This story is getting familiar as what was then just a breach is now seemingly a deluge.
Nemanja Vidic's agent has stated that it his client's "dream" to play for Barcelona. Vidic won every player category last season at Man Utd and his pairing with Rio Ferdinand was crucial to the club's reclaiming the Premiership. His performances have earned him a nomination for European footballer of the year. It is small wonder that big clubs have come knocking.
The transfer will not happen anytime soon. Man Utd will hunker down and make it non-negotiable to buy themselves time. A case could be made for Jonny Evans and John O'Hara as shown in the Birmingham match but breaking up the partnership with Ferdinand would make it extremely difficult for Man Utd to compete with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, City, and even a shabby Liverpool.
What is interesting is the MO that is being employed here. It seems to follow the path of least resistance. Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer saga began a year ago, as the player expressed his unhappiness and claimed it would be a "dream" to play for Real. Man Utd trained its fury on Ramon Calderon. Meanwhile a "penalty" that could see Real lose £25million if they failed to land Ronaldo became part of the moral obligation. But the foundation of the move was already laid down.
After the season was over, the record sum of £80million considerably mollified Man Utd's stance and facilitated his transfer with few ruffled feathers.The same thing is happening with Franck Ribery as Real's overtures for him have been repeatedly rebuffed by Bayern. But the Spanish club is being patient as they set about bringing him to the Bernabeu next season. In a year's time Bayern might like to add to its coffers while targeting cheaper midfield talent from their own backyard. Cue Wolfsburg's red hot Zvjezdan Misimović.
The Liga is selling itself as the place to be. Vidic like Ronaldo has hit a ceiling with the Premiership. Ribery might want to extricate himself from Bayern where one has to be a player politician to deal with its internecine management. There are less challenges and smaller shoes to fill where they are now. Real and Barca are playing a waiting game. Spain is now the Mecca of world football.