Cesc Fabregas alternatives: The midfielders Manchester United could target if move for Barca star failsWith the deal for Barcelona's midfield star stalling, the Red Devils boss David Moyes may have to look elsewhere. Here are four that could interest him.
With David Moyes under increasing pressure to secure a star signing to herald his new era at Old Trafford, Manchester United have made one final attempt to land Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas.
After missing out on Thiago Alcântara to the newly-crowned European champions Bayern Munich, the Red Devils are now hoping their £34 million offer will be enough to tempt their European rivals into finally doing business.
But what if Moyes, yet to make a major signing this summer, is rejected once more?
Here are four players he could turn to instead:
Last weekend it was revealed that United consider the 27 year old Frenchmen, who Newcastle bought for just £4.5 million from Lille two years ago, to be the perfect 'plan C' option to Thiago and Fabregas.
The champions would however, yet again, face competition from a major continental rival as Paris St. Germain are said to have been admirers of Cabaye's talents for some time. Claudio Ranieri, striving to secure at least Champions League football for his newly-promoted Monaco side, is also said to be keen on the the Toon's international star.
Moyes' hand has been considerably strengthened though by the news that the £15 million-rated man would prefer to stay in the Premier League. Sir Alex Ferguson's successor has made no secret of the fact that he wants a box-to-box midfield anchor to replace former talisman Paul Scholes, and is growing uneasy with the slow progress being made.
With Cabaye said to be bemused by the club's new director of football, Joe Kinnear, who recently called him 'Kabab', perhaps now would be the best time for his suitors to strike.
United's executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, has been tasked with transfer dealings and, if Barca do indeed slam the door firmly shut on Moyes' plans to lure Arsenal's former captain, he may be forced into turning his sights to another La Liga star.
After enduring a difficult first few months at the Bernabeu, the former Spurs man steadily acclimatised to life in Spain under Jose Mourinho. That was not enough though, it soon became clear, to prevent him from being labelled as one of the worst buys in Spanish football's history by Marca readers earlier this year.
With the World Cup lying perilously on the horizon, the £33 million attacking midfielder will be wary that another year of mediocrity could put his place in the Croatian starting line-up in doubt. After showing the Premier League his sparkling best, perhaps a move back to a more familiar stage will help Luka get back in the game.
Despite Roberto Martinez's fervent claims to the contrary, Everton's impervious lynchpin looks set to leave Goodison Park this summer. Scoring twelve times last season, Fellaini has proven his goal scoring acumen - once considered to be the chink in his amour. It would appear though that Moyes could turn out to be his own worst enemy as the £15 million he spent on the Belgian star in 2008 would surely bump up the Toffees' asking price.
United's only hope would be the rumoured release clause, suggested to stand at around £22 million, but that is set to be deactivated in August. Add to the fact that Martinez seems to be as reluctant to sell as every other manager who Moyes has attempted to deal with, and it would appear that more frustration awaits him.
"He's still a very young man but I am really looking forward to seeing Marouane working hard and making sure that he sets really good standards," the new Everton coach said. "Marouane is an international footballer and he's going to be involved, if all goes well, in a World Cup next year."
Daniele de Rossi
Admittedly this one is a stretch, at best, but with United missing out on every player they show a remote amount of interest in, they may like to do some poaching of their own. After engaging in a PR war with Chelsea in recent weeks, with a number of claims and counter claims emanating from both clubs over the Wayne Rooney saga, Moyes would perhaps like nothing more than to capture one of his title rivals’ prime summer targets.
At twenty nine years old, the powerful Italian is slowly edging towards the latter years of his career. However if any club is designed to help players to perform at their best into their thirties, it’s Manchester United.
Roma, like many Italian sides of late, are shifting their focus towards younger players and so could be open to the idea of letting their World Cup winning midfielder pursue a career elsewhere - should they be adequately compensated. With Mourinho admitting it’s “Rooney or bust” for Chelsea this summer, maybe they've left the backdoor too far ajar on the De Rossi deal. It’s definitely wide enough for someone like Moyes to creep through undetected.