For whatever reason, David Moyes doesn’t seem to see a place in his Old Trafford plans for Shinji Kagawa, preferring to go with a combination of Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick in midfield which will now be propped up by the arrival of Marouane Fellaini.
Many United fans probably wouldn’t have been surprised had Kagawa been sold yesterday because he’s the top quality sort of creative midfield man who should be playing regular first team football.
However, it could be the case that as well as using Kagawa as a squad player over the rest of the season, Moyes already has one eye on a possible deal for next year.
Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp has always been very public in his admiration and respect for Kagawa, stating that it breaks his heart to see him so misused as a Manchester United player.
“My heart breaks. Really, I have tears in my eyes. Central midfield is Shinji's best role. He's an offensive midfielder with one of the best noses for goal I ever saw,” said Klopp.
Add to the mix the fact that the player and his former boss are still regularly in touch and you can see why a future return to Dortmund would be on the cards for the Japanese playmaker.
However, rather than simply sell him back to Dortmund, the cogs may have been turning in David Moyes’ mind with plans to hijack any deal Bayern Munich will try and put together for striker Robert Lewandowski.
In short, if it comes to it, Kagawa is an ace that Manchester United have up their sleeve if they want to try and sign the Polish forward who they have previously been linked with.
Dortmund should be more willing to do business with United because firstly, there is the chance they can get back a very popular player and secondly, it means they don’t have to offload Lewandowski to a rival which could hurt them in a big way.
Lewandowski’s current deal is due to expire next summer which means if he’s not going to sign a new contract, he will be moving this January so his current employers can try and get some value out of a deal.
A big money fee to a team in the winter transfer window is fairly pointless because the chances of being able to use the cash to immediately improve the side are slim.
A player plus cash deal on the other hand is a different matter because Dortmund would get, in Klopp’s words, one of the best attacking midfielders in the business and United would be getting a forward who could create a lethal combination alongside Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
If Kagawa’s role at Old Trafford doesn’t change then it’s a very realistic possibility.
United fans, would you swap Kagawa for Lewandowski?
image: © Schwenke