Manchester United’s Transfer Targets

One of the major differences Jose Mourinho has brought to Old Trafford which few United managers have shared in recent years has been a matter of fact willingness to discuss potential transfer targets. As with any manager, he needs to be cautious not to be accused of ‘tapping-up’, however, the general consensus is that when the media are the ones asking then it’s perfectly fine to state a carefully worded reply. So far we’ve seen this as work in almost all of the transfers that he has made.

So far we’ve seen this as work in almost all of the transfers that he has made. The Lukaku saga dragged on for weeks, and in just a similar way to the latest speculation/courting of England defender Danny Rose. The only major deal that was kept hush-hush until just before it was announced was that involving Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic, possibly because Mourinho (a long time fan of the player) couldn’t believe his luck that Chelsea was willing to part with him.

So what other transfers may be on the horizon for the Red Devils? Some are so close to completion they’ll likely be completed during this window, others maybe not until winter or even next summer (if at all). Here’s a run through of the big name deals awaiting completion.

1) Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Besides picking up a nasty injury that saw him miss out the last stage of the season, Zlatan demonstrated in his first year with United that he’s more than capable of still performing regularly at the top level. One of the stars of his generation and at 35 still a natural leader and goalscorer, his wages will be astronomical but the advantage of no transfer fee being involved makes a rumored £12m annual salary small change to United.

Expect this one to go through, even though £80m man Romelu Lukaku will likely start most games.

2) Antoine Griezmann
Sometimes rumors just drag on for years and the Frenchman has been linked with a move to United for a couple of seasons now. An athletic, pacy and angular player who truly has all the attributes you’d need in a modern complete forward, it would be unlikely for Griezmann to struggle to adapt to the Premier League. The problem is that Athletico are sick of losing their star player every year, and have no need to sell. The player himself is said to open to a move, but may well have come to a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with the Athletico board to stick around for one more season out of good will.

Unlikely to happen this season, especially if Zlatan returns. If he has another excellent season and performs well at next years World Cup, the current inflation and market forces would suggest he could demand a world record transfer fee.

3) Danny Rose
The player controversially opined last week that he felt underpaid and underappreciated at Spurs. You can see his point; former fellow teammate Kyle Walker had recently signed for Man City for £50m and treble Rose’s current salary. Rose is no worse player than Walker, so when Manchester United made inquiries it was obvious he’d start agitating for a move. Yet one again Spurs do not need to sell – and if anything they need to buy.

Until today the deal had looked scuppered, but word is that Tottenham are about to seal the signing of Serge Aurier in a £25m deal from PSG. This would be a like for like signing to replace Rose, so maybe he’ll end up in Manchester before the window closes after all.

4) Andre Gomes
Barcelona may hardly short of cash at the moment but may just be tempted to cut their losses with Gomes, a signing last summer from Valencia. Despite being one of the highest rated young midfielders in Spain, he just hasn’t been able to pin down a regular first team place and is believed to be very interested at linking up with fellow Portuguese Mourinho. It may not be the sensational signing that supporters would be hoping for, but it would help add another option in midfield especially with club captain Michael Carrick now closer to 40 than 30.

Very high chance this one could happen soon. A fee of around £20m has been suggested.

5) Dele Alli
If this one happens Man Utd fan will be excused for wanting to go play slot machines Euro Palace casino because they’ll have hit the jackpot! Alli is understood to be happy at Spurs for now but could have his head turned if they struggle to improve on last seasons excellent progress. Plus historically Manchester United tend to have a thing for having Englands best midfielder in their colors when it’s a World Cup year.

If it happens, on current mark valuations and with his nationality bumping up his value, even more, a bid in excess of £100m could get it over the line – but much more likely an option for next season.