Manchester United issued a triple statement of intent during the summer transfer window – but who might be on their radar for January?
Having finished as runners-up to Manchester City last term, key figures responsible for deals at Old Trafford signed Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and returning five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
A large chunk of their budget was taken up by those three high-profile additions.
As a result, the Premier League giants were unable to complete a follow-up pursuit for a quality defensive midfield player – that has, instead, been earmarked as a priority for United next summer.
There is, of course, one more opportunity to strike up business before then.
Here are 22 players who have been linked with moves to United ahead of the January transfer window;
Karim Adeyemi: Seemingly the next kid on the block. A product of the RB Salzburg academy, the 19-year-old has helped fill the void left by Erling Haaland after his departure to Borussia Dortmund in January 2020.
Nicolo Barella: A key player for Inter Milan and Italy – and one of several midfielders on this list. That’s not a shock, though, given how United fared in the summer market.
Jude Bellingham: Quite simply one of the hottest prospects on the planet. Whenever the England starlet decides to move on from Dortmund, expect a lengthy queue for his signature – and United will want to be in the hunt.
Yves Bissouma: Earning rave reviews for his on-field displays, the Brighton player has had his bail extended after being arrested on suspicion of assault.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: Understudy to Harry Kane in the England squad, the Everton striker has developed nicely over the last two years and has scored four goals in 11 international appearances. United, Arsenal and Saudi-backed Newcastle have been linked with a big-money swoop.
Federico Chiesa: Reports suggesting Ronaldo is a huge fan of the player emerged last month. On loan with Serie A giants Juventus from Fiorentina, the jet-heeled forward shone for Italy at Euro 2020 this summer.
Marcelo Brozovic: Another (of many) potential candidate for the holding midfield role, the Croatian helped Inter win their first Scudetto in over a decade last season.
Leon Goretzka: One of countless central midfielders linked with United during the summer. However, since then, the Germany international has penned a new contract at Bayern Munich that will keep him at the Allianz Arena for another five years.
Erling Haaland: A high-profile scramble is poised to ensure for the Dortmund goal machine. It’s reported Haaland has a near-€70million release clause that will become active at some stage this season. Might the Norwegian stay put amid that widespread interest, though?
Boubacar Kamara: A holding midfielder, check. Into the final year of his contract, check. Linked with United? You get the picture. Whenever the Old Trafford giants do find an answer to this transfer conundrum, there are set to be some empty rumour pages…
Franck Kessie: Similarly to Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba, the AC Milan player will become a free agent at the end of this campaign – unless fresh terms are agreed. An alternative to Declan Rice, perhaps, the 24-year-old fits the bill for that ‘problem’ holding position.
Jules Kounde: Before settling on Varane and a £34million deal with Real Madrid, the highly-rated Frenchman, who currently plays for Sevilla, was reported to have Chelsea and United battling it out.
Wilfred Ndidi: Highly-rated and already fully accustomed to the intense demands of the Premier League, will the all-action Leicester City midfielder come into the reckoning for United next summer? Perhaps another one to keep an eye on if Rice falls by the wayside.
Darwin Nunez: A match-winning double vs Barcelona on matchday two in the Champions League underlined his standing as one to watch. The 22-year-old is thought to have United, City, Liverpool and Bayern tracking him amid superb goalscoring form at his current club, Benfica.
Dani Olmo: Currently with RB Leipzig, the Spain international has been mooted as a target for United, while cash-strapped La Liga giants Barcelona are thought to hold the key to his signature – as things stand.
Declan Rice: Despite concerns over the amount West Ham might command for his gut-busting services, the MEN understands Rice is still target number one as key figures responsible for deals at Old Trafford seek to address their top priority – most likely next summer.
Kalvin Phillips: Rumours, links or moves between Leeds United and Old Trafford are always controversial; just ask Eric Cantona or Alan Smith. Phillips no doubt fits the profile, but the latest suggestion is the England player wants to extend his stay at Elland Road, rather than head across the M62.
Caglar Soyuncu: A tentative link for the Leicester player has been made amid suggestions Brendan Rodgers might be the man to replace under-pressure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United manager.
Aurelien Tchoumeni: He’s drawn high praise from Pogba and other France teammates for his early performances on the international stage. The irony here is that, if United do come calling, it would almost certainly be with a view to replacing Pogba, rather than featuring alongside him.
Youri Tielemans: Copy and paste from Soyuncu – though Tielemans has the ability to play Champions League and will, no doubt, be a man in demand in that regard at some stage.
