Three transfer stories doing the rounds at the moment and involving Manchester United are almost certainly being generated by the respective players’ agents or selling clubs trying to reduce their wage bill.
First, reports linking the Red Devils with a January move for Inter Milan’s Christian Eriksen are being peddled in the Italian media, but it seems highly unlikely that there will be any interest from United at this stage.
Aside from the fact that Eriksen already declined a move to Old Trafford – not a deal breaker but not something that encourages the club to return for a player – with Donny van de Beek having joined Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba on the attacking midfield roster, United simply do not require a fourth playmaker.
Even if Pogba were to leave, it would not be a priority position.
The ‘Eriksen back to the Premier League’ stories probably originate from Inter themselves, as the player has struggled to adapt to the Italian game, having not registered a single goal or assist in nine outings for the Nerazzurri.
Another story that is probably being pushed out by the selling club is that United may go back in for Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele in January.
The Red Devils tried to sign the Frenchman on loan this summer but the move did not come about because Barça were keen to sell in order to raise funds to strengthen in other areas. There were also reports that the player himself did not want to leave Spain.
The latest reports from the Spanish press would appear to be another attempt by the Blaugrana to tempt United into acting, perhaps believing that the Reds might be more persuaded to make a permanent deal having seen the player avoid injury for a few months – his injury record was their main reason in the summer for wanting a loan only.
This one is not impossible, but with Atalanta’s right-wing prodigy Amad Diallo arriving in January it seems far more likely that United will wait until June, when they could make another attempt to sign their preferred target of Jadon Sancho before returning for Dembele.
The third story is one that has been rumbling around for a few weeks involving Sporting Lisbon’s young left-back, Nuno Mendes.
Whilst the 18-year-old is an undoubted talent, it seems unthinkable that United would be willing to trigger his £40 million release clause having only just bought Alex Telles, with Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams also available. The Reds also recently signed a highly talented prospect from Real Madrid, 17-year-old Alvaro Fernandez, in that position.
In this case, United’s name is probably being used by Mendes’ agent to push Sporting into offering the young star an improved contract.
Manchester United will always be used as leverage in the football transfer market. This in part is because stories are eagerly picked up and spread by the media, who know there is more interest in the club than in any other.
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