Manchester United and their Executive Vice-President, Ed Woodward have come in for some stick in the last couple of weeks over the transfer fiasco which saw the club miss out on a number of high profile transfer deals and finish up with just Marouane Fellaini and that only concluded with minutes to spare.
In no way trying to mitigate the paucity of United`s and Woodward`s transfer efforts, it does seem now that there will be a change in the way the transfer window operates in future during the summer recess. There have previously been calls from Premier League managers that the transfer window should open earlier, i.e. at the beginning of June, and end before the first day of the new season.
This does make sense. How can a manager of a club be expected to set out his plans for the new season, when he might have one of his best players plucked from his grasp by a transfer deal. The Gareth Bale transfer has highlighted how ridiculous this situation has become and there are signs that the authorities are willing to listen to those within the game to make changes.
As regards the recent window, it seems that Manchester United was drawn into a situation whereby they were concentrating all their efforts on a lost cause! Cesc Fabregas has recently announced that he would not have joined Manchester United even for a threefold increase in wages. If Woodward had known that, why was he pursuing the player? This distraction led to the final day fiasco where they nearly finished up with no players at all. Had it not been for Fellaini`s presence of mind to force the transfer with a formal transfer request, the deal would not have gone through.
As a consequence of this, Woodward has been notified that the Glazers want answers about how the transfer dealings were conducted.
We also know that the deal involving Cristiano Ronaldo was not as far-fetched as the media would suggest. We now know that the Glazers had indeed sanctioned a deal for Ronaldo when Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill were still at the club. They were willing to allow the whole of the available funds, around £100m ($156m) to be used if necessary to secure the deal for Ronaldo. That still stands and United have sounded out his agent Jorge Mendes about a deal for the player.
Ronaldo has refused to sign a new contract at the Real Madrid, prompting the panic to buy Bale. He has also made known his displeasure at the club for allowing Mezut Ozil to leave for Arsenal; Ozil being key to Ronaldo`s success at the club. He has also made it known that he is not impressed by the way Real Madrid have courted Bale. All in all, Ronaldo is looking for a move next year. It may be January, but more likely it will be next summer.
Manchester United should be in pole position, with Ronaldo stating that he is open to a return to a club where he is worshipped. Any deal for Ronaldo next summer would immediately lift Ed Woodward to `messiah` status and memories of this year`s debacle would surely be forgotten.
Club sources have confirmed that plans are being made to accommodate Ronaldo`s massive wages by using help from his sponsors, Nike, who are also Manchester United shirt sponsors. Evidently, General Motors, United`s main sponsors, would be willing to help with his wages as well.
I think that United will go back for Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao, now they know how the Spanish authorities operate and the Ronaldo deal will be left until summer. Ronaldo will still only be 29 and at the height of his powers.