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Manchester United set to buy big in January

Oct 1, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

Manchester United's manager Moyes answers a question during a news conference at the Donbass Arena stadium in Donetsk Reuters

With his side slumping at 12th in the Premier League table, Manchester United boss David Moyes has been told by the Glazer family that he’ll have their support for a splurge in the January transfer window.

Moyes is expected to target Everton’s Leighton Baines and Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrer, both of whom the Scot failed to purchase this past summer.

Everton rejected United’s $24 million (£15m) bid for Baines while Bilbao did the same when Moyes offered $43 million (£26.5m). Early indications show that Everton will need over $32.4 million (£20m) to part ways with the left back while the Basque club will want Herrer’s $48.7 million (£30m) release clause paid in full.

That spending alone would take United to well over the $80 million (£50m) mark and few expect United to stop there as a center-back and second midfielder are also in the cards. Daniele De Rossi, Luka Modric and Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder have all been named players of interest for United.

This past summer’s transfer market was a disaster for United, failing in bids for Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Bale before scrambling to buy Marouane Fellaini for $45 million (£27.5m), which was $6.5 million (£4m) more than the Belgian’s release clause (which expired on August 1st).

This past weekend Moyes claimed that United were some distance away from challenging the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

“To win the Champions League, you have to have five or six world-class players,” Moyes said. “If you look at Bayern Munich, they have five or six nearly world-class players. Look at Barcelona, who had [that] in the past and Real Madrid have maybe got it now. That’s the level you have to get at to win it. We’ve not got that yet, but what we have got is experience and several players who are in that category or close to it. But the job when I took over was always going to be that we would have to make changes and improve as we went along.”

The question then becomes, is Leighton Baines, Ander Herrer, Daniele De Rossi, Luka Modric or Wesley Sneijder a world class player?

The answer obviously depends on one’s definition of the term “world class.” Most would agree, however, that a world-class player is one of the best in the world at his respective position. With the exception of possibly Baines – and even that is highly doubtful – neither Herrer, De Rossi, Modric or Sneijder can be considered a top three player at his respective position.

Which is to say this – Manchester United may be set to buy big this January and although they will be paying world-class prices, they don’t appear intent on buying world-class players.

  1. dfstell - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    The funny thing is that I’m not sure they need Baines or Herrera. Left Back has not been the problem this season. Evra is fine and even though Butner isn’t great, he is competent and he’s already at the club. Fabio could play there in a pinch too and he’s also competent.

    As for midfield, they have two problem areas. One is when Carrick just gets swarmed like against Liverpool. He needs someone else in there to absorb all that pressure. Not sure how Herrera helps that. The other is when someone like Yaya Toure is just in beast mode. Not sure how Herrera helps that. And I guess the third is when they can’t retain possession they need someone to play destroyer and Phil Jones can/should do that. They do need a little depth in midfield, but that seems like a LOT of money for “depth”.

    United’s biggest problem this season is that they’re committed to playing with wingers and their wingers have been crappy.

  2. danielofthedale - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Sure United wants to spend big, but what if they are still stuck in midtable and Everton is still in the hunt for the Top 4? Will Everton really sell their best at any price and would Baines want to leave for a team that is behind him in the table?

    I think there is no guarantee that United make it back up near the top of table and that would have a real impact on any midseason player movement.

  3. drewvt6 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Please not another Everton reject….moyes has brought on enough mediocrity already.

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