Man Utd signed Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for £73m earlier this month; United also set to bring in Raphael Varane for £41m from Real Madrid; Paul Pogba could leave Old Trafford this summer, with midfielder unlikely to sign new deal and PSG interested
Paul Pogba’s future is understood to be a key factor in determining how many more signings Manchester United are able to make this summer – although they are keen to bring in another midfielder.
United have been active in the market ahead of the new Premier League season, with the £73m capture of Jadon Sancho set to be followed by a £41m deal for Raphael Varane.
But their heavy spending may not continue, with the club believed to consider the bulk of their business to have already been completed.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still keen to add another midfielder to his squad, with a number of players under consideration.
The Europa League finalists have scouted Rennes’ Eduardo Camavinga and Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka.
However, it is felt that Camavinga may prefer a move to Spain, while there are concerns at United that Goretzka could be using them to engineer a better contract at Bayern.
United have also been watching Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez, who has attracted the interest of Barcelona.
Reports have also linked United with Declan Rice, but it is understood they have no plans to move for the England international, while West Ham are very unlikely to allow him to leave this summer.
Should Pogba depart Old Trafford this summer, it would only strengthen the desire amongst those at the club to sign a new midfielder.
The France international has just one year remaining on his United contract and, while the club remain in talks with his representatives, it is unlikely Pogba will commit to a new deal as things stand.
Paris Saint-Germain are keen to sign the 28-year-old and are expected to formalise their interest this summer.
Even if United’s business for the summer may not yet be over, it is noticeable that they have looked to complete the bulk of their signings before the start of the new Premier League season.
Last summer saw Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles arrive on Deadline Day, while the previous January also featured the late additions of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo.
The relationship between Solskjaer, outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and recently-appointed director of football John Murtough is considered key to the increased harmony witnessed at the club during the current window.
However, while United have recruited impressively so far this summer, they are not immune to the financial impact of Covid-19 and there is an acceptance at the club that they cannot recruit players in every position they would like.
United are also willing to allow several fringe players to leave to free up finances, with James Garner, Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira and Facundo Pellistri all possible departures.
If Pellistri does leave it is likely to be on loan, as he is considered a prospect for the future. He could be joined by Axel Tuanzebe, although United are keen for him to sign a new deal before any potential loan exit.
Jesse Lingard’s Old Trafford future is also still uncertain. While Solskjaer said the midfielder was still “in my plans” earlier this month, West Ham remain interested in bringing him back to the London Stadium following his impressive loan spell during the second half of last season.
Is Varane the missing piece in Man Utd’s jigsaw?
Manchester United fans are understandably delighted with Raphael Varane’s imminent arrival from Real Madrid, although the club would not have needed to spend over £40m on the defender had Sir Alex Ferguson managed to lure the Frenchman to Old Trafford a decade ago.
A young Varane was starting to grab people’s attention in what was his debut campaign with Lens in 2010/11, including that of United’s then French scout David Friio, who became a regular attendee during the player’s final few months at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.
Varane, just turned 18, may not have been able to save Lens from relegation from Ligue 1 that season, but that did not bother Ferguson, who knew a future world star when he saw one.
Unfortunately for the Scot, he was not the only one running his eye over Varane and with the United manager en route to northern France to sign the centre-back, Real Madrid’s new special adviser learned of the meeting and quickly intervened.
One phone call from Zinedine Zidane was all it needed for Varane to end up in Madrid, not Manchester that summer, with United instead buying Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers for £16.5m.