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United "on alert" for Barcelona misfit — reports

Today in beggars ≠ choosers news ...

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Stu Forster

This is not a transfer rumour. Rather this is a question of there being two over here, and two over here, and the possibility that when placed together they might amount to four.

The Telegraph yesterday reported that Barcelona are so sick of former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song hanging around the place that they're offering to send him out on a 'free loan'. This, apparently, has placed Manchester United (along with Everton and Tottenham) on "alert", a state of heightened anxiety and preparedness which, if this window is anything to go by, involves Ed Woodward climbing into a locker and refusing to come out until everybody has stopped shouting at him.

Now, Song is nobody's idea of an ideal signing. His time at Barcelona has been largely disappointing, and he's failed to convince as either an alternative in the centre of midfield or as an occasional emergency centre-back. Then there's the fact that of the 736 players to attend the World Cup, he had perhaps the worst tournament of them all, one that ended in hilarious ignominy when he attempted, for reasons that remain mysterious, to drag his elbow down the back of Mario Mandzukic.

But still. Given that United are in desperate need of somebody new in the middle of the park, that the club appear to be actively allergic to buying anybody that isn't committing mutiny or being hustled out of their club, and that Song is probably a better option than, for various reasons, than Tom Cleverley, Marouane Fellaini and the willing but seemingly drained Darren Fletcher ...

... then we're forced to at least contemplate the strange and curious possibility that while borrowing Alex Song might not be a good idea, it might well be a better idea than not borrowing him. There was a good Premier League player in there not too long ago. And if it is just a season's loan, rather than an actual purchase, then that defers the finding of a more permanent and preferable solution for a year. Which is how long these things seem to take in Woodward-world.