It's been a miserable summer for United fans. Few of our players performed well at the World cup and one of those wants to leave. David Gill rashly promised to try and complete all transfer business before the tournament and yet, not a single player has arrived. Spurs are haggling over the sale of Michael Carrick, a gifted midfielder but one whose addition to the squad doesn't so much solve an existing problem - the absence of a defensive/box to box midfielder - as create a new one - although he is considered to be a defensive midfielder, he is more of a deep-lying playmaker who rarely tackles, a kind of Geordie Pirlo. "El Niño", Fernando Torres announces that he is to stay at Atletico for another year after months of feverish, although mostly Spanish, speculation that he was Old-Trafford-bound. Normally, I take speculation with a pinch of salt, especially from the likes of the Mirror, but with such slim pickings these days, I'm going to hope and pray that they've fluked onto the truth this time in claiming that United are negotating the transfer of Javier Mascherano. The Argentine, plying his trade at Corinthians in Brazil, was outstanding at Germany and has all the attributes United need in midfield: an excellent tackler, basically holds the midfield together to provide a platform for Riquelme, but he is also a skilful passer and shows great energy and commitment - an Heinze in the engine room - and is still only 22. This is a transfer I could get excited about.