Did you hear the joke about the Englishman, Frenchman, Irishman and South African joining Manchester United for bargain fees? It would be funny if it wasn’t all too true! Getting in the spirit, today’s free transfer and misfit edition of the Rant round-up is dedicated to swapping bench-warming for a place in Sir Alex Ferguson’s first XI.
Fergie seeks Steven Pienaar on a freebie
United’s manager is keen on bringing Everton’s third best midfielder – the South African international Pienaar – to Old Trafford, according to the Sunday Telegraph. Pienaar, out of contract in the summer, has scored six goals in 35 games for Everton this season, with three assists.
United monitoring Joe Cole situation
Ferguson will bid for midfielder Cole, 28, if Chelsea’s reserve fails to agree a new deal at Stamford Bridge this summer. Should Cole head north the deal will make the former West Ham United player one of the best paid players at Old Trafford. Cole, out of contract in June, wants £120,000 a week, says the Sunday Telegraph, with Roman Abramovich unwilling to fund an inflated new contract for the bit part substitute.
£20 million Benzema bargain?
Real Madrid flop Benzema, scorer of five La Liga goals this season, will ship out of the Bernabeu on the first boat bound for Old Trafford, should Ferguson get his way that is. News of the World reports United will bid £20 million for the French striker who cost Real £35 million from Olympique Lyonnais last summer.
United after ‘massive’ bargains
Ferguson wants to bring Manchester City midfielder Steven Ireland across town, says Sky Sports. Ireland, also linked with a move to Liverpool this season, has seen his chances restricted under new City manager Roberto Mancini. The same source also claims Fergie is interested in City’s out-of-favour, perennially immature, man-moutain of a defender, Micah Richards. The pair could cost United more than £20 million.
Fergie goes Carroll signing
The United manager is also interested in bringing Newcastle United youngster Andy Carroll for £9 million, says CaughtOffside.com. The Geordie-born striker has scored 17 goals in 37 games in the Championship this season. Bad-boy Carrol allegedly broke team-mate Steven Taylor’s jaw earlier this year after a training ground incident.