Considering Manchester United were runaway winners of the Premier League last season, the fact that one the eve of the big kick-off most people are tipping them to finish behind Manchester City and/or Chelsea demonstrates both the respect Sir Alex Ferguson commanded, and their disappointing summer in the transfer market.
The lack of an exciting new midfielder and the brouhaha over Wayne Rooney’s future have been frustrating for Manchester United, but if they had a chance to solve both issues in one fell swoop by swapping the England international for Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil, would they be tempted?
Despite consistently impressing on the pitch at Real Madrid, Ozil could find himself in and out of the first team after the arrival of Isco and the possible acquisition of Gareth Bale.
Manchester United have been linked with the German playmaker for several years, and there have been reports this summer that they will bid £40million to test Real Madrid’s resolve.
However with Real Madrid perhaps short of a top class striker after selling Gonzalo Higuain, the Spanish club might be more tempted by a deal involving Wayne Rooney than a straight cash offer.
Manchester United and David Moyes have made it clear they do not want to sell Rooney, but they would not lose face if he was jettisoned as part of a move for Ozil, and the German could prove a more natural foil for Robin Van Persie and United’s wingers.
One man who would not want such a deal to go through is Shinji Kagawa, who has been trying to claim the position behind the striker himself since arriving at Old Trafford.
Kagawa is an excellent player, and there is every chance he would be just as effective as Ozil if he started regularly behind Van Persie, although both could be incorporated into the same team if one started out wide.
There would be a dangerous reliance on Robin Van Persie if Manchester United did go for a swap deal, although Javier Hernandez would be an able deputy should the Dutchman succumb to injury, but the boost to their midfield creativity might be worth the risk.
Manchester United fans, what do you think? Would you swap Rooney for Ozil?
image: © Jan S0L0