Man Utd Transfer Focus – Moyes yet to make a signing as Rooney departs tour

New Manchester United manager David Moyes set off on his first pre-season tour with the club this week without having added a signing of his own to the squad. Perhaps more significantly, Wayne Rooney will return to Manchester having suffered a hamstring injury that has further increased speculation he will leave Old Trafford this summer.

Moyes’s prime transfer target is believed to be Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara, but there have been a number of knocks to this potential deal in recent days. Spain coach Vincente Del Bosque urged the 22-year-old to stay at the Nou Camp, from where Thiago appears keen to leave in order to further his chances of featuring prominently in his national side’s defence of the World Cup in Brazil next year.

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has also stated his desire to sign the highly-rated playmaker, having seen him move through the ranks first hand when in charge at Barcelona. He stated: “Thiago is the only player I want, that’s what I told them [Bayern]. It’ll be him or no one.” The lure of playing for his former coach, who knows his game inside out, and following such impassioned words, could prove too much for Thiago to resist, especially considering he would be joining the reigning European champions.

The Guardian reported that Everton are expecting United to come back with an improved offer for Leighton Baines, following the rejection of an offer in the region of £10m last month. The full-back has been consistently linked with a move to Old Trafford for the past two years, but the valuation of £20m for a 28-year-old with two years remaining on his contract appears to be a major stumbling block.

The signing that all Manchester United supporters would love to see in this window is the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to the Premier League champions, but it is widely accepted that this is improbable this time round. Should the Portuguese not sign a contract in the coming months, a deal could become more likely for next summer, given the player’s comments regarding his passion for the Manchester club.

But the transfer that is currently attracting most attention at Old Trafford is the potential departure of Wayne Rooney, following the forward’s early exit from the club’s pre-season tour of Asia and Australia. The 27-year-old has suffered a hamstring injury that is expected to keep him out of action for a month, and as such he will return to Manchester immediately.

The development will only intensify rumours that Rooney will depart the club this summer, despite Moyes stating that the player is not for sale and has reported back for pre-season training in great shape. United supporters remain divided on the issue, yet Gary Neville believes that should the former Everton man stay, he will be backed by the fans.

Neville told Sky Sports: “The fans will basically get behind the players who are out on the pitch. I very rarely see, in fact I’ve not seen in 26 years, a Manchester United player treated harshly by Manchester United fans, particularly the ones that have served them well and did their all. Wayne can certainly put himself into that category, so I have no doubts on that score.”

Should there be a lack of new signings as the season approaches, it may well be the case that Rooney will be very much needed at Old Trafford.

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