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Hey, Manchester United - you don't need Marek Hamšík

It's said that Manchester United have their eye on Napoli captain Marek Hamšík. But do they know he's not what their side needs?

Giuseppe Bellini

Armed with their iPads and state-of -the-art whiteboards, the scouting team at Manchester United have supposedly identified Marek Hamšík as a top target. The Red Devils are hoping to persuade the Napoli captain that a move to Manchester would be in his best interest.

Except United are going to have to get through Aurelio De Laurentiis first. And Aureliio De Laurentiis has made it clear that Hamšík is going nowhere. Sure, he's valued at €35m, but with Napoli not desperate for cash, it's likely the club will make whoever's after Marek pay an inflated price. That's if they let him go at all.

Alas, United could very well afford to pay through the nose for the Slovak. Anyone who pays even a smidgen of attention to the side knows that their midfield is crap. Even Juan Mata wasn't enough to make it not-crap. So they're looking to further reinforce their squad.

But they don't actually need Hamšík. They've just showered Wayne Rooney with hundreds of millions of pounds more than what he's actually worth. Mata does play the same position. They're after Toni Kroos. United don't need another attacker who's best playing centrally but can also play out wide.

What they do need are central midfielders. Not attacking midfielders, but all around midfielders, the sort that can boast of a defensive component to their game. But this, of course, means that United has to be able to understand what it is they most need. And which players actually fit best where. Their trusty new high-tech gadgetry isn't actually going to help them in this regard.

So you've got one of the richest clubs in the world, desperate to field a side that can not just make the top four but can bring in another title next season, casting their eye around for high-profile players to help them do just that. Even without the additional funds from Champions League, being one of the biggest clubs in the world means United have plenty of cash to spare. There's nothing, really, to stop them if they've got their eye on Hamšík.

The thing is, despite the muggings, despite his watch getting snatched off his arm, despite everything else that has happened during his time in Naples, our Marekiaro is happy where he is. Sure, sometimes players get sold in spite of that. And huge names like United can turn their heads.

But Hamšík is an integral part of this Napoli side. His dedication, his desire, his pure joy when the team succeeds - he's the backbone, as he's demonstrated time and again. Ezequiel Lavezzi left. Edinson Cavani left. Napoli still managed. Why? Because of Marek.

De Laurentiis may be crazy, but he's not stupid. He's not letting Hamšík go without a fight, and that fight will have to end with a serious wad of cash being handed over. So, United, why not make it easier on all of us and just concentrate on players that will actually help further your ambitions?