What would Fergie do? It's a question that David Moyes must ask himself constantly as he seeks to prevent Manchester United from unravelling. Or is it? No, probably not, since the chances are he knows exactly what Fergie would do because Fergie is incessantly in his ear telling him exactly what he would do. So "how do I make Fergie go away?" might be the question that Moyes is really asking himself? Moyes seemed to try to turn his predecessor off by hanging on to Wayne Rooney this season even though the not-so-silent knight appeared to want shot of him but that obviously hasn't worked.
Losing lots of matches might do it but that has a self-defeating aspect that must make Moyes bristle too, so, short of turning up to Old Trafford every day in a Kenny Dalglish T-shirt, perhaps the most obvious way that Moyes could make Fergie stay away would be to help Arsenal take United's title. That is something Fergie could not forgive, even if he himself has helped Arsenal's hopes by bequeathing a clearly deficient squad to Moyes. Still, actually selling Arsenal a player whom they urgently need, agreeing not to a Mikaël Silvestre-style caper but a kind of reverse Van Persie deal? That is as unFergie-like as free expression. And yet, some newsmongers would have us believe today that United are poised to sell Javier Hernández to Arsenal, giving the Gunners a much-needed firepower boost and possibly leaving Fergie a Little Pead off.
On the other hand, there are also suggestions that Arsène Wenger will turn not to Hernández but to Dimitar Berbatov, who could be available for as little as £2m and might be sufficiently enthused by the possibility of escaping Fulham's relegation battle to make a real contribution to an Arsenal title tilt. Berbatov would obviously just be a stopgap solution for this season, with Arsenal considering signing Loïc Rémy in the summer when his loan to Newcastle from Queens Park Rangers ends.
Moyes, meanwhile, will attempt to put recent transfer fiascos behind him and attempt finally to locate the midfielder United have needed for at least a year. Since Fergie managed to turn Paul Pogba off United, Moyes will try to lure Juventus's other inspirational midfielder, Arturo Vidal. Inevitably, the name of Yohan Cabaye must get a mention at this point but Paris Saint-Germain remain favourite to prise him from Newcastle and also fancy liberating Juan Mata from Chelsea, though only if they can offload Javier Pastore, Jérémy Ménez or perhaps even Lucas Moura, whom Fergie famously failed to attract. Liverpool are interested in all three, apparently. Ezequiel Lavezzi, however, has decided to spurn the advances of Internazionale and will stay at PSG.
Moyes is also eyeing up Dinamo Zagreb's 17-year-old striker Robert Muric. Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's first signing as Cardiff City manager is expected to be Mats Moller Daehli, who is a friendly plumber who once did a good job for Vincent Tan's uncle. Either that, or an inventive midfielder from Molde, the Mill can't quite remember. Besiktas are hoping that Joleon Lescott has become so disenchanted by his lack of action at Manchester City this season that he will countenance a move to the Turkish league. Monaco, meanwhile, are preparing a humongous offer for Vincent Kompany despite the club indicating that they are unwilling to sell and the player indicating that he is unwilling to leave. Monaco are preparing to splash out on the Anzhi striker, Lacina Traoré, giving further fuel to rumours that Radamel Falcao could soon be on his bike.
All of which leads neatly, of course, to news that Tony Pulis is lining up a bid for the Blackburn Rovers centre-back Scott Dann.