In a day and age where the invention of Twitter allows for the instantaneous spreading of news, it’s really no surprise that transfer rumors can never be kept under wraps. It’s also no surprise that all it takes is a single tweet to catch on and, boom, you have yourself a story. It used to be that Twitter would run with a story from Sky News or ESPN, but now, ESPN and Sky News run with stories from Twitter. Athletes themselves fuel the fire. Even their girlfriends or wives help with that. The information that circulates around the horn makes it almost impossible to escape. News comes in by the minute and unless you’re disconnected with the world – which is basically what you’d have to do – you’re bound to get wind of something whether you want to or not.
So, in one of the busiest transfer windows this club has seen in over a decade, we have all been brow-beaten with the news of this person coming or that person going. Two years ago when Ronaldo’s quote about it being his dream to play for Real Madrid, we endured what was akin to a real life version of “The NeverEnding Story.” Every week United fans wondered if he was leaving or if he’d stay, and we all invested in larger bottles of Advil because of it. This summer, Sneijder has been what’s kept the rumor mill going. If it wasn’t him, it was either Nasri or Modric – both of whom seem to have dropped off our merry-go-round. But, as the window gets closer and closer to being shut, fans are hoping to squeeze another good signing in under the wire. Other fans, myself included, have had enough of the transfer window and wouldn’t mind closing up shop a few days early.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a world class CM or CAM to come to United before September 1st, but I’m not clamoring for it. We’ve done well this summer with the signing of Jones, Young, and De Gea. The Jones deal happened quickly and I was pleasantly surprised with the prospect. Young matriculated over a little bit of the summer, but I was always pulling for him to come to the club. It was obvious that we needed someone to replace Van der Sar, but who was it going to be? De Gea had been mentioned, then that went away, then it came back, went away, and finally culminated with his signing for £18m. My fingers and my brain have had enough of the rumors, and I’m just ready to get on with the new season and our title defense. I understand that the rumors, either during the season or in the off season, will happen, but there comes a time when you want it to be done and dusted or off the shelves altogether.
Now, of course I’m wrong, but it feels like Sneijdergate all happened because someone tweeted that they wanted us to go after Sneijder this summer. It circulates Twitter and now we have reignited this rumor. His name was mentioned last year because we’d eventually need to replace Scholes, which ended up happening this summer. We knew he’d be cheap before and Inter got him for an absolute steal at £12m. His price has steadily climbed to £30m, a price that 3 months ago – when we had nobody signed – fans claimed we’d never pay. With the signings that we have already secured, it seems that Glazer & Gill (et al) are willing to finally spend that Ronaldo money. So, we all wait with baited breath at who Fergie might sign up. But, the rumor mill on Twitter makes it much worse. Outlets claim to have exclusives that turn out to be complete rubbish (looking at you, Mirror). You see an RT from someone who has 45 followers who says the Italian press claim that we’re getting Sneijder and Berba is going to PSG – all because Sneijder had on red and Berba was drinking at a French café. Or you see a tweet from a place like The Mirror who claim to have an exclusive when it’s just a recycled rumor from over two months ago.
It’s all become heightened bollocks to the point where we can’t decipher what’s actually a valid rumor and what is Twitter fiction. What I will say is that with the revamping of our squad and the players we’ve brought in, I am content with who we have. Our back line is solid. We’ll have a solid set of wingers in Nani, Young, Giggs, and Valencia, with Evra and the Da Silva twins running up and down. We’ve got Chicharoo up front, with the option of Berbatov (if he’s still here), Welbeck, Kiko, and Owen. And in the center of the pitch, the place we needed the most help last season, we don’t have a signing. I’m surprisingly – well, not so surprising at this stage of the summer – comfortable with the options that we have. I think that we should give Cleverley a shot. His preseason has been outstanding. We also have Carrick, who played quite solid at season’s end. Add Fletcher, Park, and Anderson, who many have tipped to put up or shut up this season, and we’ve got a good few options down the center of the pitch. I won’t say no to a world class CM, but I won’t worry too much if we don’t. Then again, if I did, I could always take a look in The Mirror for who’s coming in next. It’ll probably be Xavi or Iniesta.
Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasTheDevil
List of 2011 BPL Transfers