Moyes defends United’s bid for Everton duo
Old Trafford boss admits champions might not sign anyone before the window closes
‘We won’t go chasing for the wrong ones (players) just for the sake of buying’ - Manchester United manager David Moyes. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Reuters
Moyes’s successor as Everton boss Roberto Martinez was unhappy at United lodging a bid last Friday for star duo Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini, claiming it was unusual for United to do business in such a manner. Alan Pardew was even more annoyed that Arsenal made an offer for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye just hours before the Magpies’ opening Premier League game at Manchester City, triggering the France international’s withdrawal.
Even Jose Mourinho’s insistence earlier this week that Chelsea would not make another attempt to sign Wayne Rooney until after the Blues had visited United on Monday had the effect of flagging up his continued interest in the 27-year-old.
Yet, given the transfer window closes on September 2nd, and two lots of league fixtures, plus the Capital One Cup second round have to be played before then, it is hard to work out what an ideal time would be.
“Everybody is allowed to make offers,” said Moyes. “You don’t need to take them. You can say no. It is as simple as that. You can do that publicly or privately.”
United have so far tried and failed to sign Baines, Fellaini and Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. They were also interested in Thiago Alcantara before the midfielder opted to join Bayern Munich. In addition, they are believed to have enquired about marquee purchases Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo without really coming close to getting either of them. Now, with Brazilian midfielder Willian on the brink of joining Chelsea, there is a theory United could get Juan Mata in exchange for Rooney.
So far, though, Moyes has been frustrated in his efforts to reinforce his squad.
“There is a need to do it but there’s no pressure to do it,” said Moyes. “We won’t go chasing for the wrong ones just for the sake of buying. We have been after two or three people in the window and we need to be clear in what we do. There is always the possibility it might not happen but we are trying.”
Moyes’s safety net comes from a squad that won the title by 11 points. Whilst Rooney’s future remains open to speculation, thus far, Paul Scholes’s retirement is the only significant change — and he did not play from January until the last two weeks of the season, when the championship had already been wrapped up.
United started well enough, with Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck both scoring twice in a win at Swansea that also had a significant contribution from Rooney, who is edging closer to a starting berth.
“The reason why Manchester United is capable of winning games is the quality we have in the squad,” said Moyes. “You saw it last week with the goals from Robin and Danny. And we have Wayne Rooney returning very shortly as well.”
Having created the final two United goals at the Liberty Stadium, Rooney is clearly still an effective performer, no matter what the immediate future holds. Just through putting him on the pitch last weekend, Moyes has raised the potential for him starting on Monday given he will have had an additional eight days to prepare.
There will not be an intention to hold him back just because United are playing Chelsea either, given the club are sticking to their stance that Rooney is not for sale, a statement Moyes has repeated so often he sees no need to spell it out again.
“We’ve told you haven’t we?” he said when asked about Rooney’s future. “I hardly need to repeat it again. It doesn’t need to be said.”
United will be without full-back Rafael, who faces up to four more weeks out with the hamstring injury he picked up during the Community Shield a fortnight ago. In addition, Nani (groin), Ashley Young (ankle) and Javier Hernandez (hamstring) are not expected to be involved.