Kieran Trippier: One of the players who got away from United this summer. It’s thought they and Atletico Madrid were some way off in their valuation for the former Burnley and Tottenham man – who has expressed an interest to return to the UK.
Denis Zakaria: More likely to be a target for neighbours City, the Swiss fits the profile in central midfielder and has excelled for Borussia Monchengladbach, once again, this season.
Man United prepare swap offer to sign £68.2million star
Manchester United signed Edinson Cavani on a one-year deal last year and after an impressive campaign, the Uruguayan was handed a new deal worth £250,000-a-week (The Sun).
The veteran center forward started 24 games in all competitions for the Red Devils last term and directly contributed in 23 goals (17 goals and 6 assists).
However, in the current season, the South American striker has mainly warmed the bench since the arrival of Ronaldo and has also missed a handful of games due to injury concerns. He has netted a goal in just 2 starts.
As per reports going on in the media (The Mirror via MEN) Man Utd are preparing to offer Edinson Cavani in order to sign French international Jules Kounde from Sevilla.
A couple of days ago, Marca reported that the Old Trafford outfit have revived their interest to sign the central defender but the Andalusian club would not be willing to negotiate in the winter transfer window.
The Spanish news source have claimed that the 23-year-old is protected by a massive clause of 80 million euros (£68.2million) and Sevilla believe that no side will activate the clause to get the signing done in January.
Man Utd duo ‘pushing’ for January transfer exits due to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United outcasts Donny van de Beek and Dean Henderson are seeking January exits due to their repeated snubs by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it’s been claimed.
The duo have a meagre tally of three starts between them this season, with neither in the first-team frame under manager Solskjaer.
Henderson, 24, served as No.1 goalkeeper for a spell earlier this year, but a hip injury and the effects of long Covid mean he once again finds himself David de Gea ‘s back-up.
Van de Beek, also 24, has never had an extended run in the side since his £40million arrival from Ajax in September 2020.
The attacking midfielder is unable to play at No.10 due to Bruno Fernandes ‘ presence in the side and Solskjaer has been reluctant to hand him a deeper role.
Van de Beek has not hidden his displeasure at his lack of minutes and needed to be restrained by his teammates after Solskjaer chose not to substitute him on against Villarreal in late September.
The Dutchman will push to leave the club in the January transfer window and could be followed out the door by Henderson, claims the Daily Mail .
The shot-stopper has been left out of the last three England squads, including the latest one, since he withdrew from Euro 2020 with a hip injury.
Henderson harbours ambitions of being first-choice between the posts for club and country, but his lack of opportunities at United means he is far from fulfilling his goals.
De Gea, 31, cut his summer break short in order to return to Carrington early for pre-season in a move which impressed Solskjaer.
The Spaniard has largely impressed in the Premier League and Champions League this campaign, whereas Henderson’s only appearance came in the 1-0 defeat by West Ham United in the Carabao Cup.
Newcastle United are believed to be monitoring Henderson, but the Red Devils would be reluctant to let him leave midway through the season.
That is despite the club adding another experienced goalkeeping option over the summer by signing Tom Heaton on a free transfer.
Elsewhere, the report adds Phil Jones could be on the way out in two months’ time, having last featured for the first team at the start of 2020.
The centre-back, 29, is United’s longest-serving player and has a great many suitors in the Championship.
£78,000-a-week star would like to sign for Manchester United – Report
Manchester United have spent a lot of cash to improve the back-line under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
To reinforce the fullback positions, the Norwegian manager lured Wan-Bissaka and Telles. On the other hand, for the central defense, the club legend brought big money signings in the form of Maguire and Varane. Still, the results have been horrific this season.
The Red Devils have only won one of the last six Premier League fixtures and have lost four and in my view, it is shocking that Ole has not been sacked as yet.
If reports in the media are anything to go by then once again, Kieran Trippier is linked with a move to Old Trafford. In the summer, Man Utd wanted to hire his services but as per AS, Atletico Madrid refused to sell him. The Spanish news source have mentioned that the 31-year-old right back likes Manchester United and would like to return to the City.
Last season, the former Tottenham Hotspur man was a key member of Diego Simeone’s squad that won the La Liga title. Moreover, the veteran defender was brilliant for the England national side that reached the final of the European Championships.
Trippier’s current deal with the Rojiblancos will expire in 2023 and he earns around £78,000-a-week star (The Express). In August, the Colchoneros were looking for a fee of 40 million euros (AS).
In your view, who should Man Utd sign to improve their defense? Should they move in to lure Kieran Trippier?
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