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Catalan paper ‘Sport’ reports Manchester United solution


The Spanish paper suggests Wayne Rooney will move to Barcelona with Thiago Alcantara and David Villa going in the opposite direction

The number of shall we say rather difficult to believe stories regarding the future of Wayne Rooney increased this morning as Catalan based newspaper ‘Sport’ reported a ‘solution’ had been found between Barcelona and Manchester United and this solution would take both Thiago and David Villa to Old Trafford for a fee of twenty six million Euros with Wayne Rooney moving to Barcelona for a fee of thirty million Euros.

This story to me, first appears to be nonsense due to the fact Manchester United had a number of opportunities to bring David Villa to the club whilst he was at Valencia with the Old Trafford club certainly having interest despite never officially tabling a bid for the forward, now with the player aged thirty one and wanting significantly higher wages than he would have done a number of years ago, why on earth would Manchester United want to take David Villa on especially with the difficulty suffered by Sir Alex Ferguson past season with regards to fitting Wayne Rooney into the starting eleven in a forward role?

It is no secret that Manchester United are certainly interested in bringing Thiago to the club with many media outlets including those with significant credibility in transfer matters reporting that a deal to take the Spanish midfielder to Old Trafford was close to being confirmed. However I don’t think a swap deal would be on the cards for both he and Villa, nor would Manchester United have to sweeten any sort of deal for Thiago with Barcelona due to the twenty two year old’s nineteen million Euro release clause courtesy of not having played enough minutes for Barcelona’s first team last term.

Now moving onto the second half of the story, Wayne Rooney moving to Barcelona for thirty million Euros, everything about this sentence just sounds wrong. Wayne Rooney regardless of his fitness, form and attitude over the past eighteen months is a sizeably valuable commodity for Manchester United to have in their possession and thirty million Euros which roughly equates to £25million in the British market is nowhere near what Wayne Rooney is worth to Manchester United. The figure I believe Manchester United may let Rooney leave the club for would be a lot closer to £40million despite the England international having only two years left on his current contract.

However perhaps more significantly, Barcelona are not in a position to pay thirty million Euros for Wayne Rooney even if they would make twenty six back through the sales of Thiago and David Villa. It has long been a poorly kept secret that Barcelona suffer from financial problems with the past superstar signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cesc Fabregas somewhat papering over the cracks, however with Barcelona being disappointing by their own high standards in the UEFA Champions League in the last two seasons the financial problems have really hit home. It was thought this summer that Barcelona would have to hold a fire sale of players who were not crucial to their first team with names like Alexis Sanchez, Victor Valdes, Ibrahim Afellay and even Thiago Alcantara being muted as being available this summer.

Speculation about this sale had increased even further following the completion of the deal to bring Neymar to Camp Nou with the enigmatic Brazilian forward being signed for a fee rumoured to be around fifty seven million Euros. Many thought Barcelona were going to have to sell to merely balance the books never mind free up space within their squad, however as yet there have been no significant sales with the only two departures being Marc Muniesa moving to Stoke City on a free transfer and Bojan Krkic moving to Ajax on a season long loan deal.

Whilst I don’t believe there to be the money to bring Wayne Rooney and his bumper wage packet to Barcelona, I also don’t think there is the space to fit him into the side. If you think back to how one position for a striker is taken by Lionel Messi who plays as a ‘faux number nine’ come centre forward then that takes away a position Rooney could fill. Next is the two wider forwards who over the past two years have been a rotation between Pedro, David Villa and Alexis Sanchez, now with the introduction of Neymar to the left hand side, it is likely Pedro and Alexis Sanchez would rival each other for the spot on the right hand side of the Barcelona forward three. The only space Rooney could then fit into would be in the central midfield area where he would only get a handful of appearances ahead of Xavi and Iniesta and if Barcelona were purchasing a player to seldom come off the bench to fill in at the heart of the midfield then they might as well have put up a greater fight to keep Thiago.

So there you have It, the story in ‘Sport’ this morning I feel is absolute nonsense and there are far too many factors working against it for it to be true however I know you should never take anything for granted in the transfer market but this one is just a bit too farfetched for me, even more so when you hear respected Spanish football correspondents saying how close David Villa is to leaving Barcelona for either Tottenham Hotspur or Fiorentina. The speculation regarding Wayne Rooney and Thiago Alcantara, I’m afraid will continue to rumble on until we hear definitive answers from the players’ respective clubs.

Written by Chris Winterburn

Follow Chris Winterburn on Twitter @Chriswin4

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  1. xkenny omomama

    8 July, 2013 at 13:38

    i tink thiago should stay at barca becouse xavi is old and he would have chance to play well this summer,and is stil young,fit and is patern of play would assist messi and new signing neymar.

    • Chris Winterburn

      8 July, 2013 at 14:34

      Apparently Tito Vilanova cannot give him assurances about appearances in the first team, with it expected Thiago’s role for the upcoming season would be very similar to last. He is desperate to go to the World Cup in Brazil (where his father is from) and feels the only way he can do that is with regular football. Manchester United would be one of the few top teams who can offer him that, so for me if he cant get the time on the pitch he wants/needs at Barcelona, he should make the move to United.

  2. Fergie's Wristwatch

    8 July, 2013 at 15:53

    Are we not all tired with this Thiago saga? Why do United always engage in long boring transfers every summer? Last minute buys and near misses every transfer window! Goes way back to the Ronaldinho saga and of course the David Silva, Sneijder,Lucas Moura,Lewandowski,now Thiago,Strootman. I wouldn’t be surprised if we fail on this one too,given the false rumours here and there. We always settle for second best,we have lost that fight in the tranfer market for many seasons now. For your information,David Villa has signed for Athletico Madrid,which make this ur article false and misleading,just like the other ones.
    Now I believe we are certainly going to miss out on Thiago,and our midfield problems might still persist. We’d prolly settle for Cleverley and Fellaini.

    • Chris Winterburn

      8 July, 2013 at 16:10

      In response to your comment about Villa, it doesn’t make my article false or misleading at all. If anything I am disputing the reports in the Catalan media this morning that said Villa to United, secondly Fiorentina and Spurs were the favourites to sign Villa, this move to Atletico has come completely out of left field, so let’s put that comment to bed for a start.

      Moving on to your comments about United, I completely agree, most reported activity in the market that the club attempts to make is always protracted so heavily that it becomes laughable but that is due to the size of the club. If an agent says United are interested in his player even if they aren’t it forces other interested clubs to think, “you know what we might be after a real star here, lets pay the extra 2 million,” or whatever the haggling point is. Just look at Diego Forlan’s move to United, he was all set to go to Middlesbrough and then Manchester United come in and he changes his mind and goes there. The reputation and size of the club works both ways.

      It isn’t so much as a failure on Manchester United’s part as we are never actually sure if the club are indeed truly interested in the player.

      Anyway I hope that clears up a few things.

  3. martin

    8 July, 2013 at 16:13

    David Villa is going to Athletico Madrid for £4m. It was just confirmed

    • Chris Winterburn

      8 July, 2013 at 16:16

      Thanks Martin, already seen that though. It has surprised me somewhat, really come out of left field as it was my understanding he was headed to either Spurs or Fiorentina. Fiorentina however I think recently stopped pushing as hard for Villa once they realised they would sign Gomez and still couldn’t find a buyer for Jovetic at the thirty million Euros they requested.

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