Manchester Evening News ran a Q&A with Chief United Writer Samuel Luckhurst this morning and some interesting snippets surfaced as a result.
One of them being on Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who really impressed in his debut Premier League season last term, with Mourinho publicly praising the Portugal international early on in the campaign, as per MEN.
He’s definitely a player who would improve United’s midfield and we’re approaching transfer deadline day after not being in a single midfielder this summer.
Some will argue other areas needed strengthening first, like the defence, but it feels like we’ve not had a decent midfield in years.
Luckhurst was asked whether United were ever close to making a move for James Maddison of Leicester City, to which he replied: “There was/is interest in James Maddison but United never made a formal approach. They were never going to sign two of Leicester’s best players in the same summer and (wisely) decided to prioritise a centre-back, so worked on the Maguire deal for a month.”
Given how Leicester negotiated Maguire’s sale and how long it took to get over the line, I don’t think United will bother making a formal approach this late, and are best off to wait till next season to see if Maddison can replicate and build on the form that warranted interest from the Reds in the first place.
On Neves, Luckhurst claims the managerial change from José Mourinho to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen players previously considered targets removed from the list.
“Ruben Neves’ name cropped up a few times when Mourinho was in charge but has not been mentioned since Solskjaer took over. There are certain players more Mourinho than Solskjaer and Neves, though a good player, is more Mourinho. Ditto Toby Alderweireld.”
The Red Devils have spent an initial £140m on Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire but have also been linked with an array of midfielders and forwards, so is anything bound to happen in the next 24 hours or so?
I guess it depends on whether a player they fancy becomes available but right now it doesn’t sound like anything is happening…