Saturday 13 February 2010

Real Deal - Vidic the bait for Benzema?

As a Manchester United fan it gets pretty boring reading the continued bile that gets printed regarding the transfer merry-go-round. I used to take a huge interest in it. As a teenager i would buy the tabloids daily and scour through the back pages trying to absorb all the gossip.

Well not anymore. Yeah I cruise NewsNow everyday, but its all very casual.

The main topic of Unitedness comings and goings at moment is our seemingly hen-pecked centre back..the man that has a taste for murder if you listen to the songs at Old Trafford, but doesn't wear the trousers at home..they belong to the sun-kissed loving wife. Yep, I'm talking about Nemanja Vidic of course.

Vidic and Evra were both signed in almost a covert manner when they signed for the team in a January transfer window. None of us knew who they were...not really. And with their first few performances, they looked no better than squad players. Forward six months, they had both settled and started to look like real players.

In those early months nobody could really have predicted what Vidic would become...and that's the ideal foil and partner for our thirty million pound lynch-pin Rio Ferdinand. It has been obvious to see that the success of United over the past four years has not only been fed by the brilliance of Rooney and Ronaldo, but also from the impenetrable wall that these two provided the side. As a team we were always about the motto "if you score 3 we'll score 4" The advent of Vidic and Rio changed all that.

This year has been the toughest for both centre-backs. Rio's injuries have been well documented, and the combination of a lack of games and iffy form have been rewarded with the England captain's armband (?!). However, there is still an air of mystery around what is pushing the buttons of the Serb. Whether you believe the stories of Mrs Vidic knocking the big boy for six as she craves the Spanish WAG high life of Posh's former stomping ground, or whether you believe its because Vida and Ronnie used to room together, and at night used to cuddle and talk about their dreams of wearing the white shirt made famous by Steve McManaman...well it matters not.

Vidic's form has been sketchy at best this year. The mysterious nerve injury has left him missing in action, and its clear that the Boss is not pleased by all this..his red nose has told a thousand stories when asked about the player. But honestly i would not be that unhappy if he left. I think he has been a rock for us, but with the emergence of Jonny Evans, and now the signing of the promising Fulham lad Smalling, I think we are prepared to go our separate ways with Him. I still feel that Rio is the most important player in the central pairing. He is the one with the intelligence that dictates all of United's positional play. He is often the one that plays the telling pass into the midfield danger areas...not Vidic. I'm not being blase about Vida. He is great. But there is a deal to be done, and this is it:

Real have suddenly got a sniff of Mr David Villa again. No one understands why he didn't join in the summer. He wanted to go there..they wanted him..Valencia were and still are flat done. But a tearful Villa couldn't explain why it fell through, so once again Madrid decided to step on our toes and hijack the £35 million offer we had made for Karim Benzema..and of course..the rest is history. Well after six months it seems that the Frenchman's 8 goals and 3 assists have not made him very popular with the money-men at the Bernabeu (imagine if they had Berbatov!), and now they want the Spanish prodigal son in their side..especially as Raul has finally decided to cut lose and play in America next season..and yep who do you think they want in their Number 7 shirt? Villa is built to succeed Raul, as he already has for the international side.

So it begs the question 'How soon before Real do a Huntelaar on Benzema?'

They want Vidic. Fergie wants Benzema. I can smell a deal.

Whatever you or I think Vidic is worth, or how much Real would actually pay, its the perfect opportunity to strike a trade that would be beneficial for both sides. I think we would have to pay some extra cash on top, but chucking in one of the worlds top rated defenders would make the exchange more palatable. I'm confident that United have a talented enough defensive line already, but Fergie will have targets already in his sights..Palermo defender Simon Kjaer being the latest one on our radar..Vidic mark two. Benzema would be a fantastic addition to the front-line. Michael Owen will be put out to pasture come June as Fergie has shown he has zero interest in him after a good old look. He is young, athletic and powerful, with excellent feet and an eye for goal.

Rooney and Benzema up top? Yes..I'm already sold on the idea.



  1. I think a trade could be a distinct possibility. It makes sense. Benzema is a much more versatile player than we currently have going forward, apart from Rooney of course and could fit into any formation unlike Berbatov. He can also play wide left which seems to be a weakness of our's at the moment.
    One thing that bemuses me is that most fans think we will sell Vidic and sign a repacement. Whilst this could be the case I don't think so, why have we signed Smalling for £10m plus?
    Also I think we need a goalie and I'm surprised we are offering VDS another 1 year.
    If Hargreaves doesn't recover then a defensive mid may be needed.
    If these three key areas are strengthened in the summer then I really think we will be strong next season.

  2. Could we be that clever? Would be very interesting indeed if it happened.

    I'm gonna put it out there though and say 'it won't happen'.

    Food for thought, Rob. Good read

  3. Well said, i agree...

  4. Wishful thinking much? We'll get £20m for Vida and then be told 'there is no value in the market' while the Glazers try to earn intrest on the cash so they can line their pockets.

  5. "I still feel that Rio is the most important player in the central pairing. "

    Thankyou! This is what I have been telling people for ages but they all seem to rate Vidic higher. Maybe it is because Vidic has been fairly solid since he joined United whilst Rio had an extremely shaky start, and didn't really get going until 2006. But Rio is everything you want in a central defender. He is strong, quick, calm and a brilliant leader. Ronnie was fantastic for us especially in 2007/08 of course but lets not forget Rio's contributions that season. He came up against Messi, Torres, Drogba, Benzema, Anelka, Adebayor, Eto'o etc and dealt with them all brilliantly, well except Adebayor's handball against us but apart from that. That was Rio at his best. Vidic on the other hand was excellent last season. I believe that was Vidic's best. But he still got beaten too easily by the likes of Torres, Eto'o, Rodallega etc. People laughed at me when I said I would take a fit and in form Rio over Vidic but I stand by it.

    As for Benzema, who knows. I am convinced he would be ours by now if as you say Villa had gone to Real Madrid. Perez would be breaking a history if he got rid though as he has never sold a gallactico (and no i don't count owen as one). they have all left after their contracts have expired


  6. intereting article my fellow red,i agree with your view and hope rooney and benzema are our strike pairing next season.

  7. I am sold too. I think Benzema is certainly a top 10 player in the future. I feel confident in our defense and in Fergie's ability to bring in defensive options, its usually upfront that we miss the great transfers. I would swop them in an instant, not that I don't rate Vida, just that Benzema is such a massive prospect.

  8. good article

    I think it is about time people stopped feeling satisfied with what berbatov is contributing to the team because it isn't enough. if it wasn't for rooney, we would have been struggling a lot more for goals this season because berbatov has not done a thing to make up for ronaldo's exit

  9. If this were to really happen it'd make for a more complete and powerful us next season. Rooney and Benzema sounds like they'd dovetail brilliantly. Vidic is a rock but I think if Rio stays injury free, someone else can definitely be brought it to replace his current partner. Looking at some of his performances recently before 'injuries', Vidic does look like his head has already been turned.

  10. Another fantastic read!

    I think the bait would be fab, and let's face it Vidic hasn't exactly played well for us since... since... oh wow I can't actually remember.

    His head is over in Spain so may as well take the body too! Although I know a few people will miss our Nems x

  11. Rob, I understand your arguments and everything you have said but your aticle is a classic case of wishful thinking. The fact is David Villa will finish his career at Valencia, the 25 million we get for Vidic will go straight to the Glazers with Smalling as his replacement and we will still have Berbatov and Rooney up front next season wether you like it or not. There won't be any transfers next summer at Man United apart from maybe Steven Defour.

    You obviously have not been following events at Real Madrid, Benzema has been starting matches recently and scoring goals so Real Madrid are not ready to sell him nor is he ready to leave. The Real Madrid line-up line-up next season will be Ribery Kaka and Ronaldo behind either Higuain or Benzema. You can wish for Benzema all you want but he is not coming to United this summer or ever. One obvious fact that you have ignored is that Fergie never pursues players again that have rejected United once before so that alone terminates any possibility of Benzema coming.

  12. Many thanks for educating me Andrew. I watch La Liga weekly. I also get regular Spanish press updates. Also many thanks for your exclusives on Steven Defour and David Villa.

    Oh one point...Fergie would have signed Alan Shearer from Blackburn..even though he turned us down when he moved from Southampton once before. If he felt he could get Benzema at the right price, he would be on the plane to Madrid now to strike the deal

  13. Rob, if Fergie wants Benzema so much then why did he put such little effort into getting him from Lyon? Everyone assumed that Villa was going to Madrid for months when they were negotiating, what was Fergie doing all of that time? Fergie had so much time to get the Benzema deal done but he dithered and didn't put any effort into it. He didn't even bother to go and meet Benzema, something that the Real Madrid president did do. Fergie was more interested in enjoying his holiday while United's squad went down the toilet with key players leaving like Tevez and Ronaldo and average replacements like Owen and Obertan, two players that are not good enough for Man Utd and never will be.

  14. Andrew, your opinion seems to be seriously misled by do YOU know what Fergie did with the Benzema deal?? You seem to know alot of real inside info..or is The Sun you source? Fergie said this week that they has a £35 million deal sorted with Lyon for Benzema but Madrid gazumpt them. Simple. United didnt want to go higher. My point in this piece is that if Vidic is going to go (and there is a chance of this) then maybe we could muscle a deal for Benzema..that is the sole point if the article. Dont get your knickers in a twist pal. Im also highlighting that Roo needs a bone fide strike partner

    ps i think Fergie deserves a holiday post season..dont you? :-)

  15. Your article seems to be ignoring the fact that things are going fine for Benzema at Real Madrid, earlier in the season he was on the bench alot that is true. But now he is starting matches ahead of Higuain and scoring goals, he is becoming a success there.

    So the point is I don't understand where you have got the idea that Madrid want to sell him or that he wants to leave. I am sure you are not stupid enough to believe news articles printed in papers like the news of the world and the sun, papers that are good for nothing but toilet paper. If Real Madrid want Vidic and he wants to leave then a 25 million deal will be struck and that will be that, Benzema will not be involved.

    Rightly or wrongly Fergie still likes Berbatov, plus due to the huge expenditure on Berbatov he is not going to give up on him. If Benzema was to arrive then Berbatov would have to go and thats just not going to happen im afraid. It will be Berbatov and Rooney up front next season.

  16. By the way, do you think we have spent 6 million Mame Biram Diouf for nothing? He was purchased to be a first team player and is showing signs of being a very good striker. He may not be as glamorous as Benzema but he was bought to be a first team player, if Benzema was bought then it would mean that the Diouf transfer was pointless. If you want superstar names then go and support Real Madrid.

  17. i dont refute that it will probably be berba and roo up top next season, but i think dimi is starting to fall from favour as he gets comfy on the bench. The manager wants it to work for him, but he is no fool.

    this blog is about opinion. It is not a technical news source. My opinion on the Benzema situation is formulated from two of my friends who are Real season ticket holders. Two avid and well informed individuals. Yeah he is starting to play, but he is vey much second fiddle still...IF Madrid go back in for Villa, as are the rumblings, then Benzema would be off. We may be able to take advantage of the situation if they want Vidic.

    Just an opinion

  18. on your other Diouf comment...

    he was bought to be a first teamer was he?? you live in dream land pal. He has been brought in to strengthen the squad. If he progresses then yes he may carve out a place in the team..but youve already written off Obertan in your previous comments..and he has played about 5 times more than Diouf.

    and please dont give me the old chip on the shoulder crap about if you want superstars go support Madrid trash. If you want a real football club you can go support FC United..superiority complexes never look good on any fans faces pal..not even yours.

    United til i die

  19. OK, you are welcome to your opinion know matter how unrealistic it may be. Mame Diouf has not been purchased to sit on the bench most weeks, he has been bought because Fergie thinks he will be good enough to start. The good thing about Diouf is that he is a pacy striker who plays on the shoulder of the opposition defence so he is a very good alternative to Berbatov who is the complete opposite of Diouf.

    Manchester United currently have Berbatov Rooney Owen Diouf Welbeck and Macheda, do we really need another centre forward at the football club, I personally don't think so. The problem with the current squad is creativity in midfield, if we are going to sign an expensive player then it should be an offensive centre midfielder in the style of Fabregas. Marek Hamsik is the player we need in my opinion, not yet another striker to add to an already bloated forward line.

    You do know that Franck Ribery is already a Real Madrid player don't you? So lets analyse the Madrid line-up next season, Ribery on the left, Ronaldo on the right with Kaka behind the centre forward.

    Higuain is not going to be dropped in favour of Villa because Villa is not as good at leading the line. So surely Villa would be in exactly the same position as Benzema wouldn't he.

  20. thanks again for your comments andrew but im not carrying on with a non-debate

    again i find it funny that you 'know' the ribery deal is done (tho i suspect this is right) youre very assumptious. I think they will buy Villa to replace Raul and because he is 'Galactico' material (whereas Benzema is not considered so by the fanbase like Huntelaar wasnt), but i am not interested in analysing the Madrid side. But if they dont get Villa i wouldnt mind him at United. We seem to only have one striker delivering the goods at the mo, so to look at other options is not that strange..we need to be careful to not turn into Liverpool and be a one striker team. Lets give Diouf a year but wouldnt surprise me to see him out on loan next season..he is massively inexperienced and raw.

    I do agree that we need an attacking midfielder. Read further into the blog and you will see a wrote about this some time ago. My preference would be Silva or even Modric. Id also like to see us go for Alexi Sanchez

  21. Manchester United are not interested in David Villa because he does not fit into our new transer policy of signing young players with sell on value. Villa will be 29 next season, I don't think a 35 million outlay can be justified for a player who has never played outside of Spain and who is close to 30.

    In case you haven't noticed Manchester United are in dire financial straights, without the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer the club would of made a loss of over 30 million. That is taking into account the fact that we won the League and got to the CL Final, it is very unlikely that we will match that this season so the club is likely to make an even bigger loss this season.

    Make no mistake about it, the Glazers are going to need every penny of the money we get for Vidic. We have already signed the replacement for Vidic in Smalling. Manchester United don't have the finances to compete for A Grade players anymore, hence the signings of Owen on a free, Obertan etc. Its not a coincidence that our mammoth debt has coincided with this new transfer policy of only buying young players with sell on value, the reason for this is that the Glazers need the money.

    We are not going to go for the players you mentioned because we have Tom Cleverley coming back next season who has done brilliantly at Watford and is an excellent player. He plays well on both wings, although his best position is behind the striker. He is probably going to be the attacking midfielder we need rather than some expensive foreigner.

    For that reason I can't see us buying anyone next summer, apart from maybe Steven Defour as I said before. I am sure you are aware of the personal letter Fergie sent to Defour a few months ago when he got injured, Fergie does not do that unless he really wants someone. Defour is pretty much guaranteed to arrive this summer so I think that will be it for our transfer activity.

  22. By the way Rob, I am a regular poster on the Manchester United forum Republic Of Mancunia, my username on there is Banana Rama. If you are already a member let me know your Username, if not then why not sign up, its a great forum.

  23. Well aware of RoM. may well see you there