The Daily Telegraph has suggested Barcelona are willing to send Alex Song out on loan without asking for a single penny in terms of a fee.
With Louis van Gaal searching for midfield reinforcements to bulk up the middle of his team, the Cameroonian international could be a solid temporary measure for United ahead of the winter and next summer’s transfer windows.
“The Spaniards have put a knockdown £8 million valuation on Song’s head for a permanent transfer, but their willingness to send him on a season-long loan without receiving any fee is particularly appealing,” writes Matt Law.
Former United defender Gary Neville said last night on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football that van Gaal doesn’t strike him as the sort of manager who would panic buy but Song represents someone who could help the squad in a number of ways, without United needing to put him on a long term contract.
Song, regardless of whether he’s a United-esque player, offers van Gaal something he doesn’t already have and that’s someone who is extremely confident on the ball in front of a defence.
He has experience of playing in the Premier League, which eradicates the necessity for a settling in period as Cesc Fabregas showed on his first performance back in the Premier League for Chelsea last night.
Signing Song on a temporary deal will aid the squad and also allow United to work on getting into a good position to go for more permanent targets next summer or in the winter, where deals aren’t possible right now.
Three examples are Roma’s Kevin Strootman, Juventus’ Arturo Vidal and Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus.
Those are three players van Gaal would ideally love to snap up on long term deals but transfers the club are unlikely to complete with only two weeks left to run of the summer window.
Song can provide the same sort of presence as Strootman and the basic passing skill of someone like Vidal, allowing United to improve those aspects of their team without spending tens of millions on alternative targets who could be considered panic buys.
Song would also arrive with a point to prove after struggling to make any sort of impact during his time at the Nou Camp.
Van Gaal has the man management skills needed to get the very best out of Song and he’d take the pressure off of the likes of Ander Herrera and Juan Mata in a defensive sense, which is the weaker area of their individual games.
United could snap up Song for nothing and just pay his wages for a season. It’s not ideal but it could be a productive decision from LvG.