Rumours are circulating that Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger could be the midfielder Manchester United boss David Moyes turns to if attempts to land Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas prove futile.
The Red Devils are 11/5 to retain the title they won so emphatically last year, but question marks remain about the strength of the Scotsman’s squad, particularly in midfield.
One of the longest running transfer sagas of the summer looks to be coming to a close if the Old Trafford club’s rumoured £35 million-plus offer for the cultured Catalan is rejected.
Even if Barca are willing to part with the former Arsenal Captain new boss Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has indicated that the decision to stay at Camp Nou will ultimately be down to the player and after starting more La Liga games than any of his team mates last season Fabregas may feel he is making progress.
United need to strengthen in the middle of the pitch following Paul Scholes’ retirement and concerns about Tom Cleverley’s short-term development, while 39-year-old Ryan Giggs is expected to concentrate on coaching after 23 seasons in the top flight.
It was thought that Moyes would raid old club Everton for Belgian bruiser Marouane Fellaini if the Fabregas deal fell through after testing the waters at Goodison Park with a £12 million bid for left-back Leighton Baines last month.
United are also long term admirers of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and were thought to be preparing to bid for the former Tottenham man, but after Bayern’s recruitment of midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Mario Goetze from Barca and Borussia Dortmund respectively 98-cap Schweinsteiger could find himself surplus to requirements this year at the Allianz Arena and at 29 has the experience and energy to make an impact in Manchester.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date