Manchester United are among a list of clubs being linked with Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare.
The 22-year-old has impressed in Ligue 1 to help Lille to the top of the table in France.
Soumare was recently linked with Manchester United, Tottenham and Leicester City in a potential £30m transfer, as per the Daily Star.
But now a report from The Athletic details how Ligue 1 could be ‘ripe to exploit’ this summer due to financial problems – not helped by the global coronavirus pandemic. This all comes down to the TV rights crisis that has engulfed the game there, deepening the financial problems caused by COVID-19 and leaving lots of clubs in a dreadful position.
A senior source at a leading French club told The Athletic: “As we speak now, we still do not know who is going to broadcast the games for the next three seasons.
“The last piece of the puzzle is that the financial regulatory body for French first- and second-division clubs (Direction Nationale du Controle de Gestion – DNCG) is taking a very hard stance on club finances. They sent a letter to all the clubs two weeks ago stating very clearly they want the books to be balanced during the summer, otherwise, they will ask the owner of a club to put a deposit down to ensure that any club beginning the season is going to end the season. There is, therefore, a hugely pressing need for most French clubs to sell players this summer.
“The problem is ‘Who will be the buyers?’ Last summer, the volume and value of sales reduced by 50 per cent, and in the January window, it decreased by more than 70 per cent. There is a lot of anxiety related to that. From where we stand, we believe there is still going to be a market for top players where there will be competition to drive prices up. But the question mark is over the middle- to lower-range players, and our problem is that there will be a lot of bargain sales and prices will go down.”
PSG are likely to avoid such issues because of their wealth, but Lille have already sold stars to Premier League clubs in recent years, like Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Magalhaes to Arsenal.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be looking in the transfer market for a midfielder, preferably someone to come in as a long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic, although the Serb has played a bit part role this season.
That said, Fred and Scott McTominay have predominately played as two sitting players this season, with Paul Scholes calling on the manager to make his midfield more focused on attacking.
Can the France Under-21 international come in and protect the back four on his own because the sooner United get away from ‘two sitting players’ the better.