After six friendlies, Erik ten Hag has a clear idea about Manchester United’s strengths and the areas that need further reinforcements. While midfield is an area in clear need of quality additions, the forward line also needs more depth.
The major reason behind United’s need to sign an attacker is the uncertainty surrounding the future of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese has made it clear that he wants to play Champions League football but till date, no club has come forward to sign him up.
That has left the English giants scrambling to figure a way out. If United’s No 7 were to leave, the only senior striker they will have on their books is Anthony Martial.
Benjamin Šeško’s representatives have met with officials at Manchester United, Newcastle and Chelsea in the last fortnight. RB Salzburg have also met with all three clubs. #MUFC [@MsiDouglas, @iPaperSport]
— mufcmpb (@mufcMPB) August 1, 2022
The Frenchman has done exceedingly well in pre-season but his injury records and inconsistency means it is imperative that the Red Devils go on and sign someone even if Ronaldo ended up staying.
And recent reports have linked the 20-time English champions to RB Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko. Renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano even mentioned that United have held direct talks with the player’s agent.
However, Chelsea have now entered the fray and after being gazumped by Barcelona on so many occasions, they are determined to land their next targets.
Boehly meets Sesko entourage
According to Slovenian outlet Sportklub, Elvis Bašanović, the agent of the 19-year-old striker, met with Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly to discuss the future of his client.
Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is unhappy with Chelsea’s transfer business so far and is crying out for further additions. With Romelu Lukaku rejoining Inter Milan on loan, a huge gap has opened up up front. Timo Werner and Michy Batshuayi have been reportedly made available for transfer.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly met with the representative of Manchester United target Benjamin Sesko yesterday.
— Vince™ (@Blue_Footy) August 1, 2022
And Sesko’s impressive display against Liverpool has reignited a race among all European top clubs with United and Chelsea currently leading the pack.
However, the Austrian outfit hold all the aces at the moment as Sesko has a contract till 2026. Karim Adeyemi’s departure to Borussia Dortmund for €30 million means Salzburg do not need to raise further funds. It was their intention to replace Adeyemi with Sesko for the coming season.
Dubbed as the “next Haaland”, Sesko would command a price upwards of €50 million with reports even going on to state that €65 million would be need to prise him away this season, something United would not sanction at the moment. The player is still not the finished product and such a huge outlay for someone so young might deter potential suitors.
Chelsea’s entry into this race certainly makes it more interesting and Salzburg might benefit from the bidding war. United certainly need back-up upfront and Sesko would be an ideal addition but till the Ronaldo impasse clears and funds become available, it is Chelsea who have edged ahead in the race.