Manchester United have 48 hours of the summer transfer window remaining and could be set for a late flurry in that time.
With agreements for Antony and Martin Dubravka secured today, the Red Devils have managed to add a long-sought right winger and a competitive goalkeeper. However there are still holes in the United squad and little time in which to fill them.
With Cristiano Ronaldo’s future still a topic of uncertainty and tension, signing a striker has been high on John Murtough’s to-do list for a while now.
A blockbuster move for Napoli’s Victor Osimhen looks unlikely, while United pulled out of negotiations with Atletico Madrid for Alvaro Morata over disagreement regarding valuations.
The market for strikers certainly does not look particularly inviting at this stage, with several would-be-good options have already switched clubs this summer.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one player whose situation is being monitored by the club, while his teammate Memphis Depay has also been discussed. Given Erik ten Hag’s preference for a centre forward with good physicality, a late move for somebody in the Ivan Toney mould would not be out of the question either, although much depends on the future of Cristiano Ronaldo in determining the budget available for a striker.
At the other end of the pitch, United are light at right back, with Diogo Dalot having no genuine competition for his position. The Portuguese has had an okay start to the season, relatively speaking, but in a season in which United will be playing ten matches in October alone, Dalot can hardly be expected to perform throughout the season without some support.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is still in the squad, but he appears around as well suited to a slick passing game as a bowling ball. It is notable that the former Crystal Palace man is yet to start a match under Ten Hag – not even in preseason.
His former club appear to have made an approach to take him back to South London, although United are not expected to allow him to leave until they secure a replacement. One theory is that they are working on a deal to swap Wan-Bissaka for Sergino Dest of FC Barcelona, a player United have been linked with throughout the summer given his connection to Ten Hag.
In the middle of the pitch, United do retain an interest in Frenkie de Jong, although that deal have been regarded as unlikely for some time now.
Whether an alternative to the Dutchman could be sought is another matter. Casemiro certainly fits the profile of an ‘elite’ midfielder but fills a different niche in United’s engine room than De Jong would have done. Ismael Bennacer would be a similar profile of player and with only two years left on his contract could be available, but this late in the window AC Milan would surely expect a premium on his value.
A deep creative midfielder may have to wait, with Christian Eriksen showing early signs of being able to do that job, even if not exactly in the way the manager initially envisioned.
The right back and striker situations look more pressing in the meantime, with United’s gruelling schedule placing heavy demands on those understaffed positions.
United Matchday Magazine – the online football programme
D-Day. Vardy’s party. Arteta’s vendetta. United can crash them all in one week. Get your special DOUBLE issue of the United Matchday Magazine NOW.
- Online football content like you’ve never seen before
- Prepare for the game with our preview, team news and tactical analysis
- Get carefully selected news, transfer news, intelligent opinion and humour
- Instantly delivered to your device with easy and secure online ordering
- Click Preview to see more or buy the double issue now for just £2.00/$2.35
- Limited time offer: SAVE 33% on a season pass – use discount code SEASON33 at checkout.