Reports in the British press are linking the Spaniard with a switch to Old Trafford – a good move for both parties?
With Xabi Alonso in the final year of his contract at Real Madrid and yet to confirm his future, reports linking the Spaniard with a move to England have been rife in the press of late.
It is widely believed that the Santiago Bernabeu club are ready to move for Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan as a long-term replacement for the ageing midfielder, who could leave the Spanish capital this summer.
The quality that Alonso possesses is not in question, and the deep-lying playmaker has been consistently one of the best in his position in world football over the last five to six years.
A key man for both club and country, his reading of the game, exquisite range of passing and positional sense are a joy to behold when he steps out for either Madrid or Spain.
However, Alonso is turning 32 later this month, and United are a club in transition. Surely David Moyes wants to bring younger players to Old Trafford that he can build a long-term strategy around, rather than those who offer a short-term fix?
United’s potential move for Alonso could well hinge on the future of Michael Carrick. The England international is also in the last year of his contract, but rumours suggest that the former Tottenham man will extend his deal before the end of the year.
Carrick has been compared to the likes of Alonso and Andre Pirlo in the past, with his game as a deep-lying passing midfielder similar to that of his illustrious European counterparts.
Should Carrick extend his deal with the Premier League champions, the signing of Alonso would become largely unnecessary.
Alongside Carrick, Moyes needs energetic midfielders who can give the side a shot in the arm. He needs a combative enforcer to win the ball back and dominate proceedings. He needs a playmaker with dynamism, creativity and craft.
For all Alonso’s considerable abilities, he is not the man that United need – if Carrick stays. The pair are too similar in their style, and as such it should really be one or the other for the Old Trafford side.
image: © Jan S0l0