“Triumphing in Barcelona has been my dream since I was a child. I am very happy at Barcelona and I haven’t spoken to any other club in the last two years.”
Those lines, spoken by Cesc Fabregas last week while in Asia as part of Barcelona’s hectic pre-season schedule, all-but-ended David Moyes’ forlorn summer chase of the former Arsenal midfielder.
Moyes and Manchester United made no secret of the fact that Fabregas was their number one transfer target, but following Fabregas’ decision to stay in Catalonia, Moyes must set his sights elsewhere as he looks to plug United’s midfield gap.
So far, Moyes’ first summer at Old Trafford has proven a frustrating experience in the transfer market, with Uruguayan full back Guillermo Varela the only acquisition so far, with less than two weeks until the season opener against Swansea.
United fans are desperate for their new manager to spend money on a big-name creative player who will no doubt be burdened with the tag of the ‘new Paul Scholes’. Whether Marouane Fellaini’s passing ability is good enough for him to be considered as such is a lingering doubt, which could explain why Moyes has set his sights on another former Premier League midfield wizard.
Real Madrid’s Luka Modric has not made the sort of impact expected of him since his protracted £33m transfer from Spurs last summer, when it is believed he turned down a move to Old Trafford in favour of the Bernabeu.
Now it seems Modric will be offered a luxury few players have been afforded – a second chance at a move to the 20-time title winners. It is expected that he’ll demand a fee similar to what United were prepared to offer for Fabregas – between £25m and £30m.
The potential purchase of Modric will not necessary bring to an end Moyes’ attempts to be reunited with Fellaini, however, and there remains a chance that both players could end up at Old Trafford before the transfer window shuts, representing a total revamp of the champions’ engine room. A move that many fans will see as long overdue as Moyes looks to start his new career on the front foot.