Manchester United are clicking through the gears in their transfer activity and fans at Old Trafford will hope to see some exciting incomings before too long.
With cash flow tighter than it’s ever been, there will be pressure on the recruitment guys not to waste money in their pursuit of the best talent. They need to get the deals right while coping with the counter-pressure of keeping up with their rivals, particularly at the top end of the Premier League.
Manchester United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made good progress in the second half of the Premier League season, but knows the Red Devils are way behind the top two while the chasing pack are all trying to strengthen. The Premier League 2020/21 betting odds, here at SBOBET, will have Liverpool and Manchester City as the key players in the title race next year, and that will hurt the hierarchy at Manchester United.
Big teams eyeing big moves
There has been a shift in transfer activity in recent years with Premier League clubs willing to pay top dollar for defenders, smashing the world transfer records for back-four players over the past two seasons. First Virgil Van Dijk moved from Southampton to Liverpool for an eye-watering £75m, but that seems to have paid off handsomely, and then the Red Devils stunned the football world by shelling out £80m for Harry Maguire. So far, during this window, Manchester City have brought in central defender Nathan Ake in a £40m deal from relegated Bournemouth, while also tracking Atletico Madrid centre back Jose Gimenez.
Meanwhile Chelsea, who finished in fourth place to win a Champions League berth, have moved quickly in the market. Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have already arrived at Stamford Bridge just as Brazilian winger Willian has exited on his way to Arsenal, to follow in the footsteps of David Luiz. And there are reports that head coach Frank Lampard is closing in on a deal to bring Leicester City’s highly rated wing-back Ben Chilwell to the Bridge.
So how are the money men at the Theatre of Dreams responding?
Well, the Red Devils have already made room in their kitty by offloading Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan, and there could be another outgoing to balance the books. Scudetto winners Juventus are rumoured to be preparing a move to bring United’s unsettled midfielder, Paul Pogba, to Turin, with striker Paulo Dybala heading the other way to sweeten the deal.
And Solskjaer is hoping his recruitment team can persuade Atletico Madrid to part with midfield star Saul Niguez, and that the player will be tempted by a reputed £150k a week deal. United fans already like Saul after he scored against their arch-rivals Liverpool to dump them out of the Champions League!
But United may find it more difficult to land Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho after the BVB chief executive made clear the Germans’ determination to hold on to the England winger. Hans Joachim Watzke has all but closed the door, saying: “Definite means definite. Jadon will play with us for the 2020/21 season and there is no room for interpretation.”
Goalkeepers at a premium
While a big defender transfer made the headlines last season, Chelsea’s search for a goal-keeper looks set to feature heavily in the Premier League 2020/21 news. They splashed a record 80 million Euros on Kepa two years ago but it just hasn’t worked out for the Spaniard. And so the Blues are still looking for a suitable replacement for fans favourite Thibaut Courtois who went to Real Madrid in 2018.
Lampard has been tracking Jan Oblak, but might be put off by the £110m price tag Atletico Madrid have slapped on their keeper. But one rumour that won’t go away is a potential move for Burnley’s England stopper Nick Pope who narrowly missed out on the Golden Gloves this season. The Clarets have already signed 27-year-old Wolves keeper Will Norris as back-up, and have Northern Ireland youngster Bailey Peacock-Farrell ready to follow Tom Heaton and Pope into the Burnley goal.
But boss Sean Dyche insists Burnley is no longer a selling club and the Lancashire outfit would drive a hard bargain.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth have accepted an £18.5m offer from Sheffield United for their keeper Aaron Ramsdale, as Dean Henderson looks set to make his name back in Manchester with United.
Ramsdale impressed for the Cherries this season, making 37 appearances behind a rather leaky defence!
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