Davide Astori returned to the Cagliari side on Sunday, after a hamstring injury ruled him out of the 2-1 defeat to struggling side Livorno, a result that left the Rossoblu just four points adrift of the relegation zone. Instrumental in Cagliari’s concrete position of 11th last season, the Italian center-back, who has been capped seven times by the national team, has been the subject of reported interested from a number of English clubs. Liverpool and Southampton to name a few, but one realistically strikes out – Manchester United.
The Italian had been under the eagle eye of Manchester United manager David Moyes in January, in a match between the Isolani and Juventus. After supposedly scouting Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal in the same game, the current situation and possibility of no Champions League football makes it more likely and ideal for Moyes to move for the defender from the trio, if any.
As Champions League football looks the more unlikely for next season, Moyes and United will have to rely on the heritage of the club to attract the best players in the summer, with the club unable to offer anything beyond that in Europe next season.
The dilemma that Vidic’s announced departure has brought brings a ponderous thought or two for Moyes to consider a move that works in the best interest of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, but also the persistent performer in Jonny Evans. With Rio Ferdinand also contemplating retirement by the lack of his game time this season, retirement looks on the cards. A situation as such leaves the Manchester United manager with just three center-backs, all under the age of 26.
Astori does not have any European experience under his belt, but it isn’t for the want of trying. In 2012, he revealed that he had turned down a move to Spartak Moscow in want of staying with the Italian outfit, even after a fee of around £12 million was agreed.
The uncertainty over Astori’s future has crept back in recent months, with the club president even stating that he was powerless in keeping the former Milan graduate if an irresistible offer scampered along, and it seems inevitable that another offer will come in the summer.
Should it come in a form of a bid by Moyes, it looks as if it would take a double figure offer near to €15 million to test the club, rather forcefully if the Isolani were to be relegated.
An abundant list of lush purchases consisting of household names anywhere and everywhere may be tempting for Moyes with the funds available, but there is plenty of quality in the squad that the current crop possess, most of which he would assumedly already know.
The need for a creative central midfielder has been much emphasized on, and remains an absolute priority for United. Tucking in underneath that now must surely be the need for a fairly experienced center-back, and a cool head. Preferably the head of Davide Astori. That which certainly offers much with his renowned attribute to play the ball out of the defense to a front pivot of Michael Carrick and Claudio Marchisio, who distribute to the flanks in Mata and Januzaj or an advanced Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie. Scrumptious.
Written by Abdullah Mamaniyat