Possible Man United Transfer Targets!
Rumours linking the club to West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic didn’t exactly get Man United fans’ juices flowing yesterday, following days of speculation linking the club to Gareth Bale and a Ronaldo return.
As in every transfer window, the Red Devils are linked to dozens of players but who do they actually need? We take a look.
It says a lot about United’s recent scattergun approach to the transfer market in recent years that the club’s first-choice back five have often been players at the club since Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign. Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have performed admirably but Jose Mourinho is looking to upgrade on these converted wingers.
The British Options:
Fulham’s promotion might delay his departure but Ryan Sessegnon is a man, or boy actually, in demand. The Cottagers are said to value the Championship player of the year at a whopping £100m which would surely put off fellow suitors Tottenham.
Liverpool have shown how the capture of a Scottish left-back can shake up their defence and United have been consistently linked with Andrew Robertson’s friend and Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney. He would cost considerably less than Sessegnon but has consistently stated his commitment to the Bhoys, signing a new six-year deal last year.
The Overseas Options:
Mourinho’s last defensive signing from the Primeira Liga in Portugal hasn’t exactly set the world alight, with Vincent Lindelof restricted to 17 league appearances in his first season at Old Trafford. However, it hasn’t stopped him targeting Porto youngster Diogo Dalot as a long-term replacement for Valencia at right-back. His release clause of £17.5m is hardly prohibitive for a club of United’s means but his relative inexperience should be a concern – he’s only made six appearances for the Portuguese champions.
Another compatriot of Mourinho’s, Joao Cancelo, has been on loan at Inter Milan from Valencia but it’s thought that the Serie A club are unable to afford to make his switch permanent. A £30m move to Old Trafford has been mooted for the 24-year-old, who can also play on the right wing.
Mourinho has options in central defence – Smalling, Jones, Bailly, Rojo and Blind – but has failed to find a duo worth lacing the boots of Bruce and Pallister, never mind Ferdinand and Vidic. Any of the Liverpool targets here would go some way to addressing this problem position.
The Overseas Option:
Mourinho is fond of a big name signing and they don’t come much bigger than Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The Borussia Dortmund defender has been heavily linked in recent days with a reunion at Arsenal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the Gunners’ new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat. However, the German media have reported that United have made a late approach for the player, who would not break the bank at around £20m.
The British Option:
Harry Maguire has blossomed at Leicester City, so much so that he is now ahead of United stalwarts Jones and Smalling in the England pecking order. Maguire scored a late equaliser against United in December and Mourinho is a known admirer. A figure of £35m has been mooted for the 25-year-old.
With Michael Carrick retiring and Marouane Fellaini stalling over a new contract, Mourinho is eager to bring in some midfield reinforcements. Long-term target Fabinho has already joined Liverpool, while another player they have monitored – Jorginho – looks set to join Manchester City.
The Overseas Options:
United have reportedly already had a bid turned down for Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and it could take a club record fee to prise the Serbian from Serie A. The Lazio president has revealed that the club turned down a £96m bid for the 23-year-old last summer but a failure to qualify for the Champions League might force a sale. Mourinho managed the player’s agent, Mateja Kezman, during his first spell at Chelsea.
United have tracked Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred for a number of months and Mourinho has set an ultimatum for the deal to be completed before the World Cup commences, with the midfielder making Brazil’s 23-man squad.
The British Option:
Jack Grealish starred for Aston Villa this season but their failure to win promotion in the Championship play-off final and the tightening of the purse-string at Villa Park may mean a move is on the cards.