So much for "no value". That was Sir Alex Ferguson's favourite line when brilliant young players were sold at bargain prices to anywhere but Manchester United in his post-Cristiano Ronaldo years, and the £37.1 million arrival of Juan Mata will pave the way for more arrivals at Old Trafford this year.
David Moyes, as expected, was in Germany to watch Bayern Munich win at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday before he returned to the north-west of England to greet Mata the next day. In Germany, he paid particular attention to Mönchengladbach midfielder Patrick Herrmann and, some papers claim, Bayern's Toni Kroos and Mario Mandžukić. Only Mandy wasn't there.
Croatian striker Mandžukić was doing the muted celebration thing even before Bayern confirmed Robert Lewandowski would join them from Borussia Dortmund in the summer. He was left out of the 18 completely on Friday, supposedly over "poor training". Pep Guardiola's penchant for a strikerless system also makes Mandžukić expendable, which has apparently piqued Moyes' interest.
Moyes actually identified the 27-year-old as a prudent purchase at Euro 2012 whilst writing for the Sunday Times, so he's definitely a fan. Although however well Mandžukić has done for Bayern, he is not as high up United's priority list as someone like Kroos, who is one of a multitude of central midfielders the club have scouted. United need two of them, and the Germany international is the latest name to be thrown into an overflowing hat.
United also need a left-back or two. Luke Shaw has moved to the front of the queue, now Leighton Baines has all but committed the rest of his career to Everton and Fabio Coentrão has not got his loan move to the Reds this month. Chelsea also want Shaw, although both clubs seem have slid their swords back into their sheaths until the summer.