Sunday, June 14, 2009

Manchester United To Lose Nemanja Vidic to Barcelona, Patrice Evra to Madrid?

Less than one week after losing, World Player of the Year 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo, to Real Madrid for a world record £80m, Manchester United now face having their team decimated by losing Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

Ever since losing the Champions League final in May to Barcelona, Vidic has spoken of a desire to move to warmer climes. And Barcelona, who covet the defender greatly, is his choice destination.

Vidic, like Ronaldo, feels that he has lived in the unpredictable climate of the world's first industrialised city for too long. And that his future lies in sunny Spain, with Barcelona who many feel could dominate European football for time to come.

And while Ronaldo and Kaka warm their feet in the fires of their new homes in Madrid, it has now emerged that Patrice Evra is also very high on Florentino Perez's shopping list as he looks to rebuild his beloved team.

Perez sees Evra as being the best left full in the world, and as one of his most important strategic signings. The Ronaldo and Kaka signings will eventually pay for themselves through merchandise and advertising revenue, but a signing of a player of Evra's quality could mean that the bare trophy cabinet at the Bernabeau would need to be dusted down.

Alex Ferguson has been in talks with Vidic since their final defeat, after the defender made it known that he wants to move on. Losing a player of Vidic's importance to the team would be catastrophic to United's hopes of retaining their EPL title.

And while claims that Vidic has been tapped up by Barcelona go unproven, one would have to question the suddeness of the Serbians need to depart the team that put him on the footballing map.

United also face losing Carlos Tevez, his two year loan from super-agent Kia Joorabchian is at an end and with the advisor demanding £30m, it looks as if Alex Ferguson is unwilling to do business. Which could mean that the Argentinian striker joins city rivals Manchester City who are waiting in the wings to secure his signature.

With the £80m transfer fee for Ronaldo, Manchester United are expected to re-shape their team, with Rooney and Berbatov becoming more important figures in a 442 formation.

The money will allow Ferguson to sign quality players like Karim Benzema and Antonio Valencia, while for Franck Ribery's signature they will have to battle with both Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Vidic is valued by the Old Trafford giants as being worth around £20m, and signing a replacement for such money would be no easy task.

The Serbian was by far and away the best defender in the EPL last season, and United might have to make do by moving for someone like Brede Hangeland from Fulham if they want someone with Premiership experience to slot right in.

The partnership that Vidic and Ferdinand have struck up in recent seasons is one of the main reasons for United's dominance, so signing a similar type player as a replacement would be of utmost importance.

And just to rub salt in their wounds, Madrid look set to come back for Evra.

Losing three players of such importance in one summer would be tantamount to footballing suicide with United's hopes already hit by losing their talisman, they would face an uphill battle for any trophy, should they now lose Vidic and Evra.

And it is not without significance that United are now being linked with raiding Wigan for a second player, left full Maynor Figueroa and right full come centre half, Kyle Naughton from Sheffield United.

Hardly the two players United fans would want to replace their star duo. And should United indeed lose their star defenders, defending their EPL crown might prove to be one step too far.

Follow Premier League Report on Twitter: twitter / PremLgeReport