Why Manchester United never had a chance of signing Fabio Coentrao

Manchester United’s planned deal for Real Madrid left back Fabio Coentrao fell through but what exactly happened?

In short, United never really stood a chance of signing the Portuguese defender, once David Moyes realised he wasn’t going to get his hands on Everton’s Leighton Baines.

The Daily Mail has reported that United were left facing a series of problems which eventually whittles down to Portuguese side Benfica’s reluctance to hand back Guilherme Siqueira to La Liga side Granada.

Coentrao’s agent Jorge Mendes was quite happy to engineer a move to Old Trafford for the player and he was quite happy to link up with David Moyes but with Carlo Ancelotti not at all bothered about letting the player go, it was a deal that was never going to happen.

It was a domino effect situation, which relied on a number of things happening.

When United made their interest in Coentrao clear, the deal could have gone through but it relied on Real Madrid getting Siqueira on loan for the coming season.

At the time of United’s interest, Benfica had already agreed a loan deal to take Siqueira from Granada, which meant for United to have any chance of signing Coentrao, they needed Benfica to back out of that agreement.

As they were quite within their rights to do, Benfica refused and retain Siqueira on loan for the coming season which meant it was too much of a risk for Real Madrid to allow Coentrao to move without a replacement coming in.

Add to that, the fact that Carlo Ancelotti never expressed a desire to get rid of Coentrao and move him on and there was simply no urgency coming from Real Madrid to make the deal happen.

The motive behind the idea in him leaving according to the Mail is simply because it would have eased the wage bill, which seems remarkable considering Real Madrid are one of the wealthiest clubs in the world.

It leaves United in a very difficult situation because they are relying on Patrice Evra staying fit for the rest of the season, with their cover options for him not exactly ideal.

Celtic failed with a loan bid for Alexander Buttner which means the young left back is still in the United squad. However, Moyes has shown with his pursuit of left back targets this summer that he doesn’t have a world of faith in the 24-year-old Dutchman.

The other option is Fabio, brother of Rafael, who is still at the club after returning from a loan spell with Queens Park Rangers last season, not able to help QPR avoid the drop.

The problem with using Fabio is that his inexperience could cause a mistake at a vital time in a big match with the only other alternative to play someone out of position at left back while Evra may be unavailable.

What do you make of the Coentrao situation? Were United done over?

image: © anna enriquez

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