Football is fast approaching one of the most exciting times of the year – the summer transfer window. The frantic hustle and bustle of sealing long-standing targets and quick-fire last-minute deals are nearly here!
Manchester United are likely to feature heavily when it comes to transfer news over the next couple of months.
The Red Devils look set for a busy window, however, while the sums involved in this summer’s transfer window are unlikely to be astronomical, the activity should still be there.
Prior to successfully extending striker Edinson Cavani’s contract extension, a striker was the Red Devils’ priority position.
In an attempt to use the relentless links to Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland to their advantage, United were looking to publicly appear in pursuit of the Norweigan but instead secretly pursue Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane.
The aim was to draw the focus to Haaland but work behind the scenes to land Kane.
These plans have since been scuppered following Cavani’s decision to stay and while a new striker will soon be back on the club’s wish-list, one is unlikely to be signed this summer.
Following the club’s striker plans being put on hold, Jadon Sancho is now back in with a real chance of securing his long-awaited Old Trafford switch.
Although United are not the only club interested in Sancho’s impending Dortmund departure, they are without a doubt frontrunners to secure a summer deal.
Several of Europe’s top clubs are big admirers of Sancho, however, the player only really sees his immediate future in the Premier League – Liverpool are also interested but accept their failure to secure Champions League football next season would likely rule them out.
United’s mission to finally land Sancho has been boosted by Borussia Dortmund recently enquiring to another Premier League club about their winger – although their efforts were quickly dismissed, it is becoming increasingly more apparent the Black and Yellows are beginning to sound out a replacement for their talented Englishman.
Elsewhere, as covered extensively, a new centre-back remains another area requiring reinforcement.
United’s recruitment team are in contact with several players and representatives over possible summer switches but all talks at this stage are understood to be at an initial feeling out stage.
The Red Devils’ head of player negotiations, Matt Judge, spoke with super-agent Frank Trimboli only the other week with a view to understanding Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane’s summer plans.
In addition to Varane, the club remains in frequent contact with Villarreal’s Pau Torres – however, there is a view shared among those close to him that a summer move, to any club, is unlikely to materialise until after this summer’s European Championships.
Feelings among sources in Spain suggest that Torres is waiting for Real Madrid to make a formal approach.
Despite the sounding out of Varane and Torres and although a new centre-back is high up on the list for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, several sources have indicated that they expect the club to acquire a lesser-known, cheaper defender and splash the bulk of their budget on an offensive target.
In terms of possible outgoings, this summer could see many departures, but perhaps more loan moves than permanent deals.
Defender Phil Jones is expected to move on – however, given his torrid time with injuries, sources have suggested the Englishman’s only real options are likely to be a season-long loan with a possible optional future fee added as a clause.
Elsewhere, although not certain to move on, defenders Diogo Dalot and Axel Tuanzebe are yet to learn what their United futures hold.
Dalot, who is currently on loan with AC Milan, is a player who could move on, however, sources have hinted on numerous occasions that Brandon Williams’ squad status next year is likely to influence the club’s decision to retain or offload the Portuguese defender. Should Williams go out on loan, Dalot’s chances of staying at Old Trafford will be increased.
Tuanzebe, who put in a decent performance on Tuesday night against Leicester City, is a player whose situation has been described to us as ‘up in the air’ – the club is not opposed to any one of three summer outcomes – a loan, a permanent sale, or retaining his services are all equally as possible at this moment in time.
In addition to United’s back-line, the goalkeeping position remains one of interest – following the emergence of Dean Henderson, veteran David De Gea has seen his playing time heavily restricted.
While there is no summer plan currently in place for De Gea, sources have suggested that United are prepared for another Sanchez-esque departure.
Given the Spaniard’s sky-high wages, it’s going to be virtually impossible to find a club willing to pay his salary in full.
Taking that into consideration, Stretty News understands a future loan-move with an option to purchase could be on the cards, however, should this materialise, United will almost certainly be forced to cover a proportion of the costs.
Outcasted shot-stopper Sergio Romero will certainly be leaving in the coming weeks and while the South American is not short of admirers – we understand one real possible destination is Italian side Roma.
Following Jose Mourinho’s recent appointment, the Serie A club could turn to Romero as the Portuguese manager’s first task will be to sign a new goalkeeper.
Finally, there is good news for midfielder Donny van de Beek, as recently, we have been informed that the Dutchman will not be going anywhere this summer and is in fact expecting a lot more game time next season.