According to the newspapers, Manchester United have already set their sights on a whole host of targets this summer – all of which would see the club spend some SERIOUS cash during the window.
Given the fact they’ve just spent major money on Bruno Fernandes, it seems as though any more big money deals will be few and far between in the summer window, but a list of targets is already emerging for United. So, who are they?
Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund to United?
The first name on the list will come as no surprise to anybody – Jadon Sancho. This young man has been nothing short of a revelation since he moved to Borussia Dortmund two and a half years ago.
Since he has come through at Dortmund, he has made the right wing position for the Black and Yellow very much his own. With scintillating skills, a fantastic eye for a pass and a nose for the back of the net – he has attracted suitors in the shape of some of Europe’s most elite clubs. According to the Evening Standard, United are one of them.
As reported in the Sun, if United are to sign the 19-year-old (I know… I can’t believe he’s still only 19 either), they will face stiff competition from rivals Liverpool, as well as the likes of Chelsea.
Do they need Sancho? Well, as far as I’m concerned, yes they do. Daniel James is a fantastic young player to have around the dressing room and on the pitch, but his end product simply isn’t good enough… yet.
For me, he would benefit from a season or two playing understudy to a world class footballer like Sancho – but United should most definitely not give up with him. It’ll be tough for him to get back in the side if Sancho arrives though, but that just means he’ll have to work that bit harder.
James Maddison – Leicester City
For me, there aren’t too many better attacking midfielders in European football right now than James Maddison – unfortunately for him, Manchester United have just signed one of them.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes to me makes this transfer obsolete. They are both primarily attacking midfielders who like to get forward and score goals – having both means one would have to play out of position, which is a waste of time to me.
Despite that, the Evening Standard are still linking United with a summer move for the Leicester City star.
As a result, I can’t see this one happening at all to be honest. For me, United need to sell Pogba to recoup some of the mounds of cash they’re allegedly going to spend and then reinvest that money on a world class defensive midfielder – an Ngolo Kante or Fabinho type player.
Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli
Manchester United have not long since spent a whole chunk of dough on a central defender in the shape of one Harry Maguire. The England international became the most expensive defender in history last summer as United paid £85m to Leicester City to procure his services.
This season, he’s often played alongside Victor Lindelof at the back, but hasn’t really lived up to the rather massive price-tag currently attached to his name. He has however been a little better since being made club captain following the departure of Ashley Young.
As such, United have reportedly turned their attention to Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly. The Senegalese defender has been repeatedly linked with moves to the Premier League for a few years now.
According to the Mirror, he is viewed as the “perfect partner” for Harry Maguire, and, as per the Star, Manchester United are willing to meet the £90m valuation of him.
For me, this is a deal that has been in the pipeline for a long time and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it happen this summer. It seems unlikely United will break the world record fee for a central defender twice in the space of 12 months, but I can see Koulibaly in a Manchester United shirt this summer.
Where is the money coming from for United?
United are obviously one of the most profitable football clubs on the planet, and you can be damn sure they will post massive profits once again when they announce their annual accounts this year.
Despite that, they can’t just pump hundreds of millions of pounds into squad development without sanctioning at least one big name departure. It seems clear as day that the man to leave will likely be Paul Pogba.
According to the Evening Standard, United value the Frenchman at somewhere around the £150m region following interest from the Spanish capital last summer.
Given that he’s spent most of the season on the treatment table, I would expect that valuation to have decreased somewhat. Even still, if United can successfully offload Pogba this summer, they’ll see a rather large sum hit their bank account regardless of where he ends up.
Other candidates who could be on the way out include the likes of Jesse Lingard, who has struggled to impress this season. Also, I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see Luke Shaw head out given his struggles over the last two year.
If United manage to get Sancho and/or a striker through the door too, I’d expect Anthony Martial to start kicking up a stink about leaving pretty sharpish too.