According to recent reports in the Italian media, AZ Alkmaar midfielder Rasmus Elm is prepared to make a move to Manchester United after the season and during the summer transfer window. However, Elm's agent -- Patrick Moerk -- has denied that a deal is in place with United, or with any other club. So basically, this whirlwind of rumors is nothing out of the ordinary. I'll just provide some quotes that have recently been given and allow you to draw your own conclusions. Here are Moerk's remarks on the matter:
"I don't comment on specific rumours but suggestions he has already agreed to join a club are not correct."
The remarks are coy and it certainly does rule out any move for Elm. However, it does inform everybody that no deal has been made. Yet. Here are further comments from Moerk on any possible future moves for his client:
"Rasmus does not close any doors and he listens to all offers. But he is very happy at AZ and not desperate to move to another club"
Elm has been linked to United because he previously stated that he was flattered by the supposed interest from the club. In addition, the Swedish international's contract with Alkmaar is up in 18 months. The Dutch side have gone into the Eredivisie winter break top of the table and with United unable to offer up Champions League football this season, any move to Old Trafford would likely occur in the summer. If Elm were to be sold -- to United or any other club -- this summer appears to be an optimal time to do it.
The 23-year-old Elm helped Sweden qualify for the Euro 2012 finals. He also featured for Sweden during their recent friendly with England at Wembley. Supporters of both Manchester United and England will be able to get another close inspection of Elm this summer because both Sweden and England have been drawn in Group D for Euro 2012. For Alkmaar this season, the midfielder has scored 8 goals in 12 Eredivisie matches and he's provided 2 goals and 1 assist in 8 Europa League matches.
I haven't seen much of Elm and even during the England vs. Sweden friendly at Wembley, I hardly noticed him since I merely had that match in the background on television while I was doing something else. However, the tactical blog Inverted Winger provided this description of Elm in a scouting report prior to the friendly:
"Rasmus Elm is naturally a centre-midfielder and he is being asked to play on the right of a 4-2-3-1 (he is very similar to Jordan Henderson) and therefore will naturally come inside to his strongest position. He will look to play deeper than Larsson and I suspect he has been picked because of his defensive capabilites, so he can counter the attack-minded Leighton Baines, statistically one of the best attacking full-backs in Europe (or maybe Ashley Cole)."
Well, if he does end up at Old Trafford, I really hope he's a better version of Jordan Henderson. It sounds as if he's a well-rounded central-midfielder that is adequate defensively -- and his goalscoring rate this season suggests he's a good finisher. It's impossible to deny that United need reinforcements in the center of the park and Elm appears to be an intriguing option. I haven't seen any suggested transfer fees so that would obviously be an important factor as well in trying to decide whether this is a prudent move or not.
What are your thoughts on this rumor? Have you seen the Swede play? If so, do you feel that this would be a good move for MUFC?