Manchester United look set to miss out on a second Barcelona midfielder this summer, with Cesc Fabregas likely to stay in Spain after Thiago Alcantara opted to join Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.
Marouane Fellaini’s release clause has expired at Everton, and it is fair to say Manchester United are running both time and options in their hunt for a new central midfielder.
However no-one could say they had settled for second best if they were able to pull of a surprise move for Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio, who has all the attributes to be the ideal man for David Moyes’ midfield next season.
The 27-year-old would not come cheap, but given that United seem willing to spend as much as £35million on Fabregas, they might be able to make Juventus an offer they could not refuse for Marchisio, and although he does not have the former Arsenal player’s experience of the Premier League, the Italian could be a huge success at Old Trafford.
Marchisio is composed in possession and able to contribute at both ends of the pitch. The midfielder scored six times in Serie A last season, and twice in the Champions League. He is also an effective defensive presence, and you could see him linking well with both Michael Carrick and Shinji Kagawa in a midfield that looks perfectly balanced.
Juventus director general Beppe Marotta has insisted that Marchisio will not be sold this summer, but given that they also have Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba on their books, they might view a £25+million as too good to turn down.
Manchester United won the Premier League title last season despite their relatively poor midfield, a triumph that reflected both the importance of Sir Alex Ferguson and the poor quality of their rivals as much as United’s excellence on the pitch.
With Manchester City and Chelsea both making significant additions this summer, Moyes faces an uphill task to retain the league title, and a new top class midfielder is a must and Claudio Marchisio could be a wonderful signing for Manchester United.
image: © mitsurinho