On Tuesday, June 5, Manchester United confirmed that they have "reached agreement" with Borussia Dortmund on a deal for midfielder Shinji Kagawa. The young midfielder is currently on international duty with Japan. He is expected to complete a medical examination and obtain a work permit by the end of June.
There are many reasons for fans to be excited about Kagawa's transfer to United. He's an exciting young player who fills an offensive need in the club's midfield. Kagawa also comes cheap. The Red Devils are expected to pay close to £12 million for Kagawa, which is far less than what they would have had to pay Eden Hazard.
Don't get me wrong, I wish the club had purchased Hazard. He's a great talent who causes problems for opposing teams all over the pitch. However, I fear that Manchester United would have blown a large portion of their transfer budget on Hazard while they have multiple holes to fill.
Kagawa isn't quite as talented as Hazard, but he fits in with what the club is trying to do. He adds a scoring threat to the club's midfield, which is something United was missing last season. He's a hard worker who pushes the pace against opposing back lines. That's exactly what the Red Devils' midfield has needed for the past couple of years.
One of the reasons that Barcelona was able to dominate Manchester United during the 2011 Champions League final was the problems within the Premier League club's midfield. Many of the issues the team's back line faced during the 2011-2012 season were caused by a group of midfielders that were outmatched by Manchester City and other European clubs. Kagawa won't fix that problem alone, but he is a step in the right direction.
Now that Manchester United has signed Kagawa, one has to wonder who manager Sir Alex Ferguson will target next. The team does need some help on the back line, and it's rumored that Ferguson is interested in Everton's Leighton Baines. However, I'm not sure if the Red Devils will pay Everton's £20 million asking price.
Tottenham Hotspur's Luka Modric is also on the club's radar, but money is a problem with him as well. Will Manchester United finally break the bank to sign the stars they want, or will they continue to look for young players with tremendous upsides and bargain prices? It will be interesting to see what moves the Red Devils can make on their budget.
Derek Ciapala has been a fan of Manchester United since the World Cup in 1994. His favorite Red Devils' moment is when they won their 19th English Championship in 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala.