On Tuesday, May 15, the Guardian's Jamie Jackson reported that Borussia Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa is one of the top prospects that Manchester United is looking at as the summer transfer window approaches. Kagawa has already informed Dortmund that he is not looking to re-sign with the club when his contract expires.
Kagawa makes sense for the Red Devils. The club's transfer strategy is to find young players who won't break the bank financially but can grow into their potential with the club. The 23-year old Kagawa fits that profile.
It's also important that he is a skilled player who could fill the club's need for a scorer and playmaker coming out of the midfield. Kagawa scored 13 goals this season for the German champions, while no other Manchester United midfielder netted more than eight goals. Kagawa would definitely add more to the Red Devils' attack, assuming that he fits in with the club.
There are other midfielders being mentioned as possibilities for Manchester United, including Luka Modric and Lucas Moura, but I don't see the club deviating from its buy low strategy. Both Modric and Moura are probably outside the team's budget because it simply has too much debt to overspend on players right now. Instead, I expect manager Sir Alex Ferguson to continue looking at rising youngsters such as Kagawa to build for the future.
Of course, if the Manchester United would do a better job building from within, then they wouldn't have to depend on seeking younger talent from other clubs. A perfect example of this is Borussia Dortmund. They built their team around its youth system, and now they have won the Bundesliga two years in a row.
Meanwhile, the only player from the current crop of United youngsters to make an impact on the club this season was Danny Welbeck, and he was inconsistent. I'd like to see Ferguson do a better job of solidifying the team's youth program. It's going to be a long time before he will be able to spend money with the likes of F.C. Barcelona and Manchester City, especially since the team is mired in debt and has Fair Play rules on the horizon. The Red Devils would be able to work around that problem if they can get better development from their academy system.
I think Kagawa would be a good fit in with Manchester United, and I hope to see him wearing the team's kit next season. However, I hope that the club takes action to ensure that its youth system is more productive in the future. I'd much rather see some homegrown talent come up the ranks than watch Ferguson spend money on players that another team developed.
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.