports suggest he will be paid in excess of €8 million per season, which is a staggering amount of money.
I do not think that Xavi will be heading to United this summer, but I think we will be signing players that will make United a force to be reckoned with. Louis van Gaal is a winner and he will not put up with the sort of thing the players did last season under David Moyes. He will also not put up with anything less that a victory. As we saw with the Netherlands last night, the Dutchman likes his attacking formations and usually plays 4-3-3 with Friday nights formation against Spain the 5-3-2 formation tried and tested by Feyenoord in the Eredivisie last season, proven to work on the international stage against none other than the current World Champions.
I’m not the type of football supporters that needs to see big names at United. Some of the best players we have had, have either, come through the clubs academy, or they have been brought in as a relatively unknown player. The likes of Peter Schmeichel, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic and Eric Cantona, to name a few, were all players who were relatively unknown at the time they signed for United, and just look at what they achieved. Personally I like to think United do not sign superstars, they make them. I am happy to see what this summer brings.
By Paul Bienkowski
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