Let’s face it: transfer rumours are generated to sell papers and get hits. And if you were to sit down and sort the fact from the fiction at the close of every new transfer window, we all know which pile would be taller.
In truth there are three sorts of transfer story: the likely, the unlikely and the downright impossible. And when it comes to Manchester United, their fans have been reading plenty of the latter in recent months.
From the imminent arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger to the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, the summer was awash with fanciful notions that made good copy but kept a fair distance from reality.
As do the reports that continue to link Barcelona duo Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta with a move to Old Trafford.
Just as the befuddling but persistent rumours of Fabregas returning to England to pull on a different shade of red ultimately lead to a hypothetical hug from Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino, so Iniesta appears set for a new contract days after talk of interest from the English champions.
It is not an original idea to suggest that players use the prospect of departure to smooth the negotiation process when it comes to improved terms. But with the case of both Fabregas and Iniesta, the simple fact is they would never leave Barca for United.
This evening the two players scored the first two goals in the La Liga leaders’ 4-0 victory over Granada.
In the absence of Lionel Messi, they scored respective penalties to send their side on its way to a 13th win from 14 league games.
Why would either man leave a club like that; a club that has a very real chance of reaching every Champions League final and holding aloft every Spanish league title for the foreseeable future?
So while the rumours may persist, United would be wise to look elsewhere, at attainable players, with abilities to improve a side with both youth and experience but in need of some middle-men, both literally and metaphorically.
image: © mariosp