Has Cleverley put McCarthy off joining Manchester United?

Wigan’s James McCarthy has cast doubt over a summer move to Manchester United insisting he’s happy at his current club.

McCarthy started the season with a bang and looked like one of the most underrated midfield men in the Premier League, as he darted around the pitch putting in some faultless performances for an underachieving side.

However, he’s ignored the chance to say literally anything positive about a move to Manchester United, which means he’s either very sensible or doesn’t believe that’s a dream which could come true.

It’s more likely to be the sensible option because he’s at a club where his value at the moment is unquestioned and he will look at the example of Tom Cleverley this season and could easily shy away from moving to Old Trafford.

Cleverley is a current member of the United first team and a player who performs in a very similar position to McCarthy.

Cleverley has really struggled to make the sort of impact his potential has promised at United, with just 16 Premier League starts this season as Sir Alex Ferguson recently dropped him from the side, playing Wayne Rooney in a midfield role against Stoke.

In short, McCarthy is sensible to keep his mouth shut because he probably doesn’t want to say or do anything which is going to risk his immediate development as a midfielder.

He won’t want to go to United and play second fiddle, having been shown tremendous faith in a struggling Wigan side by Roberto Martinez.

If he does go then he’ll want to go and be shown the same sort of faith from Sir Alex Ferguson that he’s received from Roberto Martinez throughout his career at Wigan.

That’s something which isn’t going to happen because of the tremendous quality United have in their squad so it’s a balance and a risk that he’ll have to think long and hard over.

Cleverley is even arguably a better midfielder than McCarthy which means the Wigan man may just have to win that duel to even get noticed at Old Trafford.

The only thing which could make his decision very easy is if Wigan are relegated down to the Championship by the end of May, which makes it a no brainer if United come in with an official offer.

That will also be cheaper for United because they will be looking to sign one of the better players from a team that has just been relegated and they can use that to get the fee reduced.

He’s on a massive contract which expires in the summer of 2016 which is something that Wigan do have going in their favour but McCarthy could be in a situation where he can challenge for silverware and play in the Champions League next season or face a campaign of second flight football.

Will he stay or go? Should United be aiming higher?

image: © Paolo Camera

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