Although Louis van Gaal could be eyeing Hugo Lloris, as Arsenal look to complete a deal with Chelsea for the Czech keeper it is difficult to feel United have missed an opportunity
At this juncture in the footballing calendar when it feels impossible to separate transfer fact from fiction, a slice of concrete-solid news would come as a welcome break. So ludicrously short has this offseason seemed it’s as if two summers’ worth of transfer tittle-tattle has been poured into one, and then heated up to boiling point until everything becomes so frantic it’s exhausting trying to figure out who’s actually moving and who isn’t.
One transfer that does look likely to actually take place Petr Cech’s impending move to Arsenal. Jose Mourinho doesn’t particularly want him to go, but the 33-year-old is going nonetheless and should stabilise Arsenal’s goalkeeping nicely. Considering what United are currently going through with David De Gea and have been for several weeks, it is curious that the club have not pursued Cech. The latest regarding De Gea is that the club are demanding Sergio Ramos, countering Real’s insulting but sadly pragmatic €18m bid this week. The Ramos situation is a typically bonkers affair in Madrid, with the 29-year-old’s penchant for John Terry-style player power irking the despotic President Fiorentino Perez.
As Sid Lowe in the Guardian has pointed out Real are in the driving seat, considering Ramos has two years left on his contract to De Gea’s one. Dani Alves did a sterling job of manoeuvring Barcelona into offering him a new contract by batting his eyelashes towards Manchester and it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine Ramos is doing the same.
It seems odd, though, that United have let things get this far. Unless the negotiating tactic all along as been to bleed Madrid as much as possible for De Gea, it is difficult to understand why United have not made a more aggressive approach for a goalkeeper who likely still has several years to offer at the top level and would provide a calm, authoritative presence behind an unsettled back four. Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris may be the preferred candidate but there is an air of unpredictability about the Frenchman and although Cech may not quite be the goalkeeper he once was, he has a calm head on his shoulders.
Age is, or should be, of little consequence; Edwin Van Der Sar was turned 35 just as his first season at United was getting under way, Jens Lehmann joined Arsenal at 33. In Arsenal’s favour is that Cech is known to want to keep his young family in London. But it seems odd that considering United’s success in bringing in an experienced goalkeeper – and squeezing several more years out of him than was initially expected – more was not done to persuade Cech to consider his options.