United New boy Zaha left in awe
Sun, 14 Jul 2013 08:17:00
David Moyes says he has money to spend this summer, with Manchester United looking to land 'the best players' around.
Having succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, Moyes has been released from the transfer shackles which occasionally left him frustrated at Everton.
There is no bottomless pit of cash at United, but the Scot claims to have been informed that there are no budget constraints.
That has given him the freedom to chase any target he likes, with United reported to still be mulling over approaches for Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale and former fans' favourite Cristiano Ronaldo - who remains on the books at Real Madrid.
Moyes is reluctant to divulge the identity of those on his summer shopping list, but expects to be backed by his board in any decisions he takes.
After seeing his first game at the United helm end in a 1-0 defeat to the Singha All Star XI on Saturday, Moyes said: "Isn't it great that the club says, 'There's no budget here, you go get who you want to get, just go and do it'.
"We are looking at the best players. I do think it's important that we show people we are carrying on the traditions and trying to take the club forward.
"I will not name anybody, but certainly we are always looking at the best players. I think we are trying to strengthen in a couple of areas. We are short in midfield.
"We are also a club which tends to invest in the youth side, so you can expect us to go for players in that age group.
"We are working hard to make sure the first signing is the right one. I have been left a really good team and I want to add to it sensibly."
The Uruguay international has expressed a desire to leave Anfield after becoming disillusioned with life in England.
He has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea, but Spanish giants Real Madrid are considered to the frontrunners in the race for his signature.
Liverpool are reluctant to let the unsettled striker leave, with boss Brendan Rodgers in 'constant communication' with the South American, but Suarez has reiterated that he will push for a move if he can further his career elsewhere.
He said: "If I receive an important offer to progress my career, I will study it. Some clubs have asked about me but I hand questions over to my agent. I am no stranger to rumours.
"I always want to improve. That's why I left Ajax for Liverpool.
"But this club needs to fight to enter the Champions League and, when it doesn't happen, it damages the morale of any player. So I've suffered.
"It is hard to view the Premier League every week with never a chance of winning it.
"On top of that, the English media do not understand me. The controversies with (Patrice) Evra and (Branislav) Ivanovic were decisive. There are always extra questions when people analyse me.
"After the Evra incident, it was very difficult to convince people about the 'real' Luis Suarez. Things had improved but then the incident involving Ivanovic was another blow.
"Had that not happened, perhaps I would have been regarded as the best Premier League player last season."
Giggs, about to start his 23rd season as a United player, is the proud owner of a record 13 Premier League titles.
The fact he can still turn in the type of top-class performances that persuaded Sir Alex Ferguson to hand him another contract is testament to the 39-year-old's phenomenal mental strength.
Giggs admits he cannot really explain it himself.
However, speaking on his arrival in Sydney for the second leg of United's pre-season tour, it is clear he loves the game as much as he ever did.
"Crazy, aren't I?" he said.
"I'm enjoying it just as much as I did 20 years ago. It's as simple as that.
"Every year is a bonus to me. Take last year: winning the league, that feeling you have after the hard work you put in. Winning that trophy makes it all worthwhile.
"The thing about Manchester United is you have to do it all over again."
And that philosophy will remain the same even though there is now a new man at the helm.
"This is the start of the journey this season and I hope to be lifting a trophy again at the end of it," he said.
"We have to put the hard work in now in order to achieve that."
It is United's first visit to Australia since 1999 and this time round Giggs will have the chance to see one of sport's fiercest rivalries.
Cardiff-born Giggs only ended up in Manchester in the first place because his dad moved north to play professional rugby league for Swinton.
Giggs played the sport as a youngster and has retained a healthy interest even though he has gone on to achieve so much success in a different footballing sphere.
So Wednesday's State of Origin decider between Queensland and New South Wales - in the same ANZ Stadium United's sell-out tour match against the A-League All Stars will take place on Saturday evening - is going to be an occasion for Giggs to relish.
"I'm a big rugby league fan," he said.
"I had the great pleasure of spending some time with Melbourne Storm when they were playing in Leeds in the World Cup Challenge.
"I spent some time with Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, who are Queenslanders. I've also had a text off Andrew Johns telling me in no uncertain terms who I need to support on Wednesday.
"I'm in Sydney so I'll be supporting New South Wales."
The 33-year-old Cesar joined QPR last summer and produced some impressive displays, although he was unable to save them from relegation to the Championship.
And he now looks set for a return to Italy, having made over 200 appearances for Inter during a very successful seven-year stint between 2005-12.
Cesar was recalled to the Brazil team last season and was between the sticks for their recent Confederations Cup triumph.
The Brazilians will host the World Cup next summer and Cesar is believed to be keen to remain in a high profile league, in order to boost his chances of remaining his country's number one.
QPR are thought to be open to his departure due to his high wage bill and he has been strongly linked with a move across the capital to Arsenal.
However, a loan move now looks on the cards to Napoli, who enjoyed a superb 2012/13 season, finishing second in Serie A, and who will be coached by Rafael Benitez this season.
Although Zaha joined the Old Trafford outfit in January, in the process becoming Sir Alex Ferguson's last signing as Red Devils boss, he spent the remainder of the season on loan back with his previous club Crystal Palace.
It meant when he linked up with his team-mates for their current tour to the Far East and Australia he did not really know what to expect.
But after three days in Bangkok, Zaha is now acutely aware of how big United are.
"It's my first time on a tour like this," he told MUTV.
"I'm not used to it. To have so many fans coming to watch a pre-season game is different."
The England Under-21 star is making a positive impression though.
He might only have featured for the final half-hour of yesterday's surprise defeat by the Singha All Stars but he was one of the better players on view and came closest to grabbing an equaliser for the Old Trafford outfit when he smacked a shot against the post.
"I really just put my head down and tried to connect with the ball properly," he said.
"It would have been a different story if it had gone in.
"I'm glad I had a go and it would have been a great day for me if I'd scored one. But it doesn't matter now.
"Just knowing I was on the pitch with Rio (Ferdinand), Ryan Giggs and Anderson was good enough for me."
United flew straight out of Bangkok in the early hours of the morning and have now reached Sydney, where they will spend a week before facing the A-League All Stars in the second game of their five-match tour on Saturday.