A series of updates surrounding Premier League giants Manchester United’s efforts on the transfer front have surfaced online on Thursday.
Madrid stars incoming
The first centers on a potential pair of reinforcements to the Red Devils’ backline.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is known to be on the lookout for fresh faces at the heart of his defence ahead of next season, with one player in particular having been hotly tipped to fill the role.
The stopper in question? Raphael Varane.
World Cup winner Varane is reportedly keen on a new adventure, having spent the last decade plying his trade in the Spanish capital with Real Madrid.
Those in a position of power at Old Trafford, in turn, have made clear their intention to take advantage of the opportunity.
And, if the latest word doing the rounds in the media on Friday is anything to go by, it appears that Solskjaer and co. are inching ever closer to an agreement for Los Blancos’ star defender.
As per a report from The Sun, since pushed by a host of other outlets, a deal to take Varane to the Theatre of Dreams this summer is now ‘all but done’.
Not only that, but it is also suggested that United are on the verge of adding to their options at right-back.
The same report suggests that the Red Devils’ La Liga shopping spree is set to continue beyond Varane’s addition, with an agreement with Atletico Madrid over the signing of Kieran Trippier just details from being found.
Both stoppers, in turn, could be announced as new Manchester United players by the end of next week.
#MUFC are making some serious moves this summer…
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 16, 2021
The next two rumours surrounding ongoings at Old Trafford focus on potential reinforcements in the middle of the park.
And both may come as something of a surprise.
First, word stemming from France has named Lyon star Houssem Aouar as a target of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
French international Aouar was of course widely expected to make the move to the Premier League last summer, when Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal set their sights firmly on the 23-year-old’s signature.
In the end, evidently, a deal was not forthcoming between the two clubs, forcing Aouar to stay put for another season.
Despite the midfielder having struggled to replicate his stellar form across the recently-completed campaign, though, Aouar’s unquestionable talents mean it has come as little surprise to see links with a move to England, once again, ramp up since the opening of the summer transfer window.
Reports over recent days have pointed towards North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham as the leading contenders for the Lyon man’s services, but, according to journalist Julien Laurens of ESPN, Manchester United, and Liverpool, have now joined the hunt.
Solskjaer is said to view Aouar as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba at Old Trafford, amid the 28-year-old’s persistent links with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.
If Pogba, in the end, opts to force a departure, a Reds swoop for Lyon’s creative conductor could therefore be forthcoming.
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) July 16, 2021
Whilst Aouar may fill a need further forward, though, it appears that the board on the red half of Manchester are also eyeing the addition of a more deep-lying option in the middle of the park.
With Nemanja Matic now well past his sell by date, and the pairing of Fred and Scott McTominay simply not of the standard required of a side with aspirations of a Premier League title challenge, it should not come as too much of a shock to hear that United are indeed keen to bring in a new no.6.
The first-choice target on the part of Solskjaer and co., understandably, is believed to be West Ham United standout Declan Rice.
With Rice’s starring displays at the European Championships only likely to have added further to the Hammers’ already hefty valuation of their midfield star, though, United may be forced to look elsewhere.
And, on Friday, one potential alternative has been named in the English media.
The player in question? Ruben Neves.
According to The Daily Star, should the Red Devils fall short in their pursuit of Rice, attentions could quickly be turned to Wolverhampton Wanderers enforcer Neves.
Whilst of course not a like-for-like alternative, it is understood that Solskjaer would appreciate the Portuguese’s ball-playing abilities at the base of his midfield three.
Adding further to the intrigue on United’s part, meanwhile, is the fact that Neves would likely set the club back around £40 million less than first-choice target Rice.
— Daily Star Sport (@DailyStar_Sport) July 16, 2021
“You’d like to think Adidas would get my name right” – Manchester United player reacts to kit unveiling
Manchester United betting odds, next game:
Manchester United's latest videos
Manchester United latest news
Premier League table
|6||Brighton & Hove Albion||7||3||14|
|9||West Ham United||7||4||11|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||7|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||5|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||5|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||4|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||4|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion||4|
|Sarr, Ismaila||Watford FC||4|
|Greenwood, Mason||Manchester United||4|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||3|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||3|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||3|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||3|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||3|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||3|
|Lukaku, Romelu||Chelsea FC||3|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||3|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||3|
|Hwang, Hee-chan||Wolverhampton Wanderers||3|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||0||4|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||4|
|Veltman, Joel||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||4|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||3|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||3|
|Cooper, Liam||Leeds United||0||3|
|Duffy, Shane||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||3|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford FC||0||3|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||0||3|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||3|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||3|
|Canos, Sergi||Brentford FC||0||3|
|Struijk, Pascal||Leeds United||1||2|
|Brownhill, Josh||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Etebo, Oghenekaro||Watford FC||0||3|
|Djenepo, Moussa||Southampton FC||0||3|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||0||1|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||0||2|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle United||3|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||2|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||2|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||2|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford FC||2|
|Jimenez, Raul||Wolverhampton Wanderers||2|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||2|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||2|
|Azpilicueta, Cesar||Chelsea FC||2|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton & Hove Albion||2|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||2|
|Lindelof, Victor||Manchester United||2|
|Pereira, Ricardo||Leicester City||2|