What have Raimond van der Gouw, Paul Parker, Bryan Robson and Chris Waddle got in common? They have all kindly offered Manchester United the novel advice that they might want to think about signing a new striker.
Where Louis van Gaal differs from those four dignitaries though – besides seven league titles won as a coach – is in his penchant for the left field and, as far as the rumour-mill workers are concerned, all he cares about right now are wingers.
These three nuggets of Wednesday afternoon transfer gold all concern wide men and 20-time Premier League champions:
Pedro to Chelsea
“Next season will be even better than this season and without big investments, because we don’t want to do that because we are happy with the players.” So said Jose Mourinho in May, but it’s an amazing what a 3-0 loss to Manchester City can do to your transfer strategy.
As if whispers of a £40 million bid for John Stones didn’t sound the Financial Fair Play sirens loudly enough, Chelsea are widely reported to have met the thoroughly more reasonable £21.2 million release clause of Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez.
The 28-year-old has participated in a magnificent 20 different selfie-snapping trophy celebrations in his seven years in the Barcelona first-team picture, yet is understandably a bit put out that, after contributing to all that success, there is no longer a regular starting spot for him.
Man Utd were expected to furnish him with the weekly action that he thirsted for so greatly, but their rumoured reluctance to meet the buyout clause has seemingly come at a far heftier price.
Sadio Mane to Man Utd
The incessant Pedro-to-Old-Trafford links provide a strong hint that flank-enhancement is judged a priority by Van Gaal, and Sky Sports claim that, rather than wallow in failed-pursuit misery, he has instantly altered his gaze to eye up Southampton touchline-traipser Sadio Mane.
Unhelpfully, they haven’t divulged what the fee that has been faxed over is, though it could well be in the Pedro ballpark given that the Saints spent £11.8 million to extract him from Red Bull Salzburg’s squad last summer. The on-the-ball bwin.com bookies rate the move a 5/2 prospect.
Adnan Januzaj to Borussia Dortmund
The final rumour of this teatime trifecta is the one that your news.bwin analysts trust the least, with Borussia Dortmund apparently identifying the Belgian junior as an ideal recruit in a window in which they are contemplating ditching Jakub Blaszczykowski and Kevin Großkreutz.
It would have seemed like an everybody-wins scenario a fortnight ago, but the “boy who can do anything” – as the peerless terrace ditty goes – has started the Red Devils’ last two games.
Consequently, even in a Mane-inclusive landscape, there is likely to be a role for the David Moyes disciple this term in Man Utd’s 11/2-valued Premier League title challenge.