Manchester United were linked with a lot of players last summer, so the name Antonio Candreva may have been lost in the maelstrom – and the numerous links first to Thiago Alcantara and later to Cesc Fabregas.
Candreva would prove to be yet another impossible target when his current club Lazio’s president Claudio Lotito moved to quash the speculation as concisely as possible.
“He’s not for sale,” Lotito said.
That is a stance David Moyes adopted himself in the face of Chelsea’s interest in Wayne Rooney, so the newly-appointed United manager could not be too upset when another club displayed the same feeling.
But this season, while the reigning champions continue to falter, Candreva has continued on from his fine form last season, and on Sunday netted his third goal in three Serie A matches.
That strike – the first in a 2-0 victory over Chievo – made it seven for the season for the 26-year-old.
Add to that the fact that the winger-cum-attacking-midfielder has nine assists for the current campaign, and it is clear why Moyes was reportedly so keen.
Given that United could only score once against Stoke City on Saturday, the arrival of Juan Mata may have only papered over the cracks that will only be repaired with wholesale changes.
Candreva ultimately proved not to be a viable option, but if those are the kind of players Moyes is looking at, at least United fans can take heart from the fact that their new manager will not settle for second-best.
They must only hope that next summer he is far more successful in the market than he was 12 months previous.
image: © Andrew