In many ways, this week appears to be the defining one in Manchester United’s summer.
While David Moyes reportedly ponders a third – and surely final – bid for Cesc Fabregas, the player and his agent have apparently been asked to explain claims of a secret meeting that took place between agent Darren Dein and United chief executive Ed Woodward – details of which were splashed across English back pages yesterday.
Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claims officials from Barcelona spoke with both Dein and Fabregas following the latest media reports, and that both men confirmed the public stance that the player had no intention of leaving.
And yet acknowledging the persistence of the English media in pushing the story, despite rejections from all sides, Mundo Deportivo has cited three possible replacements should Fabregas leave for Old Trafford – Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan and Juan Mata, who have all been linked with the English champions this summer.
Whatever happens with the former Arsenal man, it seems United will miss out on Gareth Bale as Real Madrid increase their efforts to sign him.
Reports claim the Spanish side will offer £51million in cash, plus Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao, for the Welshman. And while that may mean United miss out on Bale for a second time, expect his arrival at the Bernabeu to prompt a flurry of reactive stories linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a return to Manchester.
image: © ins11thiago