This afternoon David Moyes will give his first press conference as Manchester United manager. And all ears will be pricked at the mention of two players – Wayne Rooney and Thiago Alcantara.
Should he announce that one is to stay and the other is to arrive, he will go a long way to laying the foundations for a successful legacy even before a ball has been kicked.
It is being reported that Rooney is to remain at Old Trafford; that Moyes and United’s chief executive Ed Woodward have held talks with the player and his agent and that the air has very much been cleared.
The possibility of Moyes refuting the claims of his predecessor that the 27-year-old asked for a transfer is unlikely. But if Rooney is happy with the discussions, he could be on the verge of his most successful season in quite some time.
A fired-up Rooney, with something to improve and played in the position to prove it, could be a Moyes masterstroke.
As would the signing of Barcelona midfielder Thiago, whose transfer saga is beginning to echo previous missed opportunities.
The latest report from Spain suggests the player has 10 days to decide his future.
“Thiago Alcantara should begin to put an end to the saga,” Spanish newspaper Sport declares. “Not only for him, but for the club that has seen him grow to become one of the best under-21 players on the continent.”
The report also speaks of interest from both United and Bayern Munich. And if the player is holding out for a move to the Allianz Arena – and a reunion with Pep Guardiola – fans of the English champions could be left distraught come August.
Then again, Moyes could come out this afternoon and announce a deal has been done.
One thing is for sure: all eyes will be on the new United manager this afternoon.
image: © nasmac