The international transfer window closes at 11pm UK time tonight. Although domestic transfers will still be possible after that time, any players bought would not be eligible to play in Europe, as UEFA’s deadline for registering players is tomorrow.
Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles are understood to be ‘in the bag’. Both have received the famous Fabrizio Romano ‘Here we go!’ and were scheduled for medicals at Carrington late last night, with official announcements expected today.
However, the feeling around Old Trafford is that United are not done yet. So who else might be arriving before 11pm this evening?
Even the most optimistic of fans now probably accepts that Jadon Sancho will not be joining United in this transfer window, but a right winger has always been the top priority, so an alternative will almost certainly be sought.
The most likely candidate is Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele. There are a number of problems associated with the deal. First, both Barcelona and Dembele himself would prefer a permanent deal – figures around the £45-£55 million mark have been mooted. Barca want to sell to raise funds to buy Memphis Depay. But United only want a loan due to their ongoing interest in Sancho and to concerns over Dembele’s dreadful injury history.
Another issue is that the 23-year-old also normally operates as a left-winger rather than on the right, but he is two-footed so should be comfortable on either flank.
Romano reports that talks are ongoing.
One Sancho alternative who can be crossed off the list is Fiorentino’s talented 22-year-old Federico Chiesa, who is set to join Juventus in a £45 million deal.
Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos is another possibility. The Argentinian impressed against United in the Europa League semi-final and could be available for around £40 million.
Ocampos scored 17 goals in 44 games for Sevilla last season – his first for the Spanish side following a £13.5 million move from Marseille. Sevilla’s sporting director Monchi may consider tripling that fee in a single season to be good business – he is, after all, a pragmatist.
Other names that have been floated as Sancho alternatives are Juventus’ Douglas Costa and Inter’s Ivan Perisic.
Elsewhere on the pitch, yesterday’s 6-1 thrashing by Spurs may have convinced the United board that a new centre-back cannot wait any longer after all. If a move is made in this direction, it would have to be an experienced player who is ready to hit the ground running.
United could surprise everyone with a quick raid on Napoli for Kalidou Koulibaly, hoping that club president Aurelio Di Laurentiis will drop his £72 million asking price for the 29-year-old.
Another bold move would be to lodge a £45-£50 million bid for Red Bull Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano. The 21-year-old’s £38 million buy-out clause does not become active until June, so an inviting bid a few million over that amount may be something United will be tempted to try.