With Giggs and Scholes already past the 30-mark, I think Fergie realizes that not only does he have to replace Keane, but he needs to start looking into Scholes replacements. In effect, he seems to be looking to bring in two new players who will as a pair replace the Scholes-Keane midfield partnership of yesteryear. This thread is a little premature, but if the rumours concerning Hargreaves are true then it looks like it's going to be a Carrick-Hargreaves partnership that will be the future of Manchester United. Both are deep-lying central midfielders, which would apparently be necessary to accomodate wingers like Ronaldo and Park, who aren't as effective in covering for their fullbacks as Giggs and Beckham were in their heyday. I think the Carrick-Hargreaves midfield would be quite well-balanced. On one hand you have Carrick's vision, passing range, and playmaking abilities, while on the other hand you have Hargreaves' energy, tenacity and stamina. Both players are quite underrated by the general public, but neither are in the same league as Keane or Scholes. A lot of people will have their own ideas of how £30m could be better spent on restructuring our midfield - names like Diarra, Mascherano, Yaya Toure, Zokora, Nolan, Reo-Coker, etc will no doubt be mentioned. Fergie has said before that signing foreign players always represents a larger risk because they (i) find it harder to adjust to the new culture, playing style etc, and (ii) are less likely to pledge their long-term futures to the club. With players like Veron and Kleberson (who cost him over 30m combined) at the back of his mind, I think he has opted to buy English. We know that Carrick has the quality to hack it in the Premiership - he just needs to be able to adjust to his new teammates and keep fit. Hargreaves' playing style on the other hand is well-suited to the Premiership, and though he is Canadian, he has a lot of experience with Premiership players through representing England. I don't quite agree with having to pay over the odds for Hargreaves, but at the same time I think this new-look midfield partnership could just work for us. Both players are relatively young, but at the same time experienced; if they manage to build a good rapport together they could be first-choice midfield partnership for the next few years. There's no guarantee that David Jones, Fletcher or Gibson will make themselves fixtures in the starting XI, so we could wind up with Hargrick as our midfield combo once Scholes is out of the picture. I can't say I'm thrilled, but we need to be reasonable and realize that replacing Keane and Scholes was never going to be easy, or even possible! Players of their ability level are either past it as well (e.g. Vieira) or simply beyond our reach (Gerrard, Gattuso, Pirlo). I think Fergie is playing it safe - if he wanted to take a risk, he would look into signing emerging talents like Mascherano or Fernando Gago.