In a move that may stink a little of damage limitation, Manchester United executive David Gill has come out and claimed that the club was offered Javier Mascherano prior to the player’s arrival at West Ham, but felt the fee and player were not a suitable match,
“We were never interested in Tevez. Mascherano, we were offered him,” Gill said.
“We watched him throughout last season and he played at the World Cup, clearly.”
“We were offered him at the start of the summer transfer window for a significant sum. The manager and his staff did not want to pursue that.”
“We were also offered him towards the back end of last week in a loan-type deal for a year, and again we were not interested in that.”
It makes sense that a club of United’s stature would not be interested in being a pawn in a dodgy one year loan deal for a position where they need a long term solution.
But the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson and his staff took a look at Mascherano, often hyped as the most promising player in his position in the world (rightly or wrongly), and decided he wasn’t worth a large transfer fee – yet paid 18M to take Michael Carrick from Tottenham and prepared to pay a similar sum to pry Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich is rather interesting. After his last experience with a high profile Argentine midfielder, maybe Sir Alex is a little hesistant about Mascherano’s ability to adapt to the Premiership.
Luckily for us, and perhaps West Ham, we’ll find out shortly whether Ferguson dodged another Veron or missed out on a new Keane